Thanks for your support in 2016! I will do my best to represent the entire county to the best of my ability along with the other commissioners I am serving with.

 I believe as a county government we should perform our duties (county and municipalities departments) like athletes and not as bodybuilders; one trains body parts to work together, the other trains body parts separately.
The two methods of training lead to two very distinctive outcomes; the one's body parts look very impressive, especially when flexed but is very clumsy in movement, the other moves with agility, speed, efficiency and economy of movement.

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First and foremost: I want to be a part of any and every solution that will help make Peach County and its citizens as healthy as possible, (both physically and fiscally).

Be a good steward of county taxes: I believe the main objective of a commissioner is to be a good steward of not only maintaining a balanced budget but also how county taxes are spent and to maximize the value of these taxes for the citizens of Peach County. This helps increase the value of services while potentially lowering taxes on our tax base.  

Increase business and industry interest in Peach County as well as interest in existing businesses here in Peach County: We can do this by showing our strengths, and increasing business visibility, but mostly good communication on what would make things better for bringing them in and for solidifying their future in Peach County.  

Expanding our tax base: increase commerce by increasing the amount of people coming into our county (whether it’s tourism or simply to trade with flourishing businesses) lowers the tax burden on everyone. It especially bothers me what the elderly go through that are on fixed incomes and have seen a steady increase of taxes on their property over the past 20 years with very little increase in their income.

Tying together the strengths of our county: I believe it should be the commissioner’s mission to tie the strengths of our county together like the spokes in a wheel connecting to a common hub. When we do this, the different facets of our county government (though operating independently), will have ways they will add to each other and compliment each other.

Education: I believe our education system is directly connected to the present and future economic health of our county so it should concern each and every one of us enough to get involved if we care about our county’s future. Whether it’s county commissioners, city counsels, development authorities, police departments, sheriff department, Main Streets, chamber of commerce or citizens of our county, we all are like spokes in a wheel that should be connected to the same hub. When the ones in our education system (that are working hard to turn things around) feel the support of the entire county behind them, I believe they will be able to build a school system that will work like a magnet at drawing people to Peach County!

Comprehensive planning: I believe in flexibility but I believe the comprehensive planning for Peach County should be used as a road-map. The people on these committees work really hard in forming strategies for long term growth to benefit the whole county. We should not let personal interests or agendas deviate us from these action plans.

Commissioners should work together as a body: and not act like divided body parts. Concentrating on what makes an individual muscle group look good (instead of training muscle groups to work together) causes a person to move like a clumsy bodybuilder instead of the agility of an athlete who has trained their body parts to work together for the good of his or her mission on track and field.

Partisan politics: I dislike partisan politics especially on a local level and believe it does nothing but cause divisiveness in communities that need every-one of their leaders, citizens and resources working together.

To work for the whole county (not for personal or group interests): putting nice makeup on personal or corporate interests to create or change policy that is not beneficial to the whole county is nothing more and nothing less than crony capitalism and is something I despise.

A work ready county and visibility: do everything I can to help the other commissioners build a viable workforce in Peach County and help give them visibility to market their skill set(s).

Accessibility: I’ve had a business in Fort Valley since 1992. It’s owner operated, so I’m easy to find.

If elected: I will consider myself as your employee and ambassador of Peach County and will do everything I can to advance Peach County! Wade Yoder

A few things to introduce myself…

I grew up in the Amish/Mennonite community in Montezuma, GA and was blessed with a great family and was able to grow up in a community of good folks.

I have 2 awesome children, Nicole is 24 years old and was a teacher at Word of Life School in Montezuma for several years and has put that on pause to follow some new pursuits. Caleb is 20 years old and is going to school at Valdosta State and wants to major in physical therapy.

Education: I attended and graduated from Montezuma Amish Mennonite School in Montezuma, GA

International Sports Sciences as a Master Trainer: Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, Specialist in Exercise Therapy, Specialist in Strength and Conditioning, Specialist in Senior Fitness and Specialist in Youth Fitness

Work history…

First jobs: my brother and I started working at a dairy that was next door to my dad’s store when I was around 10 years old.
When I was around 15 years old my dad rented a small dairy and bought a small herd of around 70 dairy cows. My older brother, my younger brothers and myself operated the dairy and my dad operated the store. During this time I started a small herd of dairy cattle in the 80’s and sold them in the early 90’s.

Dishwasher: at 13 I got a job as a dishwasher at my uncle’s restaurant (Yoder’s Deitsch Haus) when he opened the restaurant in the early 80’s.

Started managing my mom & dad’s store when I was 16: my dad had to quit working at his store for a while due to him losing his voice, so I managed the store temporarily, but then they let me continue to manage the store (Kountry Farm Center). This was from 16 & 1/2 years of age until 23, and was probably the most formative in helping me to learn how to operate and grow a small business. I’m very appreciative to my mom and dad for never giving me the feeling that they were looking over my shoulders during this time and that my dad trusted me to run a business that he had spent many years building.

The Garden Bowl Restaurant: my mom and dad were in the catering business for 25 years, and it was probably this and my uncle’s restaurant that inspired me to open a restaurant in Montezuma in 1992 called the Garden Bowl. I closed it in 1993 and put my focus on the gym business.
Health club business: I opened Montezuma Athletic Club in 1991, opened Valley Athletic Club in 1992. I had to rebuild business after July 2000 (when the building I was leasing collapsed). With God’s grace and a lot of hard work, I started back from scratch and slowly rebuilt the business. In 2005 I sold the property that my 1st health club was built on in Montezuma so that I could purchase the property I was leasing for Valley Athletic Club here in Fort Valley.

Wade Yoder Storage Buildings etc: started in 2007 and has grown into a pretty large business since then. It started out as storage buildings only but has expanded into greenhouses, gazebos, screen rooms, carports, enclosed metal buildings, dog kennels and chicken coops. I’m really thankful for this business largely because of it bringing customers in from surrounding counties.

Plane crash 2007: this probably had the most impact on how I live out my days here on earth and increased my desire to leave a positive impact in the lives of my family, friends and community. You can get the full story on YouTube @ Yoder Family Plane Crash  

Community service and outreach

Peach Regional Chamber of Commerce Board Member since 2012: Responsible for the chamber’s website, member updates, online financial transactions, email newsletters and social media. Except for membership, I do not get paid for these services.

Health and fitness columnist: for 5 middle GA newspapers with over 200 published articles since 2012.