CBA, the association representing the global Christian products industry, honors individuals and companies who have had a positive influence on the industry and the communities they serve. Five awards were given during CBA’s annual international convention, UNITE 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The award ceremony took place at an industry-wide banquet June 29 designed to celebrate the award winners and inspire the roomful of industry representatives.

“As CBA strives to connect, inform, educate and encourage Christian-content providers around the world, it is a joy to recognize individuals and companies who have gone the extra mile in reaching out to their communities, operating with honorable business practices, and working together across the industry to further the Good News of Jesus Christ through Christian products and resources,” said CBA President Curtis Riskey.

The Tyndale House Foundation, based in Carol Stream, Illinois, was awarded the Ministry in Action Award. The award recognizes a company or organization that has demonstrated leadership and dedication in contributing to the good of the community. Tyndale received this award largely due to its publishing of the new Africa Study Bible, the first-ever study Bible developed by Africans. Tyndale has demonstrated a commitment to using its resources to help people understand the Bible in their context.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing, based in Nashville, was awarded the Industry Champion Award. The award recognizes a business whose outstanding contribution has benefitted the entire industry while demonstrating Christian mission and values. HarperCollins Christian received this award largely due to the publisher’s efforts to support independent Christian retail stores.

Bill and Ila Ballou, owners of The Solid Rock Christian bookstore in Kearney, Nebraska, were awarded the Jim Carlson “Spirit of Excellence Award.” The award recognizes retailers who have shown distinct excellence in the Christian retail industry through outstanding professionalism including merchandising, economic sustainability, operational excellence, marketing and physical-store presentation. The Ballous are known for providing excellent customer service and being actively engaged in their community.

Dan Hobson, late Tulsa, Oklahoma, resident and founder of Carpentree, a Christian art company, was awarded the CBA Lifetime Achievement Award in memoriam. Hobson passed away on March 1, 2017, leaving a strong legacy for his family and his business. The award recognizes individuals who have performed outstanding service and accomplishment spanning their entire career in creating, distributing, or using Christian resources to achieve ministry and further the Gospel. Hobson is credited for pioneering the gift category in the Christian retail industry.

Chris Johnsen of Vereeniging, South Africa, founder of Christian Art Gifts, was awarded the CBA Lifetime International Achievement Award. The award recognizes individuals who have performed outstanding service and accomplishment spanning their entire career in Christian resources on an international scale. Johnsen’s entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering faith have been the foundation for products distributed globally and offices established in multiple countries including South Africa, the United States, and China.

Throughout its June convention, CBA highlighted its vision for the future of the Christian retail industry. The vision of unity and hope in a tough retail economy is considered a viable reality due largely to the dedication and service demonstrated by companies and individuals like the 2017 award winners.