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Key CBA leaders leave Association for Christian Retail

Two key leaders at CBA, The Association for Christian Retail, have left the organization.

The association’s president, Curtis Riskey, is no longer working at CBA headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. CBA has not yet announced a replacement to lead the organization nor stated the reason for Riskey’s departure. He had been with the association for 11 years, first as strategic solutions executive starting in 2007, advancing to the role of president in 2009.

CBA Board Chairman Sue Smith resigned her post and reportedly left in August after the UNITE 2018 convention, held July 8-11 in Nashville. Smith, store manager of Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was elected to lead the board after serving as a board member for three years. She assumed the chairman’s role in 2013, when George Thomsen’s term ended.

Heather Trost is vice chairman of the board and chair-elect. Trost is owner of The Greatest Gift & Scripture Supply in Pueblo, Colorado.

CBA told its member retailers that if they attended UNITE, they could be reimbursed for up to $1,000 in expenses, not including travel and certain other expenses. Many retailers filled out the rebate form they received at the convention but later learned Terms and Conditions were posted online. Several have indicated on Facebook that they had resubmitted once or twice after being denied the rebate. Some have been told it would be several weeks before they would receive their rebate even though their application was accepted.

Edward “Eddie” Roush, the new chairman of the CBA Service Corporation, is also chairman of The Roush Foundation, based in Dallas.

“We have come to interrupt our industry for the good of furthering the cause of Christ,” Roush said at a UNITE Nashville event.

Many of the staff at CBA have told Christian Retailing they are no longer employed with the association.

TNT Convention Services also has not been paid for its services at UNITE.

“We have been a part of the CBA family for over 20 years,” said Timothy Wimbley, TNT’s executive director. “We have valued our business relationship and the family and faith atmosphere that CBA brings to the convention and event industry. Over the last year, CBA made it known that they were going through a transformation period and asked us to trust and believe that it is for the greater good of all parties involved. We agreed to remain in support of CBA events. At CBA 2018’s UNITE convention, we were again reassured that our work with CBA is valued and all contractual obligations between CBA and TNT would be taken care of. Since Unite 2018, we have not been able to reach anyone at the CBA office. To the best of our knowledge, CBA has not returned any phone calls or emails. CBA has not fulfilled their contractual agreement with us. We have been in communication with legal counsel and are seeking further action. We pray that God sees us all through this.”

Additionally, it appears CBA has not published its CBA Christian MARKET magazine since the July issue. The issue regularly includes columns by the CBA president and the board chairman.

Roush, Dr. Clyde Rivers and Kurt Ruf, who held a discussion at the Future of the Industry breakfast at UNITE, are strategic partners and are co-authoring a new book titled The State of Faith, according to

Christian Retailing made attempts to speak with Riskey, Roush and Smith to no avail.

CBA had announced earlier that Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center would once again be the location of the UNITE show June 25-28, 2019.