GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 27, 2011Last month, America’s leading Christian retailer, Family Christian, hosted its 2011 Vendor Awards in Grand Rapids, Mich. at its annual Family Christian Conference.  Family Christian gave awards to five vendors in the categories of Service and Distribution, Partnership, Business Innovation, Ministry Impact and Supplier of the Year.

“While we are privileged to work with a large number of exceptional supplier partners, our Family Christian Vendor Awards are intended to recognize and honor the best of the best in key categories each year,” said Family Christian Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Craig Klamer.  “The partnerships we’ve built with these organizations are what help Family Christian creatively and collaboratively accomplish its main purpose of spreading God’s Word and serving His Kingdom.  The awards are a small token of our appreciation, but we are so grateful to be working hand-in-hand with suppliers who share a common vision with us and we believe they deserve to be spotlighted.”

The Service and Distribution award went to Christian clothing and accessories designer and manufacturer, Kerusso, for maintaining an in-stock position, providing cost savings and profitability with margin improvement, and partnering on freight efficiency. Family Christian saw sales of Kerusso products increase by more than 52% this year.

The Partnership award was presented to Christian music and films supplier EMI CMG for their solid business metrics, strong marketing and co-op participation and incredible support of Family Christian’s initiatives such as The James Fund, its 501(c)(3) foundation.  EMI CMG helped raise more than $30,000 in support of widow and orphan care.

The Business and Innovation award was given to Lighthouse Christian Products, a supplier of inspirational gifts, for their creativity in product design and for being a leader in improving terms, lead times, fill rates and responsiveness.  Lighthouse stepped forward to partner with Family Christian on expanding direct overseas import products for 2012 and beyond.

The Ministry Impact award went to Big Idea, the supplier of Veggie Tales children’s products, for participating with Family Christian in sharing Christ in all formats and through ministry-needs-driven campaigns. In the last year, Big Idea partnered with Family Christian to raise more than $40,000 in an effort to bless thousands of children through Operation Christmas Child and to build an orphan home in Guatemala.

The highest honor, Supplier of the Year, was awarded to Christian and family films supplier Bridgestone Multimedia Group for its overall focus on business growth, strength in service, marketing and promotional efforts support and excellence in product innovation. Sales of Bridgestone products at Family Christian Stores increased 70% over the past year.

The bronze statues awarded to the vendors were designed by artist Max Greiner and entitled “The Divine Servant,” depicting the account of Jesus kneeling to wash Simon Peter’s feet. In addition to the awards ceremony, vendors attended Family Christian’s annual James Fund Gala and were entertained with a private concert performance by popular Christian music artists MercyMe.

About Family Christian
Family Christian is America’s leading specialty retailer with nearly 300 locations and over 4,000 employees in 36 states. Family Christian sells Christian products and church supplies through its chain of stores and via the Internet. Merchandising categories include Bibles, Books, Music, Childrens, Gifts, Apparel, Software, Cards, Church Supplies and DVD’s.

# # #