Ms. Sheila Furgeson, Bookkeeper

Sheila Ferguson is the Bookkeeper at Nehemiah Mission with the responsibility for maintaining the accounting functions. Sheila has over 30 years of diversified experience in accounting, financial analysis, financial & operation reporting and business support. She has an Associates degree in Finance from the University of Cincinnati, Bachelor degree in Accounting, from Dyke College and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Cuyahoga Community College Corporate College.Sheila enjoys golfing and is involved with a Adopt a school program that provides Elementary School children with necessary learning tools, personal items, hat and gloves for the winter.


Mr. Aaron Phillips, Project Manager

Aaron is our Project Manager responsible for project vetting and planning.  His goal is to spiritually enrich the stay of our guests by branding a Nehemiah experience.  Aaron began his own Nehemiah experience in 2008 as an Intern.  Here he found his place, and has grown spiritually, personally, and professionally ever since.  Whenever groups are not scheduled, Aaron assists the Executive Director with the countless and various tasks that land on the plate of a non-profit business leader.
Aaron was born and raised in Norwalk, Ohio.  He recieved his education at Baldwin – Wallace College and achieved a degree in Public Relations.  One of his favorite memories from the Nehemiah Mission is being supported to go to Liberia as a Volunteer in Mission.  Says Aaron, “It reminded me that we are all children of God with global needs, in a global community of believers.  We must reach out to each other whether neighbors, or from different hemispheres.”  God is alive and working through all our efforts, and Aaron hopes that you will find that inspiration for your own life in outreach.  It is as his father said, “You don’t have to go…(elsewhere)…there are people in your community that need help.  We are all on a mission.”


Pastor, Jim Szakacs, Executive Director

Jim  has been the Executive Director of The Nehemiah Mission since March of 2008. He is a Licensed Local Pastor in the East Ohio Conference appointed to the mission.

In his previous career, Jim was self employed as an organizational development coach and marketing consultant. His clients included both for profit and non-profit organizations. He was a marketing and communication specialist in the sports and entertainment industry for the prior 20 years.

Jim also serves as the Pastor of New Vision at Garfield Heights United Methodist Church and sits on various boards and agencies of the North Coast District and East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.

He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Robin – the daughter of a U.M. Pastor and together they have three adult children, three grandchildren and one very spoiled mini-dachsund.


Ms. Becky Trout,  Case Manager

Becky  began her relationship with the mission as a team member. She visited with the St. John’s UMC  of Turnersville, NJ group for four years.  While Becky was in Cleveland, she helped lead vacation bible school. Becky then returned home to New Jersey with a desire to continue serving at Nehemiah. Her role today  is to process all incoming project applications and conduct interviews and followup contacts with each of our clients. She assists the director by serving as liason to our various building “tenants”, managing our food service and kitchen, leading work team projects and most importantly serving as a beacon of hope and leadership to the neighborhood children surrounding the mission.


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