CEO of Rhema 99.7 announces retirement

CEO of Rhema 99.7 announces retirement

Joining the Rhema 99.7 Newcastle team on 3 February 1992, John Marks has been part of the organisation for 30 years – the most recent 26 as CEO.

He has now announced his intention to retire on the 4 February 2022.

The accuracy of these dates reflects the way John has led Rhema over the years, with a high-level of attention to detail and a commitment to building an organisation for a higher cause.

Rhema 99.7 has been a hallmark of the Newcastle and the Lower Hunter community and, as one of the largest Community Broadcasters in the region, it has enjoyed a significant following over the years.

For most of the last 30 years, Rhema occupied a prominent location on Denison St in Newcastle West and in 2019 moved to their current home in the Compassion Building in Warabrook.

This move is just one of the significant events that John has overseen throughout his years at Rhema. Others include the granting of Rhema’s permanent broadcast licence in 1999 and fundraising over $7 million across the multiple Rhemathon fundraisers he has run.

Current Operations Manager at Rhema, Shayne Holstein said John leaves behind a legacy at Rhema 99.7.

“It’s been a real pleasure to have worked with John for over 24 years. John is very passionate about this Christian ministry and has led the way from humble beginnings to where we are now,” Shayne said.

John has loved every minute of his time at Rhema and while he is looking forward to his well-earned retirement with his wife Kay, it said it is bittersweet to leave the organisation that has meant so much to him over the years.

“Rhema’s mission statement ‘A Home Mission, with a Mission to Reach Every Home,’ is something that God gave to this ministry many years ago,” John said.

“My retirement seems a little surreal after so many years but as I’ve said before, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It’s been the most amazing journey for the past 30 years, not always easy but worth every minute.”

With John’s endorsement, the Board of Rhema 99.7 unanimously appointed Ben Kiujian (currently Head of Sponsorship Sales) to the role of Transitional CEO and Ben will officially begin working as the CEO at Rhema from 7 February 2022.

“This is a period of change for us as an organisation, but it is definitely not ‘out with the old in with the new.’ We are incredibly proud of the legacy that John leaves behind and look to the future, standing on the foundation set by those who have been part of Rhema over many years. We remain thoroughly committed to producing high-quality radio and committed to the Christian message,” Ben said.

Ben will work closely with Shayne Holstein and Aaron Brown (Content Director) who together, represent over 45 years of broadcasting experience.

The whole Rhema team feel positive about the future of community broadcasting and the ways Rhema can grow as a media organisation in spaces including streaming services, podcasting, and video.

IMAGE | Retiring CEO of Rhema 99.7, John Marks and newly appointed CEO, Ben Kiujian.

Rhema 99.7

Rhema 99.7 is a Christian Community radio station that broadcasts across Newcastle and The Greater Hunter. We have been broadcasting quality Christian music and content fulltime since 1999. We seek to be a positive influence in our community with a message of hope and encouragement for all who listen.

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