MEDA recognizes new class of 20 Under 35 Awards

Young professionals embody faith, service and an entrepreneurial spirit

WATERLOO, ON – MEDA – Mennonite Economic Development Associates – recently recognized 20 young professionals for their world-changing work at the 2015 MEDA Convention in Richmond, Va. This marks the second year for the 20 Under 35 Young Professionals Changing the World Awards. Everence, a faith-based financial services organization, sponsored the initiative.

MEDA established the 20 Under 35 Awards in 2014 to recognize young professionals under 35 who exemplify MEDA values – faith, service and an entrepreneurial spirit. After an open call for nominations, nine Canadians and eleven Americans were selected as award recipients.

“We’re recognizing an incredible class of young professionals this year,” said Ethan Eshbach, coordinator of engagement initiatives. “These individuals are exemplary leaders in their churches, communities and businesses. Their business acumen, commitment to faith and passion for service is truly humbling.”

The 20 recipients are:

Jirah Dueck, Winnipeg, MB

Andrew Yantzi, Waterloo, ON

Andrew Ewert, Carol Stream, IL

Alex Miller, Sarasota, FL

Ben Weaver, Telford, PA

Bethany Tran, Durham, NC

Brandon Kroeker, Delta, BC

Chris Ewert, Carol Stream, IL

Chris Meyer, Goshen, IN

Christina Fast, Calgary, AB

Derek Martin, Woolwich, ON

Jacob Riyadi Wibowo, Philadelphia, PA

Jeremy Goertz, New Hamburg, ON

Jon Carlson, Lancaster, PA

Jono Cullar, Waterloo, ON

Justin Oberholtzer, Lancaster, PA

Kaylie Tiessen, Toronto, ON

Matthew Penner, Steinbach, MB

Nate Weaver, Telford, PA

Rylan Miller, Harper, KS

“The world needs to know about these people,” says Dave Warren, chief engagement officer. “The young professionals we recognized this year are living out MEDA’s values in their workplaces and communities. We want them to know that their incredible efforts don’t go unnoticed.”

“These talented young professionals are already making an important contribution and we look forward to their future impact on the world,” adds Ken Hochstetler, Everence president and CEO. “Our communities need more people like them, who are committed to living out their faith and values.”

Five of the young professionals, Jirah Dueck, Andrew Yantzi, Alex Miller, Kaylie Tiessen and Rylan Miller, were able to attend convention this year to receive their awards. The remaining 15 honorees will be recognized at select chapter events and personal visits in the near future.

To learn more about the 2015 recipients or about MEDA’s 20 Under 35 Awards, please visit