Christian Retailing

Family Christian Stores announces food company head as new president/CEO Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 03:59 PM America/New_York

ChuckBengocheaFamilyChristianFamily Christian Stores has hired Charles “Chuck” Bengochea as the retail chain’s new president and CEO. The former president and CEO of The Original Honeybaked Ham Company of Georgia, Bengochea began his new role with Family Christian on June 30.

“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, chairman of the board for Family Christian Stores. “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.”

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 37 years. He and his wife, Laurie, have four grown children. Bengochea is a triathlete and has completed in eight Ironman competitions. He recently served as chairman of the board of elders at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia.

“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.”

Jackson voiced the board’s gratitude for the outgoing president.

“The board deeply appreciates the leadership provided by Cliff over these past 11 years,” Jackson said. “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.

Jackson said the board was “blessed” to introduce Bengochea as head of the chain.

“For more than 20 years, Chuck has been leading worldwide brands and organizations,” he said. “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.” —Jeremy Burns