Next up is Ben! The Founder & Director at Hoan Marketing 👋

What led you to your career and why did you continue in it?

I was called to community organizing and service as a teenager after learning about pressing social issues from punk music and books. To raise awareness about these issues, I made a few “zines,” and discovered a love for writing and design. I eventually translated these skills to creating an online blog 💻 I kept making simple websites for friends and local groups, and realized I had a knack for it. The rest is history.

What are some things you like to do outside of work?

Lots of things! Work/life balance is key. A few off the top of my head: softball, Milwaukee Bucks games, tug-of-war with my dog, Top Chef, tending to my self-care, video games, and spending time with friends and family away from computers and phones.

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

Leadership. It wasn’t so hard when I was Hoan’s one and only employee. But now I’m tasked with helping my teammates to develop professionally, while also fully embracing who they are as people outside of work. It’s a constant exercise in balance—made especially tricky by a society that often encourages productivity above humanity. My dream is to change this.

What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year?

My partner and I took our very first vacation together that didn’t include our dog or a family holiday or anything but absolutely chillin’ for five days. We went to Denver and wandered all across town, plus a day in the Rocky Mountains. Our new vow is to take a trip like this at least once or twice a year ⛰️

What behavior or personality trait do you attribute your success to, and why?

Listening. The organizations that we work with are run by people who have hopes and dreams of making a difference in the world. Web design and digital outreach aren’t necessarily their passions, so I do my best to bring their vision to life. This requires lots of listening and collaboration.