ECPA's Rush To Press


Media Contact: Steve Biondo
steve.biondo@familychristian. com

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — June 12, 2014— Family Christian, a nonprofit ministry and the nation’s largest Christian retail chain, announced Wednesday that Charles Bengochea, president and CEO of The Original Honeybaked Ham Company of Georgia, will become the new Family Christian president and CEO effective June 30, 2014.

“This is a time of change for Family Christian and we believe that Charles Bengochea is the ideal choice to lead Family Christian as a world-impacting ministry,” said Rick Jackson, the chairman of the board for Family Christian. “Chuck is a direct, passionate, business-savvy leader who knows how to motivate a team to achieve results. His personal mission aligns with the heart of Family Christian and his knowledge and business experience will facilitate the long-term success of this ministry.”

Charles (Chuck) Bengochea comes to Family Christian with 35 years of successful business leadership. Following his 1979 graduation from Cornell University, Bengochea began to build his career working for General Electric, becoming an analyst in its television business division. In 1987, he joined The Coca-Cola Company and rose to the position of controller of the Fountain Business Division. Bengochea left Coca-Cola in 1995 to become the director of retail operations for The Original Honeybaked Ham Company of Georgia. In 2003, he was named president and, three years later, CEO. Under Bengochea’s leadership, Honeybaked Ham of Georgia grew to 200 franchises and 115 company stores.

Bengochea has been married for more than 37 years. He and his wife, Laurie, have four grown children—two sons and two daughters. Bengochea is a triathlete and has completed eight Ironman competitions. He recently served as chairman of the board of elders at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Ga. Through all of his business, athletic and organizational successes, Bengochea said, “my top priorities are my faith in Jesus Christ and my family.”

“I am grateful for the trust placed in me by Rick Jackson, Mike Kendrick, and Larry Powell, the Board of Family Christian,” Bengochea said. “I am also thankful for Cliff Bartow, who is the retiring CEO of Family Christian. Cliff has graciously guided me and the organization in this transition of leadership.”

“The Board deeply appreciates the leadership provided by Cliff over these past 11 years,” said Jackson. “Cliff has expertly guided the organization during challenging retail times. He has strengthened the brand, improved operations, and most importantly expanded the many ministries of Family Christian in changing lives across the globe. A capstone of Cliff’s many accomplishments at Family Christian is securing ownership of the company with stewards who are committed Christians and passionate about the mission of the company. Cliff has done a masterful job in establishing the company as a nonprofit ministry—the first of its kind in the country. The board and company are grateful for the strong leadership provided by Cliff.”

“We are blessed to introduce Chuck Bengochea as our incoming President and CEO,” said Jackson. “For more than 20 years, Chuck has been leading worldwide brands and organizations. Chuck will bring to Family Christian a deep passion for serving our customers. He has also proven that he will relentlessly pursue creating a culture that encourages, equips and releases employees to be successful at every level of the company. We are incredibly enthusiastic that God has brought Chuck to Family Christian. With his passion for Kingdom generosity, people, and customers, he is God’s man to lead Family Christian.”

About Family Christian

Located in the United States, Family Christian is the world’s largest Christian-focused retailer. The non-profit organization has approximately 270 stores in 261 cities. The organization offers a variety of Christian-themed merchandise, including Bibles, home decor, art, gifts, DVD’s, kids products, books, and music. In addition to its physical stores Family Christian provides personalized Christian content streamed to users mobile devices through its ‘iDisciple’ content service. iDisciple offers its users access to over 85,000 pieces of digital Christian content from 185 leading authors, speakers and ministries. All earnings are donated to Christian ministries serving families, orphans and widows in distress. Learn more at http://www.familychristian. com/about.