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About the Staff

The team of CSS Publishing Company is comprised of very talented and passionate professionals who truly believe in the vision for the Christian publishing company: To provide Christian pastors and congregations with tried and tested Christian Books and on-line resources. The products of CSS are geared particularly to the preaching and worship professional that follows the Revised Common Lectionary. 

Wesley T. Runk, Founder. Wes founded the company in 1970 and is a “retired” ELCA pastor. He is the author of more than twenty Christian and Sermon books and has written over 5,000 children’s sermons as well as sermon resources, sermon illustrations and other sermon material. Pastor Runk is also the originator of the first children’s activity bulletin, “Gospel Grams.” He is an avid sports fan and community organizer. Wes Runk has been married for over 55 years to Mary Beth and is the father of three children; all of whom are active in the CSS Publishing Company. He is a graduate of both Wittenberg University and the Hamma School of Theology.

David Runk, President, has been with CSS Publishing Company (officially full time) since 1982, but is proud to tell anyone who will listen that he’s “been there from the very beginning” stuffing envelopes, inserting catalogs, and just about anything else that his father, Wes, asked of him. As an adult, David has held a large variety of positions within the company – everything except printing press operator and graphic artist.

Prior to his full-time involvement, David earned a degree in music education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, teaching both elementary and high school vocal music. He continues to direct the choir at his church, which he has been doing since 1987. David is married to Beth and they have three sons. David enjoys a variety of hobbies besides music, including reading and woodworking.

Ellen Shockey, Vice President of Management. Ellen has worked at CSS full time since the summer of 1983. She has worked her way up through the ranks of the company from “fort builder”, when she and her brothers needed to find a way to entertain themselves while her parents worked, up to her current position of Vice President of Management Ellen graduated from Wittenberg University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and specialized in Reading and Kindergarten. She is married to husband, Jeff, has two adult sons. Her hobbies include knitting, crocheting, and making jewelry. She also enjoys supporting her children in their endeavors.

Tim Runk, Vice President of Marketing, has been part of CSS Publishing Company practically since birth, where early on he filled various roles such as trash collector (and taker outer), entertainer (singing the song "Elvira" regularly to the staff), and bookshelf sleeper (those were long days back then). After graduating from Wittenberg University and working at two different companies, Tim returned to CSS (the other companies didn't allow naps) and has filled various roles in the sales and marketing departments of CSS and it's other divisions. His primary role in the company today is director and developer of the Sermon Suite division (www.sermonsuite.com), a sermon resource and sermon subscription service offering professional sermon content in such categories as Children’s Sermons, Lectionary Sermons, Lent and Easter Sermons, Palm Sunday Sermons, Good Friday Sermons, Sermon Illustrations and many other Sermon resources. Tim is married and has three children.

Patti Furr has been employed by CSS Publishing since May 1976. She began her employment in the typesetting department while attending Lima Technical College. Patti currently works in the Accounting Department for CSS. She has also worked in the areas of order/customer service, accounts payables, and payroll. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, and spending time with her husband of 37 years and 7 grandchildren.

Karen Bessenecker comes on board as CSS’s new Project Coordinator. She brings with her 30 years of project management experience and, following retirement, a short tenure as office administrator for a Florida church. Karen holds a Master’s Degree in Spirituality from Bellarmine University and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She and her husband Dennis have two sons and five grandchildren. She is well traveled, having spent time in the Holy Land and in an ashram in India. In her spare time, she enjoys crocheting, quilting, reading, and playing the dulcimer.

Charles Spar works in the marketing department for CSS, handling social media, sales and customer service. He has been with CSS, in various capacities, since 1997. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, having majored in creative writing and literature criticism.