Grace Brethren Investment Foundation Announces New Chief Executive Officer

WINONA LAKE, Ind., March 18, 2020 – The Board of Directors of Grace Brethren Investment Foundation (GBIF), the church extension fund of Charis Fellowship, 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 Director of Credit Services.  In November 2013, the Board further appointed him as Vice President of the organization.  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 Chairman, Richard Stair, comments, “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.


About GBIF: 

The Grace Brethren Investment Foundation was organized in 1955 for the principal purpose of enabling individuals who support the ministry objectives of the Charis Fellowship, aka Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, to invest funds at a reasonable rate of interest and to provide thereby a source of mortgage financing for churches, schools, and other organizations affiliated with the Fellowship.

With offices located in beautiful and historic Winona Lake, Indiana, GBIF employs a staff of skilled professionals who are impassioned to serve investors and borrowers with care and excellence as a ministry to the Lord and the building of His Church.

GBIF is governed by a Board of Directors representing all regions of the Charis Fellowship.  The Board is comprised of experienced lay and ministerial professionals who provide counsel, develop policies, and give direction to ensure the safety, security, and continuity of the GBIF.  The Board has adopted a Statement of Vision to guide its operations and ministry.

As a part of its supportive ministry to the Charis Fellowship, the GBIF seeks to provide annual goodwill contributions from its net earnings to worthy ministries associated with the Fellowship.  In addition to these annual goodwill contributions, the GBIF serves as the administrative agency of the Fellowship’s  Eagle Commission, providing financial, staff, and logistical support for our Charis Fellowship Chaplains who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

GBIF is a long-standing member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and subscribes to its standards for financial integrity.

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