Today we’re sharing the story of one of our most enthusiastic and tireless TechBridge supporters, Ben Hendrick, Global Executive and Partner at IBM Security. You may remember seeing him sporting a dapper royal blue vest at this year’s Digital Ball.
We love how his story so clearly illustrates how great things happen through the friendships we form when we come together to help our community.
Ben’s affinity for technology goes back as far as his love for helping others. As a kid growing up in Cobb County, Georgia, Ben was always taking electronic things apart and trying to put them back together. He always knew he’d be in the techology field, and in fact he has been for the past three decades.
Ben found out about TechBridge in his Executive MBA program in a class on The Heart of Networking led by Ricky Steele, a longtime TechBridge supporter. As he got to know more about our cause and began attending our events in 2007, Ben developed a friendship with Bryson Koehler, another fabulous TechBridge supporter who hosted this year’s Digital Ball.
Bryson was at IHG at the time and Ben was at Dell. Fast forward to today, Ben and Bryson are now both executives working at IBM. They joined forces again this year to get IBM as a Terabyte sponsorship at our 2017 Digital Ball. (Thank you IBM for two years in a row!).
Ben is driven in his philanthropy by a love of helping and serving others. It’s a central part of who he is as a person. He’s always been drawn to faith-based efforts, even spending two years as a missionary when he turned 19 years old.
He has always loved leading and coaching. His calling is to help people do better and to discover who and what they can be. One of his favorite ways to mentor and help others has been the opportunity to serve as a softball coach for his daughter’s team.
Ben tells a funny story of how he started a tradition that begins in November for men’s cancer awareness, he would grow a beard during the entire softball season and let the team shave it off over home plate as a reward for their winning season. Each year this “beard shaving” activity would happen to fall on the same day as the TechBridge Digital Ball.
We asked him why he feels it’s so important for corporations and individuals in leadership positions to be involved in giving back in their communities. Ben stresses the importance of being well-rounded and exploring different aspects of one’s personality. “Get out and show up,” he says. It will help you develop your career, make lasting friendships, and develop yourself personally along the way. Echoing the EMBA lessons of his class with Ricky Steele so many years ago, he notes, “Give back and serve and good things will happen.” We so agree.
We are thankful for your years of support Ben. Your story illustrates how being #BetterTogether means becoming better individuals, as well.