This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences.
I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.
When I walked out of Ben’s office and into the blistering cold Indiana winter, my entire being was focused, inspired and moved by a single looping thought -- Ben Trockman is going to change the world.
“At the age of 17, when I had my spinal cord injury, the whole world stopped.
I went from being this independent high school kid, that thought nothing could stop me, to having to rely on my family to assist me in everyday tasks like eating, bathing, dressing and even sending text messages.
Over the past 10 years I have gained a greater perspective on the world, and have learned to celebrate what truly matters in life -- building genuine relationships, having good conversations and working to create happier lives for others.
I think about all the people that have helped me get to where I am today and think about all they have sacrificed. That is what drives me. I was given another chance and if I can provide just a fraction of all that was given to me, I know my life will be fulfilled.
I think people get so caught up in doing their own thing, that they forget to open their eyes and look around. We all tend to forget that we have an opportunity to do something bigger than ourselves.
I am so fortunate because I have a job where I get to spend the day thinking about how I can make other people’s lives better.”
Ben graduated in 2014 with a degree in PR and Advertising, and went on to do a 3 month internship with the Easter Seals, before being hired by Old National Bank to serve as their Outreach & Employment Specialist -- where he works to increase successful employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
After Ben’s accident, he started to notice that people had difficulty engaging with individuals with disabilities. He used himself as an example, “People are afraid to come up and greet me because they are scared I can’t shake their hand, so they just don’t engage.”
He began to realize that he needed to change how society viewed people with disabilities. He knew in order to do this, he would have to start from the top of an organization and work his way down -- Old National Bank was a great place to start.
Ben started the Achieve ABILITY professional mentoring program within Old National Bank, a program that pairs their organization’s leaders with individuals with disabilities. The program has been a huge success and Old National has since hired 3 of the Executive Pairings that Ben has put together.
One of my favorite stories Ben told me was about a young woman from the University of Evansville. She is a phenomenal student, a dual major in Finance and accounting, extremely outgoing and she has traveled across the world to over 15 different countries. This young woman also happens to be completely blind.
He explained how much this young woman opened the eyes of the ONB leader she was paired with. She helped him realize that people with disabilities aren’t handicap, they are just reserved and fully capable of accomplishing anything.
Ben said that one of the most rewarding aspects of his position has been seeing how many people within Old National have bought into the organization’s mission.
“We have had a huge impact on ONB culture and the communities within our footprint. We are creating a corporate culture that is compassionate and empathetic to not just people with disabilities, but to people in general.”
I asked Ben what his future goals were for himself and for the movement he has created at Old National Bank, “In the next 3 years I want to continue to be involved in the community and become a part of the economic development in Evansville. I want to continue to work with ONB to build awareness and push this mindset across other organizations.”
After our discussion, I couldn’t decide what impressed me most about Ben Trockman. All I knew, was that I had just met with one of the most selfless, compassionate and purposeful individuals alive today.
During my hour discussion with Ben Trockman, he taught me that success comes down to mastering one very simple lesson -- spend time each day making other people’s lives better, happier and fuller.
Ben is spending each day creating a movement that quite possibly could change millions of people’s lives across the United States -- that makes Ben Trockman the most successful person I know.
Continue to change the world my friend, one day you’re going to be the person that other people quote.
Ben is currently gathering signatures for a petition, he is calling on Indiana Lawmakers to give a much-needed update to the state's accessibility symbol. Please click on the picture above and sign his petition!
The Final Five
1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your A game?
“I am big on making lists. I am constantly thinking about what I need to accomplish, and often times this causes me to become scatter-brained. Creating lists helps me stay on track and remain focused on the task at hand”
2. What book do you most often gift to others?
“I am not much of a book reader. I am more of a quote guy. I love quotes. It’s amazing to find inspiration in the words of someone who has accomplished a lot in their lifetime. In fact, I will share a quote with you that I live by. It’s by Theodore Roosevelt -- “Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, great actions speak to all mankind.””
3. What is your vice/guilty pleasure?
“Social media is sometimes a weakness of mine.”
4. What is your superpower?
“I am a good gatherer of people. I spend time trying to foster relationships with people, and have been blessed with great friends. I would say my superpower is that I can throw a good party.”
5. If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?
“Dream as if you will live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”
-- James Dean