Faces at the NAC – Ben Collins
Today we are introducing you to another one of our amazing Board Members – Ben Collins. Ben is local to the area growing up on a farm just outside of Meadow Grove. While growing up his mom was a guidance counselor at Norfolk Senior High. After high school, Ben attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Ben has had the opportunity to live in several communities in Nebraska because of his work, including Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, Columbus and now Norfolk. While working he then earned his Master of Business Administration from Chadron State College. He moved to Norfolk about 2 ½ years ago with his wife Callan and two daughters Kate (6) and Anne (3).
In 2012, Ben and his now-wife, lived in Columbus and when planning their wedding decided to have a non-traditional ceremony somewhere between their hometowns of Meadow Grove and West Point. They ended up getting married right here at the NAC! On June 2nd, 2012, they had a small social hour in the atrium followed by a ceremony in the garden. They even ended up taking home a piece of art that was on display during their wedding!
When Ben and his family moved to town they got involved at the Arts Center almost immediately. Which lead to him joining our Board of Directors last July.
Ben says, “I believe the NAC does so many good things for the community that a large portion of the community is not even aware of. I wanted to be a part of the NAC Board in order to help ensure that everyone in the community would become aware of what the NAC offers and make sure that they all have access to the programs and events put on by the NAC.”
According to Ben, having two young daughters has helped him gain an appreciation of how art can impact everyone, from the young to the old. He sees how important it is to have the arts be a part of your life starting at that young age and believes that it really helps kids get creative and become well-rounded individuals.
One of the things that Ben loves about the NAC is the diversity of events, activities, and exhibits that it brings to the community. Ben believes that the Norfolk Arts Center has something for every person of every background (and we the staff would have to agree!) But if you talk to Ben about the NAC he will probably also mention our facility. “As the Chair of the Facilities, Equipment, and Technology Committee, I recognize the great potential that the NAC building has and the committee is working hard to do upgrades and maintenance to ensure that the building remains a great asset to the community for years to come.”
Ben says that being involved in the arts has given him a new perspective and shown him that anything is possible! As Ben would say, “If you can imagine it, you can make it!” He also says the arts have helped him think more critically and think outside of the box!
In his spare time Ben likes to build things, like a new patio table, or doll house for his kids! You also might see him riding around town on his motorcycle!
Ben and his family have been such a blessing to our NAC community and we are lucky to have them!