John attended Holy Childhood grade school, and then was sent to Cretin. He describes his parents as the perfect balance - disciplinarian Dad and nurturing Mom. He grew up with an older sister, Sandy, and also had an older half sister who did not live with them.

During his time at Cretin, John played golf, baseball, and was on the state championship bowling team his senior year. However, his passion was JROTC, which he credits with teaching him discipline, a lesson that he has carried with him long past his graduation in 1971. 

“My father has taught me the long term value of having discipline and perseverance. He has shown me how to be an honest man and a dependable friend who is there with loving support in life’s difficult times,” said his son Ryan.

When a motorcycle accident forced him to leave the University of Minnesota at the end of his freshman year, John found a new path. He got a job as a mechanic, then moved into sales. At age 30, he founded Central Power Distributers and has been the company’s sole owner since 1991. 

“John has impeccable business skills, and a passion for teaching and mentoring, we moved here. CPD has grown leaps and bounds under his leadership and even now, his love for the company he built and led, shines brightly,” said his friend and employee John Hedges.

John Schaller is proud of growing his company to employ more than 90 people, and takes his responsibility to them and their families seriously. These days, he’s particularly enjoying mentoring the next generation of business leaders.

“John has a high moral standard that drives his deep commitment to caring and fairness in both his business and personal relationships. I believe these qualities are directly tied to his business success and to his generosity to organizations that are important to him,” said Rob Zimmerman, a friend who considers John a mentor.

He is also devoted to the next generation of his extended family.

My little brother Johnny is a very loving, caring and generous person,” said his sister Sandra. “He always says that Cretin formed him into the man he is today. He is now sending my granddaughter Olivia to Holy Spirit and then to CDH to continue her journey. Words cannot express how grateful and blessed we are for the wonderful opportunity he is giving her.”

In his spare time, John enjoys playing on a father/son baseball team with his adult son, Ryan, racing cars, and riding his motorcycle. He created the Schaller Raider Brigade scholarship to support future generations of Raiders in the JROTC program.

John’s steadfast support of Cretin-Derham Hall and abiding commitment to supporting Catholic high school students with financial need distinguishes him for the 2019 Monsignor Ambrose Hayden Legacy Award.