Kelsey Donahue, email:

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Voting from the August CBA Board of Directors election added two new CBA board members and confirmed an appointed representative to bring a strong focus on brick-and-mortar retailing and the industry’s simultaneous transition into digital business. Their three-year terms begin Oct. 1.

CBA members elected Vicki Geist co-owner of Cedar Springs Christian Stores (Knoxville, TN) as director representing independent retailers with annual sales more than $750,000 and David Dickinson of Christian Gifts Place (Wilton, CT) as director representing independent retailers with annual sales less than $750,000. Dickinson was appointed to fill a vacated seat, and this is his first elected term. DaySpring Senior Vice President Commercialization Bill Couey was elected as the gift and specialty director.

Geist continues the family legacy as second-generation co-owner of Cedar Springs, founded by her father Curtis McGinnis, who continues to help in the business. Her brother, Link McGinnis, continues as co-owner.

The store is an industry leader in new merchandising, data analytics, and new category development. Geist began working in the store when she was 16, and later worked with Enesco Imports as a sales rep for 12 years before returning to the store. As a sales rep, she worked closely with Hallmark Stores, department store chains, and gift shops to create gift promotions and sell-through. She has led CBA training on gift trends and merchandising to help Christian-store retailers grow sales.

“I want CBA to continue to help independent stores,” Geist said. “I have been an independent retailer for over 35 years and that is where my heart is. I would also like to see suppliers more actively involved to help independents survive in this new retail environment.”

Dickinson is a former vice president with Nokia Mobile Phones and a consulting partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. With more than 20 years of corporate experience and 10 years in management consulting with Fortune 100 companies, Dickinson opened his Christian-retail business seven years ago. He has been instrumental in CBA’s new strategic planning initiatives and has provided valuable insights into digital transformations in publishing and retailing. He currently is consulting on a mobile marketing project.

Couey leads DaySpring’s product marketing, design, supply chain, and distribution teams for the Christian greeting-card company headquartered in Siloam Springs, AR. He said CBA must help look into the future to bring a voice for change to Christian retailing and identify approaches and resources to grow and develop it.

“It’s about how Christian retail can thrive in a challenging, changing consumer-retail marketplace,” he said. “The need for products that bring the hope, joy, and life-saving message of Jesus to people is greater than ever. People need the products that Christian retailers provide, and I want to help do that in any way. People need Jesus like never before.”

The directors join new CBA Board Chairman Sue Smith, general manager of Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI), who also begins her term Oct. 1. Outgoing Chairman George Thomsen’s term expires Sept. 30.

“God has orchestrated an incredible group of Board members for ‘such a time as this’,” Smith said. “The governance and leadership of the CBA industry will require keen strategic planning and innovation as we move forward in redefining who we are. A snapshot of these dedicated directors will reveal proven business success, a commitment to represent and serve on members’ behalf, and a wholehearted passion to see this industry thrive.

“I ask that you pray for each one of them, that God will use them to benefit the whole. Please pray for wisdom and God’s leading as we seek His direction as a Board,” she said.

CBA President Curtis Riskey said the CBA board purposely and untypically represents all industry segments because of the common mission of Christian resources. “We want to be sure that individuals are heard, and that there is diversity at the table,” Riskey said. “This gives CBA great input to lead and advocate for the Christian products industry.”

CBA, the Association for Christian Retail, is the leading international association for providers of Christian products to reach all people. It supplies vital connections, information, education and encouragement to Christian resource providers globally.