Ben Ripstein has spent eight years as president of Midwest Motors, Inc., where he manages all business activities, from the acquisition of automobiles to strategic engagements with the sales department. When he is away from work, Ben Ripstein enjoys following Chicago professional sports teams such as the Bulls.
Over the course of the 1996 National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs, the Chicago Bulls completed one of the most dominant post-season runs the league has ever seen. Led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and key role players such as Steve Kerr and Toni Kukoc, the Bulls finished the regular season with a 72-10 record, the best NBA regular season record until 2016.
The Bulls opened their post-season campaign against the Miami Heat. Chicago swept Miami in three games, winning by an average of 23 points. The Bulls’ playoff win streak extended to five games in the second round, when Chicago faced off against the fifth-seeded New York Knicks. New York managed a three-point victory in Game 3 and narrowly lost Game 4 by the same margin before being eliminated in five games.
In the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals, the Bulls swept Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic in four games, including a 121-83 blowout in Game 1. Upon advancing to a third consecutive NBA Finals, the Bulls stretched their win streak to nine games over the Seattle Supersonics, establishing an insurmountable 3-0 lead before dropping Game 4 and Game 5. Returning to Chicago for Game 6, the Bulls closed out the series with an 87-75 win, bringing an end to what is considered to be the greatest single season in NBA history. In total, Chicago lost just 13 games over the course of the regular season and playoffs.
When not busy with his work as the president of Midwest Motors, Inc., Ben Ripstein devotes his time to many charitable organizations. One of the organizations Ben Ripstein supports is the Special Olympics, which provides opportunities for athletes who are disabled to participate in high-level sporting competitions.
While it is most known for its athletic events, Special Olympics also operates the Healthy Athletes program, which has provided more than 1 million free health examinations across the world and made Special Olympics a top public health organization serving those with intellectual disabilities.
People with intellectual disabilities often receive lower-quality health care, and are less commonly targeted by health education and promotion campaigns, leading to overall worse health outcomes. Diagnoses through the Healthy Athletes program have reversed curable yet significant health problems such as the loss of senses. Its massive database of health data, which focuses specifically on those with intellectual disabilities, makes finding and treating these problems easier and faster.
During his spare time, Midwest Motors Inc. president Ben Ripstein enjoys watching sports. Ben Ripstein supports Illinois teams over all others, and considers the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls to be his favorite teams. The Chicago Bulls played host to Michael Jordan, one of the all-time greats of American basketball.
Michael Jordan’s accomplishments are difficult to fully list, though Rookie of the Year, five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, six-time NBA champion, Defensive Player of the Year, and 14-time NBA All-Star would be enough to put him at the top of the sport. His two Olympic gold medals, earned in 1984 and 1992, only further solidify his status as one of the world’s greatest athletes.
His acclaim also comes, however, from his off-the-court activities. Air Jordan sneakers were one of the most popular pieces of footwear during his career, and a co-promotion with Looney Tunes eventually led to the hit movie Space Jam. This high visibility and strong talent were enough to earn him the distinction of ESPN’s greatest athlete of the 20th century, even over all-time greats in other sports like Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. Even so, he retained humility, claiming that his greatness was built on that of other legendary players, rather than innate to him alone.
Special Olympics Illinois
An automobile sales executive, Ben Ripstein has served as president of Midwest Motors, Inc., since 2009. A committed community volunteer, Ben Ripstein is an active supporter of Special Olympics Illinois.
Special Olympics Illinois recently announced the appointment of MAKE Corporation CEO Karen Wilson to its board of directors. She will also serve on the organization’s development committee. She has previous experience with Special Olympics Illinois, serving as co-chair and then chair of the Inspire Greatness Gala in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
MAKE Corporation maintains offices in Dallas and Chicago. Beginning as a partner in 2002, Wilson would go on to purchase the company a decade later and has overseen its successful growth as a leading provider in the professional services and staffing industry.
Her other board experience includes an appointment to the board of directors for TechServe Alliance for the past eight years, in addition to her role with VMS Professionals as its board president.
Special Olympics Illinois
An automobile sales executive by profession, Ben Ripstein upholds a dedication to sharing his resources with the community. Ben Ripstein stands out as an active supporter of Special Olympics Illinois, which sponsors the Young Athletes program.
Special Olympics Illinois offers the Young Athletes program to children aged 2 years to 7 years. Participation is open to children with intellectual disabilities as well as to their peers, so that all children can have the opportunity to strengthen their bodies and develop motor skills. Participants also work on developing cognitive and social skills, while learning about the Special Olympics organization and the benefits that it provides to athletes.
Young Athletes leaders begin by teaching foundational coordination and motor tracking skills. Athletes develop gross motor control in walking, running, jumping, and balancing, as well as the ability to throw, catch, kick, and otherwise manipulate sports equipment. Once the athletes have refined these skills, they learn to apply them in the context of races and other developmentally appropriate sports games.
Children who graduate from the Young Athletes program then have the opportunity to transition into standard Special Olympics activities. These activities allow the athletes to further develop their abilities as well as their confidence and sense of belonging in the world of sports.
Ben Ripstein is the president of Midwest Motors, Inc., a company with consistently good reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. A car enthusiast and active volunteer, Ben Ripstein has participated in several polar plunges to support the Illinois Special Olympics.
The Illinois Special Olympics hosts more than 179 games each year with 19 different sports offered, from alpine skiing to volleyball. Along with accepting donations from various outside sources, such as the polar plunge (a fundraising challenge where participants jump into a lake in the middle of winter to raise money for various charities), the Illinois Special Olympics also hosts events to support the games and the athletes. The annual Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby is a consistently popular option among volunteers.
The Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby is a yearly event taking place in the summer, where people are invited to “adopt” a rubber duck and race it down the Chicago River. Participants can adopt as many ducks as they like, and in fact the Illinois Special Olympics encourages them to do so, as all money raised goes toward funding the games and training for the athletes. The race also ends with the winners receiving some hefty prizes, all donated by various businesses. Past prizes have been cars, vacation vouchers, and VIP NASCAR tickets.
Ben Ripstein serves as the president of Midwest Motors Inc., where he is responsible for buying all cars and overseeing the sales department. When he is not working, Ben Ripstein enjoys following the Chicago Bulls, his favorite basketball team.
The Bulls currently have their eye on five-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. Power forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin’s time in Los Angeles is coming to an end. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls have all expressed interest in the impressive player, as have other teams. One rumor reports the Bulls are trading both Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson to get their hands on Griffin. While the team hopes to acquire him before the trade deadline in early 2017, they are also willing to pursue him during free agency later in the year.
In the recent 2015-2016 season free agency, the Bulls managed to pick up Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo. Along with Jimmy Butler, the three superstars will be tasked with carrying the team forward in the coming years.
If the Chicago Bulls manage to snag Blake Griffin, the move will go a long way in cementing a prosperous future for the team.