Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Head Stamper, StampStampede.org
Ben Cohen was born in Brooklyn in 1951 and brought up in Merrick, NY. In 1978, he and his longtime friend, Jerry Greenfield, started a homemade ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. The ice cream was well received and after a few years, Ben & Jerry’s started to distribute pints to grocery stores in New England and eventually nationally and internationally. Along the way, Ben held the positions of scooper, crepe maker, truck driver, Director of Marketing, Sales Director, CEO, and Chairman of what became a $300 Million-a-year public corporation.
In 2000, despite his efforts to keep the company independent, Ben & Jerry’s was sold to Unilever. Soon after, Ben started Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, a group of 700 business people that advocate for a shift in federal budget priorities. A few years later, he started TrueMajority, an online political activist organization. In 2012 he founded StampStampede.org a movement of tens of thousands of people legally stamping messages on US currency to help build the movement to amend the constitution and get money out of politics.
Ben and Jerry have received numerous awards and recognition, including the Corporate Giving award from the Council on Economic Priorities, the US Small Business of the Year Award from President Ronald Regan and several honorary doctorates.
Along with Jerry he authored the book, <em>Ben & Jerry’s Double Dip: How to Run a Values-Led Business and Make Money, Too</em>.
In addition, Ben has served on the boards of the Social Venture Network, Hampshire College, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Business for Social Responsibility and Heifer International.