“We’ll Be Right Back:” A Tribute to Ben Downs

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The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History will present “We’ll be Right Back:  a Tribute to Ben Downs” at the Miramont Country Club on Thursday, January 9, 2014.  The evening will begin with cocktails at 6pm followed by dinner at 7pm. It will be an evening filled with great food, humorous and entertaining stories, music, and fun.

Reserved tables of 10 are $1200 (includes reserved seating, table recognition, signage and recognition at event, recognition in the paper and website, and premier table locations). Individual Tickets are $100.  Call the Museum for more information and to RSVP: (979) 776-2195.

Ben Downs drove from Hope, Arkansas, to College Station in 1972 and graduated with a BBA from Texas A&M University in 1976.  He has remained a resident of the Brazos Valley for more than 41 years. In November, he celebrated 45 years as a radio broadcaster.

Ben is the operating partner of Bryan Broadcasting which operates nine stations in Texas, among them WTAW, Candy 95, Sports Radio, KZNE, KAGC, KWBC, and Peace 107. Their commitment to the community is evidenced by the thousands of dollars in free advertising and volunteer hours donated to area charities and service groups. Among them, the annual Christmas Angels toy drive provides toys and clothing to 700 needy area children.

Like many resident operators, Downs is active in local boards and works for several local charities. He recently finished a two-year term as Chairman of the B/CS Chamber of Commerce. He is an active member of the A&M United Methodist Church and serves on the boards of the Better Business Bureau, Community Foundation, Research Valley Partnership, Convention and Visitors Bureau and the BCS Chamber of Commerce. He also helps ring in the Christmas season via the annual BCS Christmas Parade – playing Santa for the past 30 years!

He serves the radio industry as a Board Member of both the Texas and National Association of Broadcasters. Under his leadership, Bryan Broadcasting has received TAB’s prestigious Bonner McLane Community Service Awards in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. His industry peers first elected Downs to the Texas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors in 1999.

He served broadcasters as TAB Chairman in 2003. He was recently re-elected to serve as TAB Chairman in 2015. During this time, he has been a key player in every major TAB initiative – planning conventions, plotting state and federal legislative policy and seeking improvements in the Emergency Alert System.

In 2008, Texas broadcasters elected Downs to represent them on the National Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors, where he still serves, and in 2010 he was elected as Broadcaster of the Year. Last year, Radio Ink named him one of the top 50 managers in the nation. He and his Aggie sweetheart, Lillie ’76, have been married 37 years and have two adult children, Dave and Mary.

The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History is committed to promoting science, and cultural and natural history with the integration of art in exhibits and educational programs.  The Museum is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm.  For more information about exhibits and other displays, events, programs and activities, contact the Museum at (979) 776-2195 or visit www.brazosvalleymuseum.org.