Spotlight on Benjamin Ried
February 28, 2020
Ben Ried joined the firm’s Harrisburg office in 2018. He grew up in Olean, New York, which is south of Buffalo. A few years after graduating from college, Ben decided to spend a year living in Peru — as he had studied the Inca Empire as an anthropology major in college and had taken Spanish in high school. Four years later, he returned home to the states with a family in tow – his wife Angélica, son Diego, who is now 22, and daughter Amalia, who is now 17. Their youngest, Joaquin, was born in the U.S. and is now 12. Today he and his family reside in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, just outside of Harrisburg.
Ben counsels, leads, and collaborates in a broad-based law practice, in which he primarily assists municipalities, municipal authorities, and school districts in issuing tax-exempt bonds and notes to finance and refinance their capital projects. Ben also regularly represents other beneficiaries of tax-exempt financing including continuing care retirement communities, colleges, hospitals, and volunteer fire companies. Even experienced borrowers can feel daunted by specialized financing. In a transaction, Ben shifts any burden of responsibility from the client to him and strives to put minds at ease by being responsive, personable, and knowledgeable.
Drawing upon his experiences in Peru, Ben now dedicates part of his practice to representing Latin American businesses operating in or seeking market entry into the United States, and vice versa. Fluent in Spanish, he facilitates navigation of U.S. laws and regulations in order to achieve objectives for clients in Mexico and countries throughout Central America and South America. Ben connects U.S.-based clients to attorneys and tax professionals on the ground in those countries, while leading the representation domestically.
What led you to pursue a career in law?
I was struggling to make a living at 31-years-old, and decided I needed a career, not just a job. Becoming a lawyer seemed like the most practical path forward, and not once have I regretted the decision.
What do you enjoy most about your practice?
After what felt like a steep learning curve, efficiently knocking out tasks without sacrificing quality is satisfying. But it’s really the quality of the people I interact with on a daily basis that make this career fulfilling.
What’s your favorite place?
Lima, Peru. It’s a sprawling capital city that would top few people’s lists, but there’s a nostalgic yet thrilling dynamic of returning to a place that evokes feelings of home while retaining the mystique of a faraway land.
What do you do on the weekends?
We bought a rustic log cabin in the middle of nowhere last year. I’m up there most weekends — sometimes for just a few hours. It’s refreshingly quiet and peaceful, yet wild.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
Dances with Wolves. Inspirational, tragic, and beautifully shot.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
I was directionless after college and I came across a quote, the gist was that you should make decisions that are inspired. That really drove me to just live, experience, and challenge myself without second-guessing or worrying about where I would end up.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Like a fool, I ate street food with reckless abandon when I first arrived in South America. Within my first two months there, I was diagnosed with Typhoid Fever. I lost a lot of weight and was laid up for a couple of weeks, and learned firsthand that one of the side effects is hallucinations. (I’ll share a funny story if you pull me aside some time.)