Getting To Know You: Ben Holland
In this edition of the Vertical Measures employee interview series, I sit down with Ben Holland to talk about Internet marketing, his scorpion company and his soon-to-be newborn baby.
Michael Schwartz: What do you do here at Vertical Measures?
Ben Holland: I am an Internet marketing specialist. My main focus is acquiring links, creation of content and site optimization audits.
MS: How did you get into Internet marketing?
BH: In high school I took a computer science course and made my first web site. Then it just spiraled on from there. I work as a freelance consultant on the side.
MS: Tell us a little bit about your scorpion pest control company. What are your goals with it?
BH: My company, Scorpion Sweepers, services the greater Phoenix Valley providing chemical-free, safe and natural scorpion pest control solutions. We come out at night and use ultraviolet lights to detect scorpions and then remove them by hand. My goals are to build a successful pest control company in the Phoenix Valley that helps our community and offers a new way of pest control that is safe and effective.
MS: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on the job hunting scorpions?
BH: We got chased by a coyote one time. We see a lot of crazy invertebrates. Got the cops called on us once. Some people have weird things in their backyards, odd people. But the craziest thing I’ve seen is while I was appearing as a scorpion expert on the TV show Stanley’s Super Humans a gentleman placed 20 live scorpions in his mouth. That’s the craziest thing I’ve seen.
MS: Why did you move all the way across the country from Harpswell, Maine, to attend Arizona State?
BH: The reason I chose ASU is I wanted the exact opposite of what I had in Maine. I think it’s very beautiful out here. There’s a lot more to do.
MS: Tell me a little more about your education, Ben.
BH: I graduated from Arizona State in ’06 with a biology degree and started my scorpion company. After a couple years working the medical field I decided it wasn’t for me, so I went to Scottsdale Community College and obtained by web design degree with a GPA of 3.92. From that point on I’ve been creating web sites and consulting, learning as I go.
BH: I play in a lot of city-based sports leagues. I play softball, flag football, basketball and kickball. My kickball team, the KILFS, appeared in the kickball national tournament in Las Vegas a year ago and have won our league twice.
MS: As a New England native, you’re a fan of all things Boston sports. After a decade in which your city has gotten fat on championships, tell me which title was your favorite.
BH: 2004 Boston Red Sox. We reversed the curse and came back from a 3-0 deficit against the hated New York Yankees. I’m a big sports fan, I’m from the area. I’m also an avid Duke basketball fan.
MS: Sometime in July you will become a daddy, quite the scary thought to us all. What are you most looking forward to about fatherhood?
BH: Well first of all, I’d like to say it’s not a very scary thought. I am super excited about my son. I’m looking forward to his arrival. I think we’ll have many great years ahead of us, and hopefully he’s not a ginger.
MS: I understand you already have your son’s name picked out. What is it and why did you choose it?
BH: Maddux Avery, because my girlfriend said so.
MS: Finally, what do you like about working for VM?
BH: I enjoy the people at the company and the way the ownership handles the business. I feel like they actually care about the employees and do the best they can to make it a great work environment.
About Michael Schwartz
Michael Schwartz is an Internet marketing strategist at Vertical Measures as well as an accomplished reporter, blogger and editor. He covers the link building beat. +Michael Schwartz