Applied AI Chief Evangelist
“Fortune favors persistence.” Ben earned his undergraduate Informatics degree at the University of Washington. He also earned a B.S. in Forest Resources and a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from UW. After graduating from the UW, Ben developed cloud-based software to generate sales leads, and he founded a company to market and sell those sales leads to businesses. Ben quickly discovered a much bigger opportunity in helping businesses work their sales leads more effectively, using Artificial Intelligence. He pivoted his startup and developed AVA, the first Automated Virtual Assistant, which was released in 2009 and very quickly became a big success.
Realizing that there was a massive opportunity to apply his AI to help solve one of the biggest problems that plagued businesses generating or purchasing leads, Ben decided to partner with Eric and Javier at Kennet to recruit an experienced management team and board of directors that could help the company maximize its success capitalizing on the opportunity. Soon after handing over the reigns of the company to the new CEO, Ben retired from his operating role and focused on spending time with his family. One of his favorite habits during “first retirement” was making breakfast for his kids and taking them to school in one of his Ferraris.
It didn’t take long for Ben to get restless and he soon decided to launch another start-up in Santiago, Chile that focused on applying Artificial Intelligence to business processes for large enterprises throughout Latin America. That company was aquired in under two years and Ben stayed on for another two years, when he retired again. Ben holds numerous patents on Artificial Intelligence in the United States and internationally.
Determined to succeed at retirement the second time, Ben takes on a limited number of engagements advising organizations on their applied AI strategy. He balances those engagements with spending time with his family, pursuing outdoor activities, including surfing, diving, fishing, hunting and snow sports.