“Never surrender the dream you had for this world; to love, to forgive, to make something out of nothing.”
Ben Ely was born in West Covina, California to parents David and Frances. His father was a 25-year veteran of the United States Navy, retiring at the rank of Chief and finishing as a Hebrew Linguist. Due to his father’s occupation, Ely spent his most of his youth relocating every four years, which included stops in California, Florida, Maryland, Texas, and an eventual four-year stay in Israel. While living overseas, Ely became fluent in Hebrew and started playing baseball, which would continue as a mainstay in his life until college. He considers his opportunity to live abroad as the most significant event of his childhood.
“Living in Israel was one of the single most-important events that has taken place in my life,” Ely said. “The opportunity to move to another country, learn a new language, immerse in a new culture, and quite frankly exist as a minority was absolutely critical in my upbringing. I highly encourage anyone curious about living abroad to pursue it, as the educational opportunities, personal development, and maturation undergone during those years was, without question, an unparalleled experience and has forever shaped who I am.”
Upon returning to the United States, Ely moved to San Angelo, Texas, where he eventually attended Angelo State University, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in Mass Media. While there, Ely served as a Video Production Intern to the University’s television station, RamTV, overseeing live gameday filming and production of highlight packages. He would go on to work for the Angelo State Athletics Department, serving as a Public Address Announcer and Play-by-Play Commentator for AngeloSports.com. He was hired by Foster Communications, where he continued his play-by-play work on AM and FM radio frequencies, primarily broadcasting on 94.7 KIXY FM and 1260 KKSA.
“I learned in college that the best thing you can do as an undergraduate is pursue the things that you are passionate about, be unafraid to ask about opportunities, and volunteer wherever possible. I spent hundreds of hours volunteering my time, which eventually led me to discovering a passion in broadcasting and allowing me to continue to work in sports, which was the perfect continuation of my upbringing as an athlete.”
Upon graduating, Ely accepted a position as the Sports Information Director for the Illinois State volleyball program, part of a graduate assistantship that allowed him to simultaneously work on his master’s degree. He was the play-by-play voice and primary media contact of the Redbirds for the 2013 season before returning to Texas. He resumed his post-graduate studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, working as a New Media Coordinator for the athletics department. His work there allowed him to continue to work in broadcasting while also accruing experience in gameday operations, statistics, and new media implementation.
Upon the completion of his Master of Arts degree in Emerging Media and Communications in December 2015, Ely was hired at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) in February 2016 as the Sports Information Director, serving as the primary media contact for seven varsity sports. His responsibilities included graphic design, publication design, gameday operations, hiring and training of gameday personnel, development of website content, writing, and various needs as they pertained to videography, photography, and other media-related tasks.
“A long-running joke in my professional career has been ‘Other duties as assigned.’ Most of the places I worked had this tag in the job description when I was applying, and it is the most important thing I’ve experienced as a professional. It led me to developing an extremely broad professional skillset, as I’ve regularly been tasked with fulfilling duties I had no formal training in. I had to be a self-starter, be open to taking on new challenges, and often self-educate in areas that we maybe didn’t have dedicated staff. The best advice I can give to anyone is to willingly tackle new challenges and avoid complacency; you don’t grow through monotony and mindlessness.”
Ely was eventually hired by Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity in August 2017, where he spent time on the communications team as a Marketing Communications Manager. This introduction to Greek life paved the way for his eventual hiring by Delta Chi in August 2018. Ely has direct oversight of all communication-related initiatives by the Fraternity, including the Delta Chi website, mass email distribution, social media channels, publications, graphic design, crisis communications, and “other duties as assigned.”
What do you like about working at Delta Chi?
Consistent with my career, my stay at Delta Chi has been rich in affording me new opportunities to learn, develop, and tackle new challenges. I appreciate the chance to work with a tremendously talented staff that brings a litany of new ideas and opportunities to the table.
What are the values that drive you?
I looked at a list of over 300 individual values, and in complete sincerity, I can say that I’ve attempted to encompass nearly each and every one of them. In attempting to whittle it down to a select few, I value adaptability, creativity, and humility. I feel that your value as an employee only goes as far as your willingness to meet the current needs of the organization and I’ve embodied that throughout my career. I’m happiest when I’m pursuing creative outlets and will forever be humble in my pursuit of personal and professional development.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I’m committed to my physical and mental health and this is perpetuated throughout most of my personal activities. I either run or workout nearly every day, I play in an adult soccer league, I’m a former vocalist for a handful of bands and continue to work on music projects, and I’m a complete geek in most facets. I’m a PC gamer and Lord of the Rings fan, and will forever love baseball. I’m a big fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, so much so that I named my dog Dodger.