Tom Heffner


Since November of 2015 Tom has been President of Franklinton Rising, a
Christian based movement of men, women and children, helping young adults to
break the cycles of poverty through gaining life and job skills, careers in the
building trades, faith, renting and owning homes and becoming productive
members of their neighborhood.

Tom was President of Heffner Performance Group, dba Compass USA, a mentoring
practice, developing entrepreneurial spirited leaders of organizations with 20–400
employees. Working with a leadership team, Tom helped them to focus on building
cultures of high character based upon Biblical principles and implementing
leadership practices that build trust and create excellence of performance.


Tom has held previous positions including: President, The Magellan Group, a
software/consulting start-up; VP Franchise Sales, Gosh Enterprises, fast casual
restaurants with 200-300 locations; COO American Health Holding, 250-person
medical management firm; President, Heffner Consultants; Minority owner and
Senior VP, Client Services, Management Horizons Division of Price Waterhouse; and
Branch Sales Manager, Xerox Corporation.

Steve Wathen

Board Chairman

Steve is the founder and CEO of Equity, Inc, a $75MM per year full service real estate company.
He is also founder and board chairman of Youth Aviation Adventure(YAA), an educational 501C3 that introduces youth, ages 12-18, to aviation. YAA operates Nationally through partnerships with The Ohio State University and the Federal Aviation Administration.
For past 5 years to present, served on the board of Aviation Exploring, an educational division of The Boy Scouts of America, a large not for profit youth organization. He began serving this year on the board of the Youth Aviation Programs Association and assisted in the formation of the organization in 2014
He has served on several other boards including:

  • 3 years on the Executive Board of Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America, serving 40,000 Central Ohio Youth, and currently serve on the advisory board

  • 6 years on the board of The Ohio State University Student Loan Foundation

  • 7 years on the board of Pregnancy Decision Health Centers, and currently serve on the advisory board

Michael Reidelbach

Board Treasurer

Michael is a board member and organizer of Buckeye State Bank, a community bank.  He is a founder, treasurer and board member of Franklinton Rising, Inc., a not-for-profit involved in housing rehabilitation and job training.


Michael has over 45 years of private sector business experience. These include a 16 year management career with Corning, Inc., Vice President of Marketing for Richardson-Smith, and President and CEO of Retail Planning Associates.  More recently he co-founded and served as President and CEO of American Health Holding, Inc., a healthcare firm now owned by Aetna.


He earned an Engineering Degree from The Ohio State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University.


Michael and his wife, former State Representative Linda Reidelbach, reside in Delaware County

Fred Brothers

Board Secretary

Fred is president of Uprising Capital. His background is a combination of entrepreneur, senior corporate executive, investor, strategist, innovator, company builder, board member, and developer of leaders.
In his very busy semi-retirement, Brothers invests in numerous growth-stage companies and advises their management teams.  This includes for-profits and non-profits in financial technology and social enterprise. He is strongly committed to improving the lives of the working poor.
Fred has 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience. He is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of FIS (NYSE: FIS), a $10 billion global market leader providing banking and payments technology. At FIS, he led corporate strategy, early-stage innovation, venture capital, and represented the company on numerous corporate boards. Brothers sold eCom Advisors, the strategy consulting firm he founded, to FIS.
He holds a business degree in finance and marketing from The Ohio State University.

Kevin Hake

Board Member

Kevin Hake is Senior Vice President, Finance, Business Development and Treasurer of M/I Homes, Inc., on the nation’s largest homebuilding and residential development companies, with $1.5 billion of annual revenues. Prior to joining M/I Homes in 2010, Kevin was Senior Vice President and Treasurer for Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., and he was previously a Director in the Real Estate Group for BankBoston, NA and a Vice President with Chemical Bank in New York. Kevin received an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.A. in Economics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Kevin and his wife, Robin, have three grown children and reside in New Albany, Ohio.

Josiah Bremenour

Director of Construction and Training

Josiah Bremenour, grew up in a large family with parents who loved the Lord, and between the family farm and family electrical business, his parents instilled a hard work ethic and the importance of a relationship with Christ. At 17 years of age Josiah’s passion for construction began growing, but more importantly his heart for the Lord and to see the lost found.

“Never in a lifetime would I have imagined God using a sinner like me in the lives of so many. It is solely God who changes hearts, but I am so grateful that He chooses to use me. The blessing of being given health and opportunity to be able to wake up every morning and seek to work in construction as for the Lord blows me away. It’s such a blessing to be able to have so many young people to share with on a daily basis. It saddens me to see the cycle of life many live in, bound by poverty, but deceived as to the ultimatum. So being given the opportunity to work alongside of such an amazing group of Christ-centered board members to share Christ’s love and share the hope we have in Christ is amazing. It’s because of Him we live, it’s because of Him we love, it’s through Him that others will find Freedom.”

John Holt

Board Member

John is an agent with HER in Pickerington Ohio. John has been in the real estate, new home construction, and rental property business since 1978. He is a member and Christian leader at the Pickerington Grace Brethren Church.

John, in addition to his Board position at Franklinton Rising, volunteers with The Refuge, a significant drug recovery ministry to men. He is a Bible teacher and mentor to men in this 13-month program. 

John greatest accomplishment is his loving family -wife Karen, son and daughter and 10 grandchildren.

Steve Arnold

Board Member

Steve Arnold is the President and owner of: The Strait and Lamp Group which includes Strait and Lamp Lumber Company, 5th Ave Lumber Company, Linworth Lumber Company, Dublin Millwork, Lumbercraft and Strait and Lamp Contracting. The Strait and Lamp Group was founded in 1950 and their history goes back 100 years from their purchase of 5th Ave Lumber Company in 1986.


After attending Rio Grande College and serving in the Army Reserve, Steve joined The Strait and Lamp Group in 1986. He worked at Linworth Lumber Company and started out at the bottom, he worked his way up through the company in many different job responsibilities. In 1999 Steve left the company for eight years, and rejoined the company in March of 2008 with the intentions of being part of the third family generation of ownership.


Steve’s family is his most prized accomplishment. His family consists of his wife Barbara, four children and two granddaughters. Kevin Arnold is his oldest child and he also works with the company.

John Cassell

Board Member

John has over 30 years’ experience in sales and consulting, with the past 14 years serving as Managing Director, Client Services, for The O.C. Tanner Company.  John partners with Fortune 1000 companies to help them align employee and leadership behavior with organizational mission and strategy.

John began doing volunteer housing rehabilitation for Urban Concern in 1998 and was involved in renovating several reclaimed houses in the South Linden area of Columbus, OH. He then became a volunteer leader of at-risk urban youth to provide mentorship, guidance, and leadership. John initiated and led a housing renovation project called City Life Community Development, aimed at creating a healthy living environment for at-risk urban youth and young adult community leaders in the Franklinton area of Columbus, OH. John also serves as board member for Cornerstone Family Services, a non-profit organization committed to providing behavioral health services to the uninsured and underserved, and is an advisory team member for Columbus Works. John and his wife, Krista, have 3 children and reside in Columbus, OH.

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