Zen launched Be The Dream on January 8, 1988. It began as a vision to bring best business and enriching spiritual practices into the workplace. His experience in a command and control environment, the aerospace industry, taught him that ethics and virtue aren’t always winners. He thought he could change that. As naive as it seemed to many at the time, he felt that best practices needed to include business acumen, process design and spiritual alignment; people, places and things working together for the best results.
Be The Dream was a life goal, to become a leader in transformational practices. Making the shift in transition from a divorce with children, church callings and corporate conundrum, he continued with a veritable cornucopia in educational experiences. Attention and intention provided the necessary opportunities to acquire the necessary skill set to excel beyond expectation.
Today, Zen is an accomplished author and speaker who holds an MA in Organizational Management, MBA in Project Management, and is a Certified Secondary Teacher, Transformational Life Coach and Hypnotherapist as well as having an honorary Doctorate in Divinity. Some might call that an overachiever, some might call it necessary. Dudley Lynch, author of The Mother of All Minds and CEO of Brain Technologies, calls him a ‘possibilities coagulator.’
His first corporate job was managing a $7 million/month product line in the aerospace industry with over 800 part numbers, in his late 20s. On his way out of the corporate world, under Be The Dream banner, he produced lectures and events featuring a holistic mix of cultures and philosophies in Prescott, Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona.
Bruce, Zen’s given name, hosted over 120 television shows from 1990 thru 1992, called One World (only a few made it to digital), exploring overcoming fears in life from multiple perspectives. During that tumultuous period he tried his hand that presenting a live metaphor for transformation. He went on to produce four other shows as well as a community activism show of his own, though only for a short time.
During that period he was also co-chair of the Phoenix Indian School Preservation Coalition which sought to have Native American heritage features in the Indian School Park Specific Plan, a three-way deal with the Bureau of Interior, City of Phoenix and the Baron Collier Corporation. He worked with Developmentally Disabled Adults as a counselor and facilitator of daily excursions and community development skills.
He earned his MBA in 1997 as well, then his Secondary Teaching Certification in 1998 and went on to teach high school for several years, both in the Phoenix Union District and at several charter high schools with full charge of their curricula, including developing multiple intelligence learning centers. He earned his MA in Organizational Management in 2003 and wrote a business plan for a model school/village using best practices and holistic education models.
During that same period his love for creating order out of chaos led him to managing logistics for large public events drawing over 250,000 patrons with the Mill Avenue Merchants Association, the first Arizona Bike Week and the Glendale Arts and Antiques Festivals. In 1997, on break from his Teaching Certification program, he was hired to produce The Prophets Conference, held on 17 acres of the Corona Ranch, attracting over 5,000.
After the turn of the century he got involved with micro-lending and small business development, helping women and minority-owned businesses garner over $200,000 in micro-loans. He helped develop curriculum and taught business plan writing and entrepreneurial classes at post-secondary and community college level, developing an a business plan writing curriculum for a healing arts school, delivered online and on ground.
You might say he’s a true renaissance man with a new millennial mindset; a new millennial shaman skewed toward harmony among people and planet. Zen has his feet firmly planted in many worlds even with his head in the clouds at times. His presentation at the International Association for Near Death Studies in 2010 bridged worlds with a twist of science and spirituality.
He co-hosted 2 Small Biz Guys talk radio and runs several businesses, too. They include Be The Dream LLC – Transformational Coaching and Professional Services, Planck Social Media Agency LLC, Team Partnering LLC and United We Stand Productions LLC. He enjoys professional development, teaching business curriculum, web crafting and writing.
Zen has served the construction industry with pre-construction team building workshops since 2004, Team Partnering established after the retirement of his cohort. Clients have included the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Port Authorities, Federal Highway Administration and National Park Services as well as State Departments of Transportation.
Partnering workshops being sporadic, Zen created Planck Social Media Agency after nearly two decades of creating websites as a hobby. He says his wife, Luba, was the encouragement to offer the skills, knowledge and expertise acquired in a real-world way, walking the talk from coach to coagulator and back again.
I consider Zen to be one of those superlative examples of what the human brain can store and serve up in unique and appealing ways at will on most any occasion or assignment. To say his range of knowledge and interests are “eclectic” is engaging in understatement. And this is what makes his services as a “possibilities coagulator” for his clients so valuable and exciting. Smart fellow! Great ally!
Visit his LinkedIn profile for more.
Born and raised in Indiana, he’s lived in Arizona since 1981. Adopted at 6 weeks, loved and provided for by two magnificent parents, Robert and Louise Benefiel. Bruce was unable to locate records or personnel that could help identify his birth parents, though Bob and Lou tried to help with the process.
A star athlete and student throughout high school, Bruce entered the Pre-Med program at Ball State University as a 6th quarter freshman, compliments of the College Level Examination Program test results. It didn’t take him long to realize that he was more interested in the inner development and healing capacity of humanity rather than exterior efforts to treat symptoms created by internal conflicts.
He dropped out of college after some personal challenges, got a job and got married. Work diminished due to the auto industry crash in the late 70s and by 1981, jobs had virtually disappeared. Phoenix was calling and the rise from the ashes began. After nearly 10 years and four children, the marriage transitioned to his dismay; his wife filed for divorce and took the children back to Indiana. Typical of transitions, his children became estranged.
Divorced for nearly 30 years, he recently married his soulmate, Luba, who was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, a concert pianist and music theory/piano teacher in the Valley since 1990. He is a great grandfather with 9 grandchildren; three daughters and a son brought a wealth of wisdom through the trial and tribulations of parenthood.
Luba ask how he got the name ‘Zen,’ the answer may surprise you.
Luba’s Christmas present for 2017 was an Ancestry.com subscription and just over a year later, his ‘first cousin or half-sibling’ notice came. After 61 years he was reunited with his birth mother a year later and a wonderful relationship was instantaneous. He’d actually met his birth father in Phoenix the same year he started Be The Dream.
The mutual connection with his father was immediate, even though neither one was aware of their history, and Zen was invited to spend the weekend with him at his cabin just outside Prescott, AZ. Fate indeed brought them together. Intention, action and patience prevails always, often with a little magic. Imagine what a life of experience beyond the norm, well-grounded and versatile, could do for helping one transform into a new living awareness.