Ben was born and raised on a farm in Paraguay. He is an avid linguist. He grew up speaking Low German at home and German in school. At 10 years of age, he taught himself Spanish in order to barter and trade chickens and pigeons with the local Spanish-speaking soldiers. His entrepreneurship started young! English is in fact his 4th language. He learned it when he moved to Canada when he was 14 years old. Later in life he also studied Japanese, to help him in his numerous business trips to Japan.
After working for 9 years in the wooden box and container industry, Ben founded Spruceland Millworks Inc., a lumber remanufacturing company, a business he grew to $150,000,000 in revenue, and staff of 200+, which he sold in 2017. In the last 40 years, his company has experienced extensive growth and he has opened several other locations in Alberta and BC. He sits on a number of corporate and Charity boards, and acts as Chairman for the Samaritan Foundation, a charity that builds 100 homes for the homeless in the Dominican Republic.
Over the course of his career, Ben has won numerous awards, including: Alberta Business Awards of Distinction in Exporting and in Manufacturing; the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneur of the Year for the Prairie Provinces; and the CIBC Spirit of Leadership Award. His company, Spruceland Millworks Inc., has also been selected Vendor of the year for The Home Depot, and as a Top 100 Employer in Canada in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
From the beginning, Ben has viewed the platform his business provides as a tool for building God’s kingdom. In 1993, he and his wife founded Living Waters Christian Academy, a private Christian school in Spruce Grove. He and his wife also created The Ben Sawatzky Foundation, which donates significantly to philanthropic causes in Canada and abroad.
His faith and dedication to moral integrity have earned him a reputation as an honest businessman, an admired leader, with a spirit of generosity and good will to others. His many hobbies include cooking, gardening, ranching, bee keeping, competitive horsemanship and global travel.