Meet Ben

“The Candidate who Shows Up – and Listens”

A Rural Community Upbringing

Ben grew up in a small community in eastern North Carolina and he knows what it means to be a good neighbor. His dad was a Mail Carrier and his mom owned a Dance School. His grandfather was a Deputy Sheriff shot and killed in the line of duty.

Ben grew up barning tobacco and working at the local gas station. As a young man seeking to make his own way, he patched together grants, loans and part-time jobs to pay his way through college at UNC- Chapel Hill and graduated as a Physical Therapist.

His career in health care was grounded in several small community hospitals where he was promoted to the Director of Rehabilitation. During the later years of his career, he served as the Executive Director of the state’s PT Licensure Board, administering the state laws that protect the health and safety of the patients served by over 13,000 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in North Carolina.

A Life of Leadership and Advocacy

Over the years, Ben also accepted many volunteer leadership roles in physical therapy professional associations and was elected for two three-year terms as the President of the 75,000 member American Physical Therapy Association. From these experiences he learned the power of legislative advocacy and the importance of involvement in the political process. He understands how the system works and how to make things happen. But he never forgets his roots and the values of his rural upbringing.

In anticipation of retirement, Ben and his wife settled in Ashe County. Over time, they were able to reclaim a small farm that had been divided among nine heirs. They grow blueberries, raspberries, raise bees and sometimes chickens, and have a small stand of timber. They have created a rural homestead where their children and grandchildren can visit. Ben has immersed himself in local community life as Manager of the Watauga County Farmers’ Market for two years and then was elected President of the Ashe County Farmers Market where he and his wife continue to sell produce from their farm. Both markets are integral components of our expanding regional food system.

Recognition as a Public Servant

The recognition’s and awards Ben has received over the years speak to the man that he is and the esteem in which he is held by others. Below are some highlights of these recognition’s.

Honored as the recipient of “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine” by Governor Patrick McCrory for significant contributions to the state and his community through exemplary services and exceptional accomplishments.

Honored by the North Carolina Physical Therapy Scholarship and Loan Fund by establishing a scholarship in his honor.

The Division of Physical Therapy at the The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill co-named a student award for advocacy and service in honor of him and his wife, the “Darlene Sekerak and Ben Massey Student Service Award”.

Honored by the American Physical Therapy Association – North Carolina (APTA-NC), by establishing an award, “Ben F. Massey, Jr. Public Service Award”.