John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation

2021 Pacemaker Awards Honor Local Business Leader, Outstanding UToledo Business Students

The University of Toledo John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation has recognized both business and academic excellence with their 58th annual Pacemaker Awards.

The College has selected its 2021 recipient of the Pacemaker Award: Mr. J.R. Toland, a 1985 graduate of the Neff College of Business and Innovation. Mr. Toland is currently the president and chief executive officer of Savage and Associates.

The Pacemaker Award is the top honor from the College and recognizes exemplary achievement and service to the Toledo community.

“It’s an honor to me because the University made a big difference for me in my life,” said Toland.

Mr. Toland reminisced on his time at UToledo, recalling the beginning of his illustrious career.

“The University of Toledo did a great job of exposing me to a number of different areas, and my junior year I had an idea that finance was something I really had an interest in.”

Mr. Toland started his internship at Savage and Associates in 1984 during his third year at The Neff College of Business and Innovation. He successfully worked his way up through the Savage and Associates organization, joining the management team in 2000 and becoming a partner in 2012.

When discussing the most fulfilling part of his job, Toland addressed the importance of giving back to the community.

“The most rewarding thing is really seeing the difference you can make, not only at an individual level, but at a community level.”

Toland has coached grade school football teams since the early 2000s, making an impact on the youth of Toledo and imparting those same core values that have made him a successful businessman.

He is also a former board member for GAMA International, and a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table. In addition, he previously served as board chair for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Central Catholic High School.

"Mr. Toland represents our College in the best way possible. He has a genuine interest in our students’ success and is a positive role model in the Toledo business community. We are proud to recognize him as a Pacemaker this year," said Dr. Anne L. Balazs, dean of the John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation.

The Student Pacemaker Awards are presented to UToledo Neff College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement, University and community service and leadership.

The selection process is rigorous and extremely competitive. Students are evaluated on their grade point average, as well as service activities to the College, the University and the community. 

This year’s exceptional Pacemaker recipients are: Ph.D. – Nima Molavi; Executive Master of Business Administration – Dani Zoorob; Master of Business Administration — Amani Abutaha; Master of Science in Accountancy — Chenqian Huang; Accounting — Jack Mei and KatieLivecchi; Applied Organizational Technology – Ray Goins; Finance — Katie Chryst and Ali Abouahmed; Information Operations Technology Management — Anna Regis and Volkan Alemdar; Management — Sophia Carson and Tayler Walker; Marketing and International Business — Ashton Johnson and Logan Perlaky; and Dean’s Recipient — Max Minor.

Last Updated: 6/27/22