Master of Arts, Professional Communications, Royal Roads University
Expertise in: crisis and risk communications, issues management, strategic communications, media relations, media training and coaching
Sectors: government, emergency services, education, agriculture, not for profit
For over 15 years, Benjamin served a variety of Alberta communities (First Nations communities, High Level, High Prairie, Saddle Lake, Olds, Banff, Cochrane, Three Hills, the City of Calgary) as an EMT and Advanced Life Support Paramedic. During his time with the City of Calgary Emergency Medical Services, Benjamin held the role of Public Education Officer (2004 – 2007) – where he authoured/issued over 150 media releases and conducted over 180 media interviews each year.
After completing his Masters Degree of Professional Communications, Benjamin returned to the City of Calgary in a newly created role, Supervisor, Crisis Communications. He rebuilt the City’s crisis communication plan, formed a crisis communications team of 84 professional communicators, and fostered critical relationships with external stakeholders. Engaging with his creative and innovative nature, Benjamin helped form the city’s new public relations and crisis team which was accountable for corporate media relations, social media, crisis and issues management.
Benjamin played critical communication leadership roles during Canada’s two largest and costliest natural disasters: 2013 Calgary Flood & 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires. Acknowledgement for his contributions were received from both Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. These two unprecedented events have afforded Benjamin unique communication experience and perspective in responding to disaster events and engaging with multiple stakeholder groups and levels of government.
Benjamin was called as an expert communication witness at the Elliott Lake mall collapse public inquiry hearing, participated in a DRDC research project: Expert Round Table of Social Media in Emergency Management, and has traveled across the country sharing his experiences with municipalities, schools, and organizations.
With a drive for continuous learning, Benjamin immerses himself in the classroom environment where he doesnt’ think of himself as a teacher but rather a facilitator of the exchange of information. He finds that through teaching others, he continues to be challenged and learns. Benjamin teaches Issues Management, Risk, and Crisis Communications at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta – part of the bachelor of public relations program. He also teaches Risk and Crisis Communication in the School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads University in Sooke, British Columbia. This graduate level course is offered through the school of humanitarian studies and welcomes participants from the Master of Arts in Emergency Management, International Peace-building, and Interdisciplinary studies.