Ken Hochstetler didn’t have a grand plan to come back to his hometown of Goshen.
The Bethany Christian High School (’79) and Goshen College (’83) alum spent the bulk of his professional career in eastern Pennsylvania, where his wife, Sue (Alderfer) Hochstetler (GC ’83) grew up. There, Ken received his Master’s in Business Administration from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.), and built a successful career in the financial services industry, focused on banking, insurance, investments and charitable services. In addition to his professional life, Ken was involved in a number of local secular and faith-based organizations.
Then, in 2013, Everence Financial approached Ken about potentially becoming its new President and CEO — a position based at the company’s headquarters in Goshen. A Christian-based, member-owned organization, Everence helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through its banking, insurance, investments, asset management, financial planning, and other financial services.
“I saw this position at Everence as an opportunity to bring my vocation and my avocation together,” Ken recalls. “New wine skins, new opportunity, and new energy.”
Ken and Sue talked it over and, while it was difficult to leave their community in Pennsylvania, they felt the timing was right. Their children – both Goshen College graduates as well – had married and moved out of Pennsylvania. “The position sounded perfect for Ken,” Sue said.
In late August 2014, Ken officially took the helm at Everence. Formerly known as MMA (Mennonite Mutual Aid), this faith-based financial services organization was founded in 1945 right here in Goshen. Today, it’s one of the largest professional employers in the city, with some 200 employees locally. Everence employs nearly 400 people in total, including approximately 25 offices across the country.
“For Everence, our roots in this community go back 70 years,” Ken says. “And what has emerged over the past 70 years is our full-service suite of modern financial products and services provided by competent professionals. All to help individuals, families, and organizations along their financial journeys.”
Since coming back to Goshen, Ken has enjoyed re-establishing relationships with old friends and sharing his childhood memories with his family. He remembers fondly his days as a paperboy for the Goshen News – even winning Carrier of the Year in 1973. “That’s my business foundation,” Ken said. “Of course, I probably used too much of the money I made delivering newspapers in the pinball machines at the South Side Soda Shop!”
But ultimately, returning to Goshen was about Everence and the opportunity to use his professional expertise in a new faith-based context. “When it comes to money, so many people feel like they’re on shaky ground,” Ken said. “I’m glad to be part of something that helps people get on the right financial path: a path designed just for them, that takes their faith and values into consideration.”
Good of Goshen story submitted by Madalyn Metzger
Photography by John Tirotta