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Jay A. Yoder  | Chair

Married to Rhonda  |  Father of four Children  |  Occupation: MRV Siding Supply (15 yrs)
Church: Lifebridge Community Church (9 yrs)

Jay is a true servant leader! He is married to Rhonda and is father to four amazing children. The entire family has been instrumental in getting this ministry off the ground.


Jay has worked for MRV Siding Supply since 2005 and has been an integral member of Lifebridge Community Church in Dover, Ohio, since 2011. He has personally walked with and mentored men struggling with substance abuse and in recovery for years. His faith matters more to him than anything else. Jay and Rhonda responded with an immediate yes when presented with the idea of beginning a recovery ministry on the property they had just purchased. Their desire to be obedient to God has and will keep them going through all the challenges ahead.

"Why did I agree to serve on the board?
Experiencing God's Kingdom is so "LIFE GIVING" and I felt that this was one way that I could continue to
experience His Kingdom at work. The testimonials have been incredible even in the early stages
of this God Work.

How is this stretching me?
- Trusting Jesus more.
- Being more patient.
- Making prayer a priority. 
- Trying to getting along with paperwork, my least favorite thing to do!"

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Kristi Lay  

Married to Jeff  |  Full-time Mom, Mentor, Horse Lover and Trainer 

Growing up overseas as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea created in Kristi a heart for people of many different backgrounds and cultures. After graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in Christian Ministry from Taylor University, Kristi married a man studying to be a missionary pastor. Unaware of his abusive background and hidden anger, she immediately became a victim of his abuse. The abuse became so unbearable and the pain of trying to hide the reality of her abuse as a youth pastor’s wife, led her to seek help from the church. Exposing his abuse resulted in church leader condemnation and spousal rage.


She is forever grateful for the rescue process through family support, and intensive abuse counseling. Her recovery journey awakened and empowered Kristi to minister to other women living in bondage, and to raise awareness for necessary and effective church support to victims of domestic abuse. 


Because of Kristi’s struggles, she has a heightened awareness for those experiencing unhealthy and destructive relationships. While living in North Carolina for a few years, Kristi invested her time in a nonprofit, Called To Peace Ministries (which addresses domestic violence). She has helped lead support groups and aided in the creation of a workbook that leads women through biblical keys to healing.


Now in a healthy marriage for 20 years, Kristi and her husband, Jeff Lay, have lived in Longmont, Colorado since 2020. Jeff and their two children fully support Kristi’s involvement in ministries as she pursues her passion to bring hope and healing to women who are suffering as she once did. Kristi homeschools their two children (and oversees their ranch including 34 animals).

"Why did I agree to serve on the board?

"I have known Kathy Neal since childhood. We grew up together in Papua New Guinea as missionary kids.  Even as a student, Kathy was very intentional and initiated a weekly time of prayer and fasting with me. We chose not to participate in the activities during the break each Wednesday, and we would head off to a quiet spot on the school grounds to pray together. Kathy is and has always been an inspiration and encouragement to me.


Kathy and I have remained close throughout the development of this transformational ministry.  I have had the incredible privilege of living briefly several times in the home with the ladies and helping support their recovery journey. I am committed to praying, supporting and investing in the ministry of BTS, and also the continued relationships with the individual women.


The Lord has given me a passion to be a mentor and Bible teacher to women during the past 20 years. I have been a long-term advocate and support to women through the many phases of their life struggles—to encourage and equip them in their growth and transformation through a personal relationship with Jesus, Who brings mental, emotional and spiritual freedom." 

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Nick Javas  | Secretary

Husband to Nadine  |  Father to Miles and Malcolm

After finding recovery in 2008, Nick has dedicated the better part of his life to helping people recover from addiction. He has 10+ years of experience operating long-term structured recovery homes around the country and working 1 on 1 as a life coach, mentor and sponsor to people around the world. Nick specializes in helping people in long-term recovery discover AND achieve the life they dream of.


Nick loves spending time with his wife and 2 boys, cooking, playing music, and rehabbing property.

"Why did I agree to serve on the board?

Through my experience, I KNOW that long-term structured sober living is a true solution for people with addiction. I believe Beneath the Shade's non-profit structure is removing one of the biggest barriers for people looking for help. I believe in its mission and I believe in the people who are involved. I want it to succeed!"


Kathy Neal  | Executive Director 

Lover of Jesus  |  Church: Lifebridge Community Church

"I have traveled all over the world. I speak a second language fluently, I have two degrees and I graduated at the top of my college classes. I am a researcher and will continue to educate myself about substance abuse, recovery, and all the issues surrounding it. I have surrounded myself with business people, counselors, men and women who have been in recovery a long time and will continue to glean all I can from these amazing men and women God has put in my life.  But, I believe the advice of an addiction recovery coach when he told me, “You cannot learn this stuff from a book, you will learn by experience, by trusting God, by walking through it.”​

I grew up on the mission field in Papua New Guinea and returned to the United States for university. I worked my way through a variety of jobs editing, managing offices, fundraising and finally farming with friends. I have known Jesus since I was young, but the suffering I experienced as a result of a divorce did something in me I could not have anticipated. When my ex-husband told me he wanted out of our marriage, I had no choice but to lean into Jesus to survive. It is a spectacular experience to look back and to know it is indeed possible to be made new.


This Scripture is just one of the passages which have carried me through:


I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36.25-28)


The experience of losing and grieving my marriage led ultimately to this ministry. God creates beautiful things from ashen waste! God has led me to this place in my life on purpose. We need this transitional living space in our county, our state.


Women are dying, both from overdoses and for lack of anything good in their lives. I believe with everything in me that it is possible to live the life of flourishing that I am certain God offers us. I have seen the growth that has happened in my own life.


I believe it is possible to walk with individuals closely and to effect great change if those individuals are willing. I want to walk alongside Jesus to help provide a safe place as he changes hearts of stone into hearts of flesh."


Mike Fredericks  | Treasurer

Married to Justine / Father of four children / Broker/Owner Fredericks Insurance / Church: Sacred Heart

Mike is proprietor of Fredericks Insurance, LLC in New Philadelphia and works with businesses and individuals to fulfil their medical insurance and Medicare insurance needs.

Mike has served on the Tuscarawas County Board of Directors since 2017.  In addition, Mike chaired the Tuscarawas County American Heart Association from 1997 to 2000 and chaired the Sacred Heart Parrish finance committee from 2002 to 2014.  Mike is also involved with our community’s youth by serving as the  head strength coach at Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School.

Why did I agree to serve on the board?
I believe substance abuse is one of, if not the, most threatening things to our society and I desire to involve myself with an organized effort to push against this threat.  Additionally, I believe the spiritual component is essential. It is important in my personal life and to Beneath the Shade as an organization. We must win this battle. 


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