Ben Wood

Co-Founder and President

Favorite Activities:

Everything competitive. Basketball. Reading. Sharing meals. Laughing.

Favorite Food:

Chips and HOT Salsa. Tacos. Anything my wife makes.

Favorite Elixir:

Red Wine and Raw milk (separately of course)

Lifetime Achievements:

Marrying the most amazing woman in the world.
Winning six games of Monopoly within a two-week span.

Favorite Band:

Zac Brown Band

People congratulate me on “beating cancer.” But I didn’t beat it. Cancer beat me. My body and my spirit that I had placed all of my confidence in had been utterly unable to save me when I needed it the most. The people around me beat my cancer.

Ben Wood

Co-Founder and President

Here is my favorite Bible verse, and the promise that fuels my life:  “You will seek me, and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)

Hearing, understanding, and living into this promise changed my life. This promise is from our Creator, the One who made us so that we can enjoy an eternal relationship with Him. No higher purpose exists than to know Him, and no Truth exists apart from Him. The world rages and reasons against God, but it is foolishness, deception, and self-destruction. Jesus came that you may “have life and have it to the full,” and I want this for you.

A Bit About Me... Only The Good Bits.

One of the greatest gifts I have been given is that God gave me a second chance at life. I grew up in Walnut Creek as the second oldest of eight boys with the most amazing mom and dad that you can imagine. For anyone who loves excitement, competition, LOUD energy, and passionate debates (our dad’s legal background rubbing off on the household) this was the childhood of your dreams. But unfortunately there was a sickness growing and I was feeding it.

That sickness was pride. I wanted to be the best, not for the sake of giving my best effort but because I wanted to walk into rooms and have people acknowledge me as better than them. Or if they wouldn’t acknowledge it, I wanted them to at least know it. I drank up people’s praise like water and shunned any criticism that people gave me, any suggestion that I was not as great as I imagined. Unfortunately, despite the amazing upbringing of my parents, pride exploded in my heart during my high school years and went on with me to college.

But then God saved me. And He saved me by almost killing me.

It was September of 2018, right as I was starting my fourth year of college basketball at Cal State East Bay. I had been hit with crippling back pain and sciatic nerve pain for a couple of months leading up to this point. First I tried to play through the pain, then I rested to let my body heal, but the problem persisted. Finally, I went in for an MRI with the team doctor. The diagnosis was shocking, the furthest thing from my mind at the time. Cancer. Osteosarcoma to be specific, a rare bone disease that is rarely discovered until it is too late. By God’s providence we discovered the baseball-sized tumor in my L5 vertebrae while the cancer was still in Stage 1. Doctors told me that 20 years ago I would have had a 20% chance of surviving, but thanks to advances in osteosarcoma treatment my odds were highly favorable at 80% success rates. At 22 years old, that 20% chance of failure was a bit unsettling.

As funny as it may sound, even in this situation my pride crept in. After finding out I had cancer and was going to go through six months of chemotherapy and a back surgery, one of my first thoughts was: “I’m glad that I’m going through this instead of someone else in my family because I’m strong enough to handle it.” Hard to believe, but that was my mindset. I knew I would get myself through this challenge. But cancer broke me. I remember the shock of walking from my bed to the living room couch, about 20 steps, and collapsing down on the couch unable to catch my breath. I remember shouting in pain at 3am from the nerve pain that ran like fire down my leg and into my feet during the weeks following my back surgery. At my lowest point, I was unable to get into the shower by myself, needed people to push me around in a wheelchair, and I could not even get out of bed to go to the bathroom.

The People Around Me Beat My Cancer

Today I am completely cancer-free and the picture of health. All that physically remains of those 6 months of my life are the scars from multiple surgeries, a metal cage in my spine that replaced my L5 vertebrae, and some lingering nerve damage in my left foot. People congratulate me on “beating cancer.” But I didn’t beat it. Cancer beat me. My body and my spirit that I had placed all of my confidence in had been utterly unable to save me when I needed it the most. The people around me beat my cancer. The people that I was glad didn’t have cancer because they wouldn’t be strong enough to handle it, carried me, served me, encouraged me, and loved me to victory through a challenge I couldn’t overcome on my own. I got to see what sacrificial love looks like firsthand and that broke my false ideas of what it means to be great and what life is all about. Jesus tells us “No greater love has any man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” That’s true.

Fast forwarding to today, I’m living the heck out of my second chance at life with my darling wife Kate, we’ve got a baby on the way, and we’re blessed to be surrounded by a stellar group of family and friends. I’ve had a business partner tell me that it seems like something is always going on in my life, and I would agree. I’m a big WORK HARD PLAY HARD type of guy. One of my favorite ways to discover someone’s character is by playing with them, especially in sports. Are you someone who inspires people and makes your team better? Are you divisive and take the joy out of playing a simple game? When people play, they let their guard down, and I begin to see who they truly are.

That’s why I love it.

The world of business is a game. Who says games can’t be high-stakes, impactful, and incredibly rewarding? Games have rules and a goal. Sometimes people win by luck, but strategy, purpose, and dedication often lead to victory. Most games have winners and losers. In the enormously important game of business, the amazing truth is that we all can win.

I want to help people win in life and business. That gets me out of bed in the morning and helps me sleep peacefully (I would say at night, but according to my wife, I can crank out power naps in almost any location besides airplanes). Winning means making people’s lives better by serving them. Winning means abundance and a life of eternal consequence.

Winning means going after life with all your heart. Whether we ever meet or not, my commitment is to push you toward victory by serving your best interests every day in the name of Jesus Christ.

I hope we get the chance to meet.

Let's make something great together