Ben Speggen is the editorial director at Our Towns Civic Foundation, where he helps capture and tell the stories of the people and places driving community renewal throughout the country. Ben is vice president of the Jefferson Educational Society, a think tank based in Erie, PA. He is also a contributor editor at the Erie Reader, the region’s alt-weekly publication, and served as the publication’s founding managing editor from 2011 to 2015. He also hosted a community affairs program on Erie’s NPR/PBS affiliate station. Born in Morgantown, WV, Ben grew up in Carmichaels, in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, and went on to study literature, history, and journalism at Gannon University, where he also earned his master’s degree.