Sugar Land resident leaves coveted position for full- time volunteer in Korea

The Barrow family: Kenneth, Diane, and their son Benjamin.

The Barrow family: Kenneth, Diane, and their son Benjamin.

This April, Kenneth S. Barrow, Vice President & General Counsel to Benchmark Electronics, Inc.  will say goodbye to his team and colleagues in order to say hello, in Korean, to approximately 600 missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in his new role as mission president.

Barrow, his wife Diane, and their 15 year-old son Benjamin will leave their home, career, school and family to serve without pay for three years. As mission president, Barrow will fulfill a variety of responsibilities including supervision and training of LDS missionaries assigned to teach principles of their faith to interested residents of the Busan, South Korea community.  In his role, Barrow will also assume responsibility for newly baptized converts and assist in their initial development as new members of the Church.

“The night my wife and I were asked to accept this assignment, I felt all kinds of emotions; humility, excitement and inadequacy,” said Barrow. “It is a big responsibility to God, our Church, the parents of the young men and women serving as missionaries, the Korean people we are serving, and to the missionaries.”

Barrow served in South Korea as a young missionary from 1979 to 1981.  He hopes his previous experience will come in handy in his new role as mission president, which requires a lot of speaking engagements, interacting with church members and the community.

“My Korean has admittedly become a little rusty in the 33 years since I completed my mission as a young adult.  It’s a little intimidating to think of communicating solely in that language once again,” Barrow admits.

Barrow is no rookie when it comes to church service. He enters this new role as mission president with extensive experience gleaned from previous lay church service – including gospel instructor, youth ministry leader and Bishop (oversees a congregation). In fact, Barrow currently serves as a stake president for his church – a volunteer position that has him presiding over several LDS congregations in the Houston area.

Barrow’s colleagues at Benchmark are sad to lose him but are confident he will do great in his new role.

“We know Ken to be a man of faith and service,” said Gayla J. Delly, Benchmark’s President and CEO. “He is a highly valued member of our leadership team. His legal knowledge is indispensable to the company, but more than sharp tactical attorney skills, Ken provides wise business counsel and leadership.

“He understands the long-term business implications of everyday choices.  His integrity and sound judgment have fostered a fundamental trust with corporate directors, customers, suppliers, regulators, and employees alike.  We will miss him.  The skills and experiences he has gained as General Counsel at Benchmark will undoubtedly assist him while he serves his church in Korea.”

Barrow joined Benchmark Electronics in 2006 as General Counsel. When he returns from serving as mission president, Barrow plans on resuming his career. He doesn’t know the specifics yet, but is hopeful for the opportunities that may arise when he returns.

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