HomeFeatures50 Over 60: Recognizing Community Standouts (April/May 2024)

50 Over 60: Recognizing Community Standouts (April/May 2024)

Northwest Ohio is home to talented and generous people from all walks of life. They take time to impact the community through their work, by volunteering or with good-natured entrepreneurship. M Living, showcasing community members in our publication throughout 2024, is  recognizing 50 locals, all over the age of 60, whose contributions to our community have improved the quality of life. The December/January issue honored the first eight community members, and the February/March issue featured the second eight profiles. Here is the third round of our 50 Over 60 Community Standouts.

Johnathon Ross


Dr. Johnathon Ross is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences and practices and teaches general internal medicine. He is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program. Dr. Ross received his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo and a master’s degree in health policy and administration from the University of Michigan. When first starting his medical practice, Dr. Ross served as a family physician in a small rural community in upstate New York as a member of the National Health Service Corps. He has been a member of the executive committee of medical staff at Toledo’s St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, a board member of its Public Health Organization, and chairman of hospital committees focused on patient experience quality improvement. 

Dr. Ross served as a member of the Ohio State Medical Board, helping to establish the educational requirements and scope of practice for licensed physician assistants in Ohio. He also served as associate program director for the internal medicine residency, as medical director of the outpatient adult medicine teaching clinic, and as medical director of an HMO affiliated with Mercy Health Partners.

Paul Causman 


Paul Causman has been embedded in the Toledo community theater scene for decades. Paul has served on many local theater boards including Artistic Director for the Toledo Repertoire Theater and several positions for the Toledo Opera. He has also worked with the Toledo Jazz Society, Toledo Symphony, Toledo Museum of Art, the University of Toledo Department of Theater & Film, The Village Players, Ms. Rose’s Dinner Theater, Actors Collaborative, Glass City Theatre Collective, Valentine Theatre and Toledo Ballet. Many Toledoans will recognize Causman from his 21-year stint playing Scrooge in the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol

“Toledo is my home, and community means everything,” Causman explains, adding,  “I’ve always tried to be involved in a broad cross section of community service. I have a passion for theater and I am grateful our local theater and performing arts organizations have provided me with a means to serve the creative life of our community. The opportunity to serve is the greatest chance to say ‘thank you’.”

Randa Mansour-Shousher


Randa Mansour-Shousher built a bridge between her decades-long, private audiology practice, Northwest Ohio Hearing Clinic, and HearAide, the 501c3 nonprofit organization that she founded. Through HearAide, Dr. Mansour-Shousher leads teams of audiologists and volunteers to third world countries in Africa as well as Guatemala, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine to give back through hearing healthcare opportunities.

“Throughout my career, there was always this image of my mom as a refugee and my dad as a young student selling door to door in their new country, struggling to prosper and to achieve their goals. My parents taught us to be grateful for what we have and to give back to society, which is why I wanted to provide  an avenue to hearing healthcare for all,” Dr. Mansour-Shousher said. “The accomplishments and the involvement in our community is no longer just a local effort; it has become, what I call, our global community. HearAide is blessed to have a team of doctors and trained volunteers, leaving no one behind and training the next generation of audiologists in other countries. It’s about connecting individuals to their hearing, dignity and self-worth. That’s how I see true value, as HearAide’s motto says, ‘Near and Far.’”

RELATED: 50 Over 60: Recognizing Community Standouts (Feb./March 2024)

Mike Bell

[politics/ government service]

Mike Bell was elected Mayor of Toledo in January 2010, serving until January 2014, which allowed hit to demonstrate his love for the Toledo community and to give back. Prior to becoming mayor, Bell had many years of government service as Toledo’s  Fire Chief and  and Ohio’s State Fire Marshal. He joined the Toledo Department of Fire and Rescue in 1980, becoming Chief 10 years later. He held his position as chief for 16 years, earning the department the Accreditation by the Commision of Fire Accreditation. After September 11, 2001, Bell led local homeland security efforts in the northwest Ohio region. He was appointed State Fire Marshal by former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in 2007. Bell has acted as a volunteer with many local organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, The American Red Cross and more. 

A Toledoan,  born and raised, Bell resides in Toledo and continues to engage with the community through the University of Toledo Foundation, the Governor’s Police Collaborative Board, the Victory Center Board, the Toledo Zoo Board, as acting Chair of the Stranahan Theater, an ambassador for First Priority Restoration while running his own consulting group, The Michael P. Bell Group. He is also involved with a peace and healing group trying to eliminate violence in the City of Toledo.

Susan Oleshansky


Susan Oleshansky has made a significant difference in the lives of students over the course of several decades. Oleshansky began to teach middle school math education in 1982 at McCord Jr. High in Sylvania. Oleshansky teaches 7th grade math and algebra, which prepares middle school students with their first high school math class credit if they are looking to get ahead. Her passion for teaching revolves around not just making an impact on her students academically, but empowering them with the confidence to be successful in all aspects of life. 

“The huge thing to me is to provide an environment that nurtures that,” Oleshansky said. “I want the kids to walk in and feel that there are no constraints, no limitations and no risk. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, and if (students) understand that there’s value in mistakes, they learn more. Partnering with students in the learning process helps them to feel that they can accomplish things. That’s the difference I hope I make. Obviously, I want them to enjoy the process, but equally as important I want them to have gained confidence in themselves.”

Joe Balderas 

[cultural education]

Joe Balderas has been involved with the Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center (SQACC) for over 24 years. SQACC is a Latino base 501-c-3 non-profit organization located at 1222 Broadway. Balderas served as SQACC’s first Board Chairman and later its first employee. Since then, Balderas has seen SQACC grow with staff, buildings, a community park and nearly seven acres of properties. Balderas’ proudest achievement is the development of SQACC’s Garden Program from a small garden to perhaps Toledo’s largest raised bed garden. After Jones Junior High School was demolished, SQACC was granted the property grounds that Balderas developed into over 60 large raised beds. Balderas named the area BUGG, the Broadway Urban Garden Greenspace.

As for the cause for garden development, Balderas saw the great need to feed those suffering food insecurity issues. In 2017 SQACC was awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars to help combat food insecurity, since BUGG is in the center of a “food desert.” CDBG dollars have allowed the hiring of garden staff and maintenance of BUGG. Balderas is proud that for over six years, SQACC has provided free, over 12,000 pounds fresh, pesticide-free produce to the community and is the only provider of fresh produce to the local food pantry.

Yvonne Dubielak 


Yvonne Dubielak, the Executive Director of Toledo GROWs since July 2017, previously worked with the organization as a Program Manager. The organization works to break down the barriers that stand in the way of people growing their own healthful food by providing free seeds and seedlings, education, tool loans and networking opportunities. As the Toledo GROWs leader, Dubielak is responsible for a wide range of tasks, including financial oversight, grant writing and reporting, long-range planning, personnel supervision, marketing, development and collaborating with other organizations. She strives to be an example of community leadership and connection, and works to provide opportunities for the underserved in our community.

“I’ve been here for almost 11 years,” Dubielak said. “I’m just excited to be a part of that, taking a piece of this and moving it forward. Toledo GROWs was well established when I got here, and I’m excited to have been a part of it and to move it forward to the next level. It’s exciting for me to be a part of an organization that touches so many people, including the underserved, in this community.”

Baldemar Velásquez


Baldemar Velásquez, the founder and director of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO (FLOC), grew up in a migrant farmworker family based in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Yearly, his family would migrate to the Midwest and other regions to work in the fields planting, weeding and harvesting crops. The family eventually settled in Ohio where Velásquez worked in the fields, seasonally, while in high school, to help support his family. After he became the first member of his family to graduate from college, and spurred by the injustices he saw endured by his family and other farmworkers, Velásquez founded FLOC in 1967.

It took several years for FLOC to build a base among farmworkers in the area, but now the organization has built a membership of thousands of migrant farmworkers, unifying farmworker voices and bringing all parties to the table to address industry problems. FLOC has set international precedents in labor history, including being the first union to negotiate multi-party collective bargaining agreements, and the first to represent H2A international guestworkers under a labor agreement. Velásquez is an internationally recognized leader in the farmworker and immigrants rights movements. In 2009, Baldemar was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council.

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