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GBIF Announces New Chief Executive Officer

WINONA LAKE, Ind., April 1,2020 — The Board of Directors of the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation (GBIF), Charis Fellowship’s church extension fund, is very pleased to announce that Ryan Bowell has been selected as the next President and CEO of the organization.  He will immediately be named CEO Designee and will formally assume the CEO role on May 14, 2020, at the spring board meetings.

Mr. Bowell joined GBIF in July 2013 as Vice President and Director of Credit Services.  Prior to GBIF, he was employed nearly 15 years by Encompass World Partners, the global arm of Charis Fellowship, first as Controller and later as the Director of Finance.  Prior to Encompass, Mr. Bowell worked in public accounting at the CPA firm of Owens and Co. as a staff accountant.  He also has served as an adjunct professor at Grace College.

A Grace College graduate (magna cum laude) with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting, Mr. Bowell is a certified public accountant and holds the Series 63 license.  He is an active member of the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, where he currently serves on the Business Commission and is the leader of an Adult Bible Fellowship.   Ryan has been happily married to Sharmion for nearly 25 years, and they are the proud parents of four children.

GBIF Board of Directors Chairman, Richard Stair, states, “We are delighted to have Ryan as our next CEO.  Ryan has a deep passion for both the Charis Fellowship, as well as, GBIF and its role to encourage and support the Fellowship in fulfilling its mission.  Ryan’s time at GBIF and Encompass has uniquely positioned him with an in-depth view of GBIF and the Fellowship.  The Board looks forward to working with Ryan in the future to serve the needs of our stakeholders.”

“I am incredibly excited to be appointed to this role and to be able to serve the Fellowship and its affiliated organizations” says Mr. Bowell.  “I look forward to working with the Board and the GBIF staff to serve the needs of all constituents – investors, borrowers, and contribution recipients.   GBIF has a great legacy and heritage in our Fellowship and I’m humbled to be selected to lead the organization into the future.”

The Board wishes to thank Ken Seyfert for his leadership of GBIF these last 23 years, and we wish him and Donna well as they embark on this new life phase.  In honor and appreciation to Ken, and as an introduction to Ryan, the Board will be hosting an ice cream social at Access2020 this summer.  We hope you can join us to mark this occasion.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The well-being of our GBIF family is our top priority. We continue to monitor the latest news about coronavirus and we are following guidelines being circulated from federal, state and local agencies, including the CDC and other health organizations.

We have implemented the following best practices:

Internal Environment

  • Our offices are cleaned daily and frequently touched surfaces are sanitized throughout the day.
  • Our staff has received specific instructions for enhanced hygiene precautions.
  • We will actively monitor and encourage any staff to stay home should they be suffering from any symptoms related to COVID-19, or if they believe they may have been exposed to someone else with the coronavirus.
  • Most recently, we have suspended inside public access. Our drive-thru window will be open during normal business hours.

Remote Environment

  • We are prepared to respond to investment and loan requests virtually, as many customers already utilize.
  • Communication with our customers will continue to be a top priority.
  • We encourage our constituency to be aware of scams, especially via phone or email. Unfortunately, some people consider situations like this as an opportunity. If you have a question or concern, please contact us at 574-267-5161.


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