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Biography for James Benton
James Benton was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the back seat of a 1965 Oldsmobile, five minutes from the hospital in the middle of a late January snowstorm. His mother Betty Benton said later, "Jimmy always had a habit of being early to everything."
As a child, James enjoyed Little League Baseball (playing on the 12-year old team when he was 10), french fries and milk shakes at the local drugstore, and his evening paper route delivering the local paper. He had two best friends, Billy and Tommy, who to this day are still his friends, and they recently celebrated 30 years of friendship by going bowling when James was visiting his parents.
By thirteen years old, unbeknownst to his mother and father, James began his love of tinkering with electronic devices, by taking apart the vacuum cleaner, a television that stopped working and a clock radio. His mother was thrilled when James repaired the broken television and it ended up on her kitchen counter.
In high school, James was President of the Science Club, and he participated in a number of science fairs, winning the "Future Scientist" Award for his automated design of a sprinkler system during his senior year.
After sorting through five college scholarship offers, James chose Clemson University, where he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
James graduated in 3 & 1/2 years (remember - James always had a habit of being early), and he was hired by Sentry Electrical Design, Inc., the same company he completed his Internship with during his senior year of college.
James developed extensive knowledge of electrical design applications, and was given increasing responsibility for larger projects as the years went by, culminating with his electrical design of the entire electrical system for a large manufacturing plant in Hong Kong.
One summer day, early in his career at Sentry, while playing softball on the company team in a recreational league, he slid into home, trying to score from first base. He was called out by the umpire. After a heated argument with the umpire that failed to change the decision, he asked her out on a date, and Mary Olsen hesitated for several seconds before saying yes.
Totals after the first date with Mary: One year, 4 months and 6 days later - marriage to Mary; 3 years later - Mary Elizabeth Benton was born; 2 years later - Todd Goodman Benton was born.
Two years after Todd was born, James was hired away from Sentry Electrical Design, Inc. by a large company out of Baltimore, Maryland named Jenson Electrical. James was hired into a supervisory role, overseeing the entire team of electrical designers at Jenson.
James was named "Employee of the Year" twice, and in 1997, James was promoted to the Vice President level, where he continues with Jenson Electrical today.
As a hobby, James enjoys tearing apart computers, reconfiguring them, using them for a few months, tearing them apart again, reconfiguring them again, and then using them again (there is definitely a pattern here).
In his spare time, James enjoys reading books on leadership, management and biographies of successful people. He also enjoys reading science fiction, particularly technical, science-based types of science fiction.
James wife Mary is a fifth grade teacher in Baltimore, and loves her students. She is a long distance runner, and has won several races in the Baltimore area.
Three years ago, James remodeled his basement, building a mini-workout area for himself, his wife and the children.
James would love to fly to Mars, but knowing this isn't possible, he spends occasional summer nights staring at the night sky through his telescope on his second floor deck.
James remains committed to developing his leadership skills in his position as Vice President at Jenson Electrical.
James participates in various community events as a United Way Volunteer, a youth softball coach and a member of the local Electrical Designers Association.
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