Trendsetter to Know: Ben McRae

Name: Ben McRae

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Age: 30

Title: Vice President of Operations at McRae Group of Companies & Scottsdale 20/30 Chairman for the 30th Annual NiteFlite Gala.

Married/Single: Engaged to Alyssa Vega.

Kids: Someday!

City you live in:  Scottsdale, AZ

A typical day in my life includes…

get out of bed and comb through my closet for the best work attire for the day (usually a tailored suit or cowboy boots, depending on my audience). I then go to a local coffee shop in Old Town for either a meeting with my Scottsdale 20/30 committee to discuss our upcoming charity event, NiteFlite, or plan out my work schedule for the day. Then I head to my office, McRae Group of Companies, where meetings, calls and management duties tend to fill my day from 8-6pm. After work, my fiancé and I walk our dog, also named Ben (I know, what are the odds) then hit the gym and head home where she cooks up a another phenomenal meal. The night typically ends with us watching Live PD or another episode of The Office, which we never get tired of. 

I was born…

in Scottsdale, AZ. One of the few AZ natives I personally know.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

the summers…only kidding. Definitely the mountains. It may be desert landscape, but I’ll never get tired of the views.  

I’m listening to…

Christian radio and 90’s alternative. God and Grunge as I like to call it.

My family…

has provided for me more than I could ever ask. They not only instilled in me a solid moral foundation, I was also afforded every opportunity available to exceed and explore myself. What they provided for me I hope to someday also provide for my family.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From his work ethic, to being a family man, to his encouraging, positive attitude, he embodies everything that I strive to emulate. Basically, he’s the male version of Beyoncé, so I’ve been told..

One thing I cannot live without…

iced coffee. Very basic, I know, but it fuels me through the day.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a musician. My teen years consisted of me learning every instrument I could get my hands on. Guitar, drums, bass, harmonica (well, harmonica is a bit of a stretch). Every weekend I would be at a local-dive concert venue watching some random emo/punk/metal/folk band scream and shred until I could no longer hear the sound of my own voice. Sadly my music playing days have declined. Anyway, here’s Wonderwall…

I’m inspired by…

the kids I meet as part of my children’s charity group, Scottsdale 20/30. Everyone I meet is dealing with some kind of challenging circumstance that I fortunately never had to go through. Their continued drive and positive outlook on life inspires me like no other.  

The one person who motivates me is…

my fiancé. She’s not only my biggest supporter, she’s constantly pushing me to be my best self in all areas of my life.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

fear. Fear is the root of all self-doubt and it holds us back from becoming our best, true selves. Without fear, we are all capable of achieving greatness.

The perfect day would be…

my fiancé and I kayaking on Moraine Lake in Banff, Alberta, unplugged from the world. While also sharing a bottle of wine.

My first job was…

a wine store clerk and delivery man. I’m pretty sure I was never actually employed, seeing as the owner only paid me in bottles of wine (true story).

My favorite escape…

day hiking through the Rockies or Sierra Nevada mountains or really any mountain range with cool weather and gorgeous views.

My life…

seems like a rollercoaster at times. There are highs and there are lows, but it’s always constantly moving. As long as I’m moving forward, every day feels like a win.

I’m currently working on…

planning the 30th annual NiteFlite Charity Golf Tournament and Gala, hosted by my charity organization, Scottsdale 20/30.

Always…

pray when you feel like worrying. Give thanks when you feel like complaining. Keep going when you feel like quitting.  

Never…

sabotage your chances of success just because you fear not achieving it.

Favorite Quote…

“Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.” – Coach Taylor (Friday Night Lights)

Biggest Dream…

has always been to own and live on my own winery. Of course, who doesn’t like to drink it, but I’ve always appreciated the life of wine, how it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. Also just the lifestyle of waking up on a farm, walking the fields, helping with production, and then serving and chatting about your own to wine anyone who visits. That seems ideal to me.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

aimlessness. Whether it’s strolling down the street or moving through life, always walk with purpose.

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