Born This Way.
Some people are thrown into entrepreneurship by circumstance and opportunity. They happen to come along with the right combination of talents to take advantage of the zeitgeist. Others are born to make opportunity wherever and whenever they land. Ben Johnson is of the latter kind. From the time he began selling bicycle and lawnmower parts from his family’s salvage yard at three years old , Ben has founded one successful business after another, culminating in his consulting for some of the largest IT companies in the world. Throughout the years, he’s shown he possesses the instinct and savvy to spot opportunity, and move on it fast!
Entrepreneurship is always somewhat of a gamble, but Ben has proven that he knows when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em, when to walk away, and when to run. For example, when Ben and a partner started their first computer business in 2001, it thrived – even placing high on the first-ever MSP Mentor list in 2007. But in 2008, Ben knew when to run, as it became evident that profits from the business were being funneled into shady activities. Eight of the 10 other employees followed Ben, and the skeleton crew set up shop, rebuilt all the infrastructure from scratch over Memorial Day weekend, and Liberty Technology was up and running and taking calls in fewer than three business days. Three of those intrepid employees are still onboard with the company.
To some, starting all over would be disheartening. To Ben, it was invigorating. He was able to build Liberty with a unique and benevolent culture that attracts people with like values of curiosity, tenacity, personal responsibility, and living out loud.
In 2009, Liberty Technology began publishing “Kitchen Drawer Illustrated,” an artsy and informative print and online magazine to feature and celebrate the people, businesses, history, and talent of the local area. In turn, the ad design and sales for the magazine were so successful, Ben’s fourth startup, Kitchen Sink Marketing, a full-service agency, grew out of the endeavor in 2017.
Meanwhile, Liberty was gaining traction each year. In 2012, Liberty was named the Lon Touchstone Small Business of the Year by the Griffin Chamber of Commerce. In that same year, Ben was named one of the top 150 most influential SMB consultants in the world and was also one of five finalists for the Georgia SBDC Businessperson of the Year. In 2013, Liberty was named to the MSP Mentor Top 501, CRN Next-Gen 250, CRN Fast Growth 150, Bulldog Alumni 100, and Inc. 5000. Notably, 2017 marked Liberty’s fifth consecutive year being named to Inc.’s list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. Additionally, in 2015, Liberty was recognized with Resolution in the Georgia State Senate for Job Creation.
One certain key to Ben’s success is his constant drive to learn. He reads obsessively, both online and off, eager for knowledge and personal growth. Liberty team members commonly wake to find emails from Ben with links to articles on cutting-edge tech, time-stamped in the wee hours of the morning. Ben graduated from Gordon College with an AA in Psychology, and then went on to earn a BA in English Literature at University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from Georgia State University. His list of certifications is vast, and his commitment to continuing education as a core value is evident in the accomplishments of Liberty’s staff. Ben is an Alumni of the Cisco SMB Advisory Board and member of the NexGen Board. He is an Ekahau Certified Survey Engineer (ECSE) and a Cisco Spark Master Ambassador.
Always an active member of the community, Ben has served on the Board of the Griffin Chamber of Commerce and was Chairman of the Griffin/Spalding Downtown Council. He is currently on the Board of the Griffin-Spalding Tourism Association, as well as serving his third term as Spalding GOP Chairman. Beginning in 2010, Ben’s companies sponsored a wildly popular annual Beerfest, themed around Griffin’s infamous native son, Doc Holliday.
Ben has been happily married to Tracy, his high school sweetheart for well over 15 years. They have a smart, beautiful daughter, Alexa Morgan. In his spare time he reads obsessively both online and offline, enjoys high-definition anything, and attempts to spend time with family and friends.
Personally building and maintaining relationships with individuals and companies, as well as the technology that helps them aspire to something better, is a major differentiator for Ben. It’s a top priority and a real key to his success. Ben’s deep industry relationships and knowledge have caught the attention of leaders from some of the largest IT companies in the world. His ability to visualize how companies’ platforms and ecosystems can interact, to build strategic alliances, and to develop new solutions is leading to exciting opportunities for consulting and collaboration on a global scale. Never, ever complacent, Ben continues to live by the motto “Innovate or die – you’re only as good as your last big thing.”
• Associate Degree in Psychology, Gordon College
• Bachelor's Degree in English Literature, University of Georgia
• Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, Georgia State University
• Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) 10.5-10.6
• Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)
• Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
• Cisco Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Design Specialist (DCUCD/DCUCI)
• Cisco Select Account Manager
• Cisco Voice Communications (CVOICE)
• EMC Velocity Implementation
• GA Low Voltage License – Unrestricted
• Introducing Cisco Voice and Unified Communications Administration (ICOMM)
• Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
• Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
• Nimble Storage Training
• VMWare Sales Professional (VSP)
• VMWare Technical Sales Professional (VTSP)
• VMWare Certified Professional 5 (VCP5.1)
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