www.christiancommunityconnect.com - Christian Community Connect
  • Christian Business Owners & Churches
Posted in Category 1

CCC's Servant Of the Year Jeff Cardwell

CCC's Servant Of the Year Jeff Cardwell

                          Leadership, Servanthood and Significance                                                                                       Intro by Kenton Yohey and CCC

                             CCC’s Business Member Award Article for The Servant of the Year, Jeff Cardwell                                     

                                         “LIFE IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE.” Jeff Cardwell                                                  

Our choice this year for our CCC Business Member chosen as The Servant of the Year knows how to respect and love and has always shown it by his faith in action by unselfishly serving others. 

A Leader in Business, and Ministry Jeff is a successful business owner with Cardwell Do it Best Home Center and a Senior Vice President at Sexton’s Creek Government Relations. 

In 2001, Jeff launched the People Helping People Network which partners with many different organizations such as Convoy of Hope, The Fuller Center for Housing and Timmy Global Health to provide sustainable solutions that deliver hope and break the cycle of crisis in Housing, Hunger, Health and Education.

When I read this part of scripture earlier this week the first name that jumped into my spirit was Jeff Cardwell. 

Matthew 25:31-40 The Message MSG 

31-33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left. 34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,                                                
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,

 I was in prison and you came to me.’

37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

The biographical information about Jeff below came from the book 31 Days of Prayer for Israel and Jerusalem which was co-authored by Matthew Gillette, Dr. Michael F. Elmore, MD, and Jeff. 

About Dr. Michael Elmore. He has been a close friend and mentor of Jeff’s for many years and earlier this week Jeff shared with me that “he probably knows me better than I know myself.” He also is on the Board of Directors for the “People Helping People” Radio Network with Jeff. My hope is that I can get to know him much more as he has been another of the “right” people that have had a significant influence and impact on Jeff who has certainly had an influence and impact on me. Michael F. Elmore, MD, FACP, FACG, FACN, has been a practicing physician since 1977, and he specializes in gastroenterology. He is the former CEO and president of Indianapolis Gastroenterology, and he is the past president of the Indianapolis Gastroenterology Research Foundation; Dr. Elmore has also taught medical students and residents as an associate clinical professor of biochemistry and medicine at the IU School of Medicine, and he serves on the board for People Helping People, an organization that facilitates mission trips for humanitarian aid. His other books include A Christian Physician Looks at Stress and Healing and Stress and Spirituality: Conquering the Stress of Life and Achieving Your Spiritual Potential; he has also written The Ancient Path: Rediscovering Manhood, which has been used to mentor and disciple many men.                                          

Jeff was born in Morgantown, Kentucky, and was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He is a graduate of Ben Davis High School.   Paying his way through college, Jeff earned his college degree at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Continuing his education, Jeff received his real estate sales license in 1984 and his brokerage license in 1986.  In 1996, he was accredited by the Residential Sales Council as a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), a distinction awarded to only 4 percent of Realtors nationwide.  

In 1976, Jeff began his career in the lumber industry.  At the age of 18, he became the youngest person ever to serve as manager for that same company, which was founded in 1945.  Today, he serves as president and CEO of Cardwell Do-it Best Home Center.  

In 1980, Jeff launched his construction and land development career.  In October 1994, Builder/Architect Magazine named him “Builder of the Month.” Later that year, he was named “Builder of the Year” by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis.   In 1998, Jeff built the first prototype of the Do-it Best hardware store.  Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Do-It Best Corp’s world headquarters serves more than 4,000 independent members in more than 57 nations, with $3+ billion in annual sales.  This new concept propelled Do-it Best Corp to dominance in the hardware industry among independent store owners. 

In June 2000, Jeff went on his first mission trip, traveling to El Salvador.  On January 13, 2001, a devastating earthquake hit El Salvador, killing more than a thousand people and leaving more than 1 million people homeless.  In less than 90 days, Jeff organized a group of volunteers who provided more than $2 million dollars of in-kind emergency relief supplies to the earthquake victims. 

In 2000 and 2004, Jeff served as an Alternate Delegate to the National Republican Convention and a National Delegate in 2012 and 2016.  He has also been elected several times to serve as a State Delegate to the Indiana State Republican Convention.  On September 4th, 2001, Jeff launched the “People Helping People” radio network, which aired weekly on several radio stations in Central Indiana.   In 2003, he was commissioned a “Kentucky Colonel” by Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky, commissioned an “Honorary Colonel” by Governor Bob Riley of Alabama and was presented with a United States “Congressional Salute” for his community service.   

In September of 2005, Jeff led a first response team of volunteers to assist the survivors of “Hurricane Katrina” delivering more than 2 million pounds of donated relief items within the first 60 days after the storm.  That year, Jeff traveled to Pattaya, Thailand for the third ‘Global Summit on Peace through Tourism’.  With more than 60 nations represented, Jeff presented his views on traveling with a purpose and the new concept of worldwide “voluntourism.”   

In late 2005, Jeff was elected to serve on the board of directors for the Fuller Center for Housing which was founded by Millard Fuller, former Chair and founder of Habitat for Humanity International. During his tenure as Indianapolis City-County Councilmember from 2008 - 2013, Jeff was named “Honorary Consulate” to the Republic of El Salvador in 2009.  In May of 2011, Jeff received the “Spirit of Independents’ Award” from the North American Retail Hardware Association for his humanitarian work at home and abroad.   

In December of 2012, Governor-Elect Mike Pence appointed Jeff to serve as the Executive Director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI).  In 2013, the Governor appointed Jeff to be Senior Advisor and Special Assistant to the Governor. In March 2015, Jeff was nominated by Governor Mike Pence and confirmed by the Indiana Republican State Committee to serve as the Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. In 2016, he was awarded the “Sagamore of the Wabash” – the highest civilian honor given by the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence.  

In 2017, shortly after the Trump-Pence Inauguration, Jeff retired as State Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party as the most winningest Chairman in Indiana Republican Party history. 

In 2019, the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of El Salvador awarded Jeff with the highest honor that the Salvadoran government gives to foreign nationals serving in their country.  The national legislature voted unanimously to bestow upon Jeff the title of “Noble Friend of El Salvador”.  In addition, Jeff is the co-President of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team and a member of Grace Assembly of God in Greenwood, Indiana.  Jeff resides in Greenwood, Indiana with his wife, Cheryl.  They have three children: Shanne Masuccio-Juss, Sara E. Marshall, and Jeffery C. Cardwell. They have three grandsons: Nathan Juss, Henry Juss, and Landry Marshall. 

COLLABORATION OF EFFORTS. The People Helping People Network, in partnership with Convoy of Hope and the U.S. Department of Defense, sent a donation of 64,000 pounds of food and hygiene kits – valued at $150,000 – to benefit Salvadorans most affected by COVID-19 and Tropical Storms Amanda and Cristobal. The donation arrived in a C-17 cargo plane, provided by the DOD Denton Program, and was received by U.S. Ambassador Ronald Johnson, Convoy of Hope El Salvador Director Winifred Patricia Mendez, and The People Helping People Network (Gente Ayudando Gente) El Salvador Executive Director Lisselot Troconis.

Convoy of Hope will distribute the entire donation, with the support of The People Helping People Network (Gente Ayundano Gente) and other social organizations, to 29,500 people nationwide.

U.S. Ambassador Ronald Johnson stressed the importance of U.S. cooperation in El Salvador. “The donation is an indication that the ties between the U.S. and El Salvador go beyond government to government relations. U.S. NGOs like Convoy of Hope and The People Helping People Network are also carrying out impactful work on behalf of El Salvador.”

With the success of this collaborative effort to provide emergency relief to the people of El Salvador, Jeff Cardwell reminds others hoping to help those in need, “if you have a heart for giving, you’re qualified; we are all about People Helping People, with a servant’s heart.” 

Learn more here,  https://www.phpnetwork.org/                                             

Jeff continues to pursue his passion to alleviate poverty around the world through The People Helping People Network which has expanded to nearly a dozen countries. 

Jeff resides in Greenwood, Indiana with his wife, Cheryl. They have three children:   Shane Masuccio-Juss, Sara E. Marshall, and Jeffery C. Cardwell. They have three grandsons: Nathan Juss, Henry Juss, and Landry Marshall. 



Contact Editor

Contact Member