A lifelong resident of Owosso, Ben was raised in a blue-collar household. His father was a factory worker and his mother a homemaker. Ben’s parents often experienced the stresses of job loss and economic uncertainty but always sought to instill the importance of hard work and self-sufficiency in their three children. Ben also remembers fondly the frequent visits to his grandparents’ dairy farm in New Haven Township during his childhood years.
Ben’s family life changed dramatically for the better when they were chosen as homeowners by Habitat for Humanity, allowing for the first time the dream of home ownership to be realized by his parents. Ben credits this experience during his early teenage years as the spark which led to his desire to volunteer in the community and enter public service. “You strongly want to give back when your community comes together and builds a house for your family,” Ben notes.
Ben has served as a legislative staff member for 13 years in both the Michigan House and Senate, including time as chief of staff to former State Sen. Roger Kahn, M.D. of Saginaw. Locally, Ben has served on the Owosso City Council since 2007, and has been mayor for the past six years. He has enjoyed his time in local service and credits the comeback evident in Owosso to the work of area entrepreneurs and volunteers. He is married to his high school sweetheart Lydia, who works as a behavior technician serving children with special needs. Ben and Lydia have two children ages 6 and 4 attending Owosso Public Schools.
Ben is active in numerous organizations including Saginaw-Shiawassee Habitat for Humanity, Welcome Home Veterans, Inc., the Friends of the Shiawassee River and the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce. Ben was named a Chamber Citizen of the Year in 2012 and a “Champion for Life” by The Pregnancy Resource Center of Shiawassee County in 2015.
85th House District
The district consists of the entirety of Shiawassee County along with Brady, Brant, Chapin, Chesaning, Fremont, Jonesfield, Lakefield, Maple Grove, Marion and Richland townships as well as the villages of Chesaning, Oakley, and Merrill in Saginaw County.