Guy Behind the Digital Curtain – Zen Benefiel, MA, MBA, TLC, DD

Authenticity and Transparency to a Fault

Bruce ‘Zen’ Benefiel is an accomplished author and speaker who holds an MA in Organizational Management, MBA in Project Management, and is a Certified Secondary Teacher, Transformational Life Coach and Hypnotherapist as well as having an honorary Doctorate in Divinity.

I consider Zen to be one of those superlative examples of what the human brain can store and serve up in unique and appealing ways at will on most any occasion or assignment. To say his range of knowledge and interests are “eclectic” is engaging in understatement. And this is what makes his services as a “possibilities coagulator” for his clients so valuable and exciting. Smart fellow! Great ally! Dudley Lynch, President, Brain Technologies, Inc.

He came to the Valley as a machinist, first working for a contact lens manufacturer before moving to a miniature machining firm supplying aerospace parts and then hired as a production grinder specialist at AirResearch, which eventually became Honeywell. It didn’t last long as layoffs were common during that period of time. His machining work dealt with tolerances of ten-thousandths of an inch. A human hair is around 5 thousandths of an inch think to give you a little perspective.

Landing in the health food industry for a short time, he managed a 13-state territory in the Midwest and took it from 15% market penetration to 61% in 18 months. He got the opportunity to return as a grinder specialist to the new Garrett Pneumatics division in Tempe. Shortly thereafter he became Lieutenant of the second shift Emergency Response Team, in charge of dealing with all on-site emergencies from chemical spills, fires to personal injuries. His first ‘corporate’ job was an eventual promotion to managing their Commercial Spares desk, a $7 million/month product line (then Allied Signal) with over 800 part numbers.

He coordinated Arizona’s first large metaphysical event at the Biltmore Resort and was interviewed on KTAR in mid-afternoon drive time. He got the opportunity to produce and host over 120 television shows in the early 90s, called One World, with the purpose of exploring overcoming fears in life from multiple perspectives. He coordinated several peace, justice and the environment events as well. During that period he was also co-chair of the Phoenix Indian School Preservation Coalition which sought to have Native American heritage features in the Indian School Park Specific Plan. He presented to the Mayor and his staff as well as the Parks and Recreation Planning Committee. Steele Indian School Park opened in November of 2001.

From One World to Community Activism – Who? … intended to feature local activists making a difference in the community…

During that same period his love for creating order out of chaos led him to managing logistics for large public events drawing over 250,000 patrons over a weekend with the Mill Avenue Merchants Association. He then went on to co-facilitate the first Arizona Bike Week and the Glendale Arts and Antiques Festivals. For over a decade, he managed the largest area (out of 5) for the Tempe Arts Festivals from layout to cleanup with over 350 arts and crafts vendors along with 20+ food vendors. Tempe’s New Year’s Eve Block party brought 250,000 patrons in one night.

He got his MBA in 1997 while working for Fitness Planet (local health club network) in the contracts department, went on to earn his Secondary Teaching Certification in 1998 and taught high school for several years in the Phoenix Union District (exceptional student program) and at several charter high schools with full charge of their curricula, including developing multiple intelligence learning centers. He earned his MA in 2003 and wrote a business plan for a model school/village using best practices and holistic education models.

After the turn of the century he got involved with micro-lending and small business development, helping women and minority-owned businesses garner over $200,000 in micro-loans. He helped develop curriculum and taught business plan writing and entrepreneurial classes at post-secondary and community college level, developing an entire business plan writing curriculum for a healing arts school.

He spent a couple of years on the road with various touring shows; two children’s musicals (Mattel, Hanna Barbera and Live Nation projects) and musical artists like the New Christy Minstrels and Glenn Yarbrough as merchandise and stage manager. He spent the next year as a general technician at the new Higley Center for the Performing Arts in its first year of operation.

He co-hosted 2 Small Biz Guys talk radio on Star Worldwide Networks and owns several businesses, too. They include Be The Dream LLC – Transformational Coaching and Professional Services, Planck Social Media Agency LLC, Team Partnering LLC and United We Stand Productions LLC.

You might say he’s a true renaissance man with a new millennial mindset – one skewed toward harmony among people and planet. Zen has his feet firmly planted in many worlds even with his head in the clouds at times. His presentation at the International Association for Near Death Studies in 2010 bridged worlds with a twist of science and spirituality.

Zen meets challenge with style and grace as an opportunity to develop communication and successful business and personal relationships, resulting in a highly qualified facilitator and transformational life coach. Steve Clarke, MCC and retired business partner.

Visit his LinkedIn profile for more.

Born and raised in Indiana, he moved to Arizona in 1981. On the personal side, he recently married his soulmate, Luba, who was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is a concert pianist and music theory/piano teacher in the Valley since 1990. He was already a great grandfather with 9 grandchildren; three daughters and a son who have given him a wealth of wisdom through the trial and tribulations of parenthood.

For more curious sorts… Here’s a short story of Zen

Early letters of recommendation.

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