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Oikonomia 2023

Baam Award Founder and Recipients Share Why Faith Comes First

Article by Kristen Wojdan

Photography by Kristi Lynn Photography

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

David Weigelt, and his wife, Stephanie, met while attending Linganore HS and both studied at McDaniel College. Years later, they reconnected, married, raised their children, retired and, most recently, launched C12 Maryland. 

David describes himself as a “very imperfect business leader” whose life and leadership was dramatically changed for the better by C12, a peer advisory group for Christian business leaders for which David was a member for seven years. After selling the business he co-founded (Immersive Active), David felt called to become a C12 leader in Maryland. He explained, “The mission and calling God has given me is to be a catalyst for businesses as a ministry in our community.” 

After the first few years on a mission to equip faith-driven business leaders to build great businesses for a greater purpose, David felt compelled to turn C12’s membership banquet into a public event to celebrate what God is doing through all Christian business leaders in Maryland. This led to the inaugural BaaM (Business as a Ministry) Awards at Oikonomia 2023. 

“Oikonomia (pronounced ‘oy-koh-noh-mee-ah’) is a Greek word closely translated to mean ‘administration’ or ‘stewardship,’ and describes how we manage all God entrusts to us,” explained David. “Oikonomia 2023, is a celebration of what God is doing in and through Kingdom-driven business leaders in Maryland.” 

This year’s event featured two keynote speakers (both Maryland-based CEOs): Scott Ryser, CEO of Frederick-based Yakabod and author of At Work As In Heaven, along with Frank Kelly III, CEO of Kelly Benefits and author of Influence and the Creator’s Game. Each shared inspiring messages focusing on their faith in God and how that faith is a core foundation in their lives, including in their businesses. 

Beyond a one night banquet, David sees Oikonomia being an annual event for which the stories of each year’s honorees live on “to encourage and equip other faith-driven leaders for the opportunity and calling to live out their faith at work.” Oikonomia2023.com View the stories of the 2023 BaaM Award recipients at: BaaMAwards.com

"My hope is to show that these are business owners who are living their faith in the context of their work." - David Weigelt, Principal Chair of C12 Maryland 

BAAM AWARD RECIPIENTS 

(Interview excerpts) 

CHRIS PARSELL 

CEO, Contour Construction

“Receiving the BaaM Award is a testament to God’s unconditional love and grace. This award isn’t about me, or what I’ve done. It’s about God and what He does through us. It’s about what God can do in and through any one of His children. My story isn’t perfect; it has its shadows. But, when I recommitted my company to Christ and started making all of my decisions with Him as my business partner, everything started changing for the better. My prayer is to continue this business as a servant leader. I want to serve my employees, my subcontractors, vendors, customers and community.” Contour-GC.com 

VINEET RAJAN 

CEO, Forte 

“The best part of the work we do is seeing people’s lives changed...we get to impact not only their life, but also their families, communities and work they are a part of!... Receiving the BaaM Award on behalf of the Forte team is truly a humbling experience. In reality, it’s an external recognition of an internal driver that compels each of us to uniquely contribute in all aspects of our lives. It reaffirms our conviction that if we can tap into our own personal sense of calling, purpose and meaning, we can have a profound impact on those around us. I’m so grateful to have the privilege of serving our team at Forte.” GetForte.com 

ANDREW SIMPSON 

CEO, Player’s Fitness & Performance 

“It is our deepest purpose to shine God’s light and make everyone we come into contact with experience the love and transformation that comes from knowing Him. This award has motivated us to keep going as we know it’s just the tip of the iceberg, but it also lets us know we are on the right track...Everyone needs people in their corner who believe in them when they don’t believe in themselves. Every person needs to be poured into by others if they are to go out and have overflowing energy and joy for their loved ones...we will be there to remind you how far you’ve come...and we will be there to motivate and inspire you when you are in need.” PlayersFitnessAndPerformance.com 

About C12 Maryland 

Founded by David Weigelt, C12 Maryland is the presenting sponsor of Oikonomia 2023 and the leading business forum for faith-driven CEOs and business leaders in Maryland, serving Frederick, Baltimore and surrounding counties. C12Maryland.com

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