ROSSFORD — The 2022 Award of Distinction Ceremony will be held on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the Rossford Junior-Senior High School Auditorium.
This year’s honorees, Peter Landolt and Joseph Schaller, will be recognized for their significant contributions to society.
Landolt graduated from Rossford High School in 1970. He pursued a career in entomology, a life-long love that began as a young boy in Ohio.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan in 1974. He obtained his Master of Science of Entomology in 1976 from Washington State University and completed his Ph.D. in 1978 from Washington State University. From there, he began his career with the federal government.
Landolt was a research entomologist for the USDA-ARS for 40 years, joining as a postdoc in 1978 in Fresno, California and retiring in January 2018 in Wapato, Washington as research leader. He was an Adjunct Professor at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington and selflessly shared his lifelong research knowledge with graduate students. As a scientist, he researched insect behavior and chemical ecology, including sex attraction, host finding, host selection, and food finding.
Landolt was an internationally respected chemical ecologist and developed numerous chemical attractants and trapping systems for pests of agriculturally important crops and human and animal health. His work has provided new methods to reduce yellow jacket and paper wasp numbers in orchards without the use of pesticides. In addition, many people may find the yellow jacket traps in their own backyards were developed from his research.
He always looked forward to his annual insect research trip to Guatemala.
An avid runner, Landolt passed away suddenly during his daily run near his home in Vancouver, Washington, on Dec. 22, 2019.
He enjoyed spending time with his beloved wife, Joni, their French bulldogs, Jack and Birdie, and his daughters and grandchildren, along with numerous other family members, friends, and colleagues.
Schaller is a 1977 graduate of Rossford High School and has spent his professional and personal life serving the community through his business, Schaller Trucking, and public service as a Perrysburg Township Trustee.
In 1985, he was accepted into the Northwestern Ohio Tractor Pullers Association as one of 200 members, volunteering to plan and execute the annual National Tractor Pulling Championships (NTPC) in Bowling Green. Soon after joining NWOTPA, he was elected as director, and then as president in 1995. During his 14-year presidency, NTPC continued to grow and welcomed tractor pullers and fan from all over the world to participate.
Schaller was critical in overseeing the acquisition of additional land to increase capacity of the event space, securing a new building for office space, and working alongside the Wood County Commissioners, Bowling Green mayor, chamber of commerce and Wood County Emergency Management Agency to create an environment that would thrive for years to come. His role eventually expanded when he was appointed as a board member to World Pulling International, which oversees the global sport of truck and tractor pulling. To this day, NTPC continues to be the largest outdoor truck and tractor pull in the world and has an annual $55 million-dollar economic impact on the City of Bowling Green and the surrounding region.
Perhaps one of the most notable partnerships that Schaller had a hand in creating is between the NWOTPA and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio. In 1993, the foundation joined forces with the NWOTPA and used the NTPC as one of their many fundraising events. Nearly 20 years later, the event has become the largest annual fundraiser for the foundation, raising several million dollars and granting hundreds of wishes to children with life-threatening illness. Through this partnership, Schaller became a wish granter and has served the foundation in this role for nearly 30 years. He was appointed to serve on the Make-A-Wish Board of Directors, overseeing operations and strategies to benefit Make-A-Wish kids and their families. He was recognized by the foundation with the 1995 Rising Star Award for new volunteers, and in 2003 he was presented with the prestigious Andi Vande Vord Award for distinguished volunteers.
After retiring from his career with the Perrysburg Township Maintenance Department, Schaller made the decision to run for Perrysburg Township trustee in 2015. He is currently serving his second term and is a member of various local and county committees that impact regional economic development, infrastructure and the residents of Perrysburg Township. He became a member in the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and is also an active member of the Bulldog Foundation through Rossford Exempted Village Schools.
He and his wife, Mary, have been married for 41 years. They are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stony Ridge and enjoy spending time in their Florida home and spending time on Lake Erie as a licensed captain. Together, they are members of the Toledo Sail & Power Squadron, where they were presented the 2020 Commander’s Award for service to the organization.
The honored guests will also be recognized Friday during the homecoming football game when the Rossford Bulldogs face off with the Fostoria Redmen at 7 p.m. at the Jackson-Ferguson Stadium.