20 Under 40: Ben Beall, City of Steamboat Springs
July 30, 2017
Public service runs strong in Ben Beall's bloodline.
The Steamboat Springs city engineer's father Ben Beall, Sr. served for eight years as a county commissioner, and his mother Millie was on the local school board.
For the last 11 years, the younger Ben Beall has chosen to improve his community as well by ensuring streets, water lines and other critical infrastructure that are built here are safe and functional.
"Public projects are not easy to execute," Beall says.
That's because city engineers are always in the fish bowl and subject to city politics. And the projects they work on inevitably generate complaints because of the temporary dust and noise they create.
Beall credits his political science degree with helping to navigate that aspect of the job. He's earned kudos for his public outreach skills from business owners who have been impacted by construction. He's helped push projects that have been talked about for decades, such as a new, less troublesome access to Emerald Park, over the finish line.
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And he's overcome some concerns that at just 34 years old, he seemed like he might be too young for such a big job.
City Manager Gary Suiter says he quickly learned that any concerns about Beall's age were unfounded.
"I've watched him in action, and I'm impressed," Suiter says. "Ben is articulate. He's well spoken. He's knowledgeable. And he cares very much about this community."
Walk into Beall's office and chances are you'll find him crunching numbers on a calculator or poring over a complex construction drawing.
When Beall isn't wearing a hard hat at construction sites, he can be found mountain biking and coaching soccer. He's the president of the Steamboat Soccer Club and vice president of Friends of the Yampa, a group dedicated to protecting and preserving the Yampa River. Be it on a river, soccer field or in a City Council meeting, it's all part of his penchant for public service.