Available formats: epub
Ben Prescott is the public persona of an anonymous, 57-year-old, white male who has spent his entire life contending with serious mental illness and addictions within his birth family. The problems caused by these mental illnesses and addictions have included medical issues and extended hospitalizations, civil litigation, arrests and criminal prosecution, terminations of employment, financial hardships, life-threatening physical violence, and social ostracization. Compounding these issues was the culture of Ben’s puritanical, ultra-conservative, and social climbing extended family that denied any suggestion that either a mental illness or addiction existed, and rigidly enforced a code of silence so as not to tarnish their public image.
When a series of catastrophic events unfolded in 1974 that were so severe that they could no longer be silenced or ignored and which publicly revealed the full magnitude of the problem, Ben, in a mixture or despair, rebellion, and an attempt to anesthetize himself from the pain, buried himself in school and work, and went on an eight-year drug and alcohol fueled bender that nearly ruined him. After hitting rock bottom, and after experiencing a life-changing, not-of-this-world encounter that he can only attribute to Devine intervention, Ben began the process of rebuilding his life and pursuing the path towards emotional intelligence that has become the basis of this book. Over the next thirty years, Ben remarried and raised a family; became a successful entrepreneur; buried half his family; stood by others as they battled cancer; suffered his own life-changing injury; became a multimillionaire—and then lost most of that fortune after 9/11. Along the way he discovered what life is about and realized what he’s supposed to do with the life he has been given.
Today, he is a “C” level executive, management consultant, and author with extensive expertise in the healthcare and technology industries. Ben has been a member of the executive teams of three very successful technology companies taking each from the earliest stages, through multiple financing rounds and rapid growth, to exits through either an initial public offering or acquisition by a larger publicly traded company. In 2000 a company that Ben co-founded and served as President and Chief Operating Officer was honored by the Smithsonian Institution as being one of the ten most innovative technologies on the planet out of field of nearly 4,000 global nominees. He has been a trusted advisor to the senior executives of companies such as Hewlett-Packard, W.R. Grace, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, MetLife, United Healthcare, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, and many other Fortune 500 clients. He currently coaches and advises entrepreneurs and CEOs of early to late stage technology companies and serves as the Managing Director of the knowledge management, advanced analytics, and big data practice for a technology accelerator and venture fund based in California.
Driven by his life experience and a burning need to ensure that others do not have to silently suffer with the twin issues of mental illness and addiction with which he has so long contended, Ben has made these issues a focus of his personal and professional existence. He has authored several articles and book chapters on the application of technology for managing the delivery of clinical services and the administration of public health and patient navigation initiatives. He has edited three books on patient and family journeys through addiction and mental illness. He has been a featured speaker and presenter at several national and international healthcare and technology conferences. He has spent decades working with various Children’s Hospitals and National Alliance on Mental Illness chapters across the United States on outpatient and community outreach programs designed to mentor and serve the physical and emotional needs of patients and families dealing with abuse, addiction and mental illness. In other volunteer efforts he has worked with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boy Scouts of America, and several school districts on mentoring programs to educate and equip at-risk children and adolescents.
He is a former Big Four CPA and Consultant. He pursued his doctorate in Organization Behavior and earned his MBA from programs that were rated in the top five in the nation. He holds bachelor degrees in Economics and Psychology from the University of California. Ben has been married for over 27 years to an educator and parent coach who has dedicated her professional and personal life to the nurture and development of children. Together they are the proud parents of two grown children, a son and a daughter, who carried on the family tradition of swimming, water polo, and lifeguarding. Their son is an Eagle Scout. Their daughter was in the Assistance League and volunteered her time to help homeless families and children of abuse. Both kids are recent college graduates who now work in the software and healthcare industries. Ben maintains his sanity by surfing and hiking the coastal hills and valleys of his native California.