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.