People of Rotary | Ben Martens

Written by Libby Valerio-Boster, Intern with UNL interviewing Rotary 14 members.
Ben Martens describes himself as a true Nebraska boy, raised on Runza, a graduate of the University of Nebraska, married a local gal and enjoying the good life of our state. Martens was raised in Seward, a community just a few miles outside of Lincoln. He came to Lincoln for college and graduated from University of Nebraska with a degree in finance. Martens dreamed of moving to the East Coast but found himself staying in Lincoln as he met his wife at UNL. 

He went returned to UNL for a master’s degree in accounting which lead to his CPA certification. Martens worked for several different companies including BKD, Cabela’s Bank, and Capital One. In the midst of these jobs, he did make it to the East Coast as he and his wife moved to Connecticut for a couple years. After moving back to Nebraska Martens got a new job at U.S. Bank and has been there for the past 3 years as a Commercial Relationship Manager. He says he enjoys his job because he gets to advocate for and interact with people daily. 
Along with his service role at U.S. Bank, Martens has been a faithful member of Rotary since Spring of 2019. He joined and stayed in Rotary 14 because of the people. While he is still learning how Rotary operates, he has enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes as the club secretary. However, Martens says his first project was what truly pulled him into Rotary. He helped coordinate the International Student Picnic. He described this experience with fondness. One of his favorite parts was seeing the students put pins on their hometowns on a world map. This helped Martens visualize how much diversity was truly represented at the event. Since helping with his first picnic, Martens has gone on to chair the picnic committee and has held two panels for these students. One panel let international students share their experiences and one let them ask Rotarians for career and life advice. These events and Rotary in general make Martens proud because the club provides a space to bring people together. There are so many projects to get involved in and Rotary members never assume someone else will make a difference in the community. He is proud to be on the front lines of making change and living the “service above self” motto with each project. 
Martens says that he is inspired by his grandfather who worked hard and ran his own business yet still made time for his family and to serve his community. Martens hopes to emulate his grandfather’s social and service lifestyle as well as his behavior of celebrating life’s wins through his experiences with Rotary 14. For Martens, Rotary 14 is more than a social gathering, it is a chance to meet people from varying backgrounds, celebrate service, and make a difference in Lincoln.