Mike Bowen, CEO of distributor Champion Awards, Inc. (PPAI 103877) in Memphis, Tennessee, was involved in a car accident on February 7 while on vacation with his wife in Costa Rica. He passed away on February 9 at age 61.

Bowen co-founded Custom Print Apparel in 1979, which merged with Champion Trophy and later became Champion Awards and Apparel. He had led the company since 2000.

Bowen attended Lambuth University and was a 1979 graduate of then-Memphis State University where he studied marketing and management. Bowen was a lifetime member of the University of Memphis Alumni Association, a graduate of Leadership Memphis and was serving on the organization’s board of directors for the 2018-2019 class.

He was also a member of the Tiger Scholarship Fund, Memphis Convention Bureau, Memphis Chamber of Commerce and the Beale Street Merchants Association. He was formerly involved in the Memphis Jaycees Foundation and served on the board of directors for Special Olympics. In 2017 and 2018, his company was named one of PPB’s 60 Greatest Companies To Work For.

Bowen is survived by his wife of 29 years, Suzie, and two sons, Colby and Michael. His family has released this statement: “My father was a true trailblazer for recidivism reform and succeeded in changing the conversation on how we treat one another in our community. His wife and family give heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of support we have received at this very difficult time.”

Services are planned for Saturday, February 16 with visitation from 11 am -1 pm followed by a memorial service at 1:30 pm at Hope Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Rd., Cordova, Tennessee 38018. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Kindred Place, 2180 Union Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38104.