2022 George W. Romney Award

Ben Maibach photo


Ben Maibach, Chief Community Officer, Barton Malow Company

George W. Romney Award for Lifetime Achievement in Volunteerism

Nominated by YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit

A 50-year+ volunteer, Ben Maibach, of Barton Malow, and his wife, Barb have helped raise hundreds of millions to fund causes they believe in; particularly those that uplift socioeconomically challenged young men and women. Ben has generously volunteered his time at numerous community organizations to address this and other community needs.

Ben’s involvement with the YMCA spans over four decades. In every fundraising initiative, large or small Ben has led by example. He gives generously and then reaches to his sphere of influence to rally support for the children and families served by the YMCA. He has been a mentor to many of the YMCA board members. Fellow board members consider him to be a North star and a significant part of the YMCA’s growth and investment both then and now. Everyone who knows him understands his commitment and fundamental belief to improve the lives of those in need.

Ben has been involved with Beaumont for many years as a donor and volunteer. As donors, he and Barb have invested in education and training through their support of the construction of Beaumont Troy's Dominic & Frances Moceri Learning Center. In 2017, they joined Beaumont's efforts to address Alzheimer's disease by supporting a promising research initiative still ongoing today. They then honored one of the physicians leading that research by helping to create the Michael F. Maddens M.D. Distinguished Chair of Internal Medicine. Ben and Barb also have helped generate support for oncology care for women with breast cancer at Beaumont. During the earliest and most difficult days of the Covid-19 pandemic, as hospitals scrambled to find personal protective equipment for their frontline caregivers, Ben and Barton Malow were among the very first to reach out with offers of assistance and saw to it that hundreds of high-end masks and respirators were in Beaumont hands within days.

Ben met Barb as undergraduates at MSU. His love for Barb grew from there and fortunately so did his love for MSU. Known to many as the great connector, Ben has been a champion and volunteer for MSU in southeast Michigan and beyond serving on numerous committees, including the Spartan Fund Advisory Committee, Empower Extraordinary President’s Campaign Cabinet, Southeast Michigan Regional Campaign Committee and helped launch the Spartan Executive group. Together, Ben and Barb have contributed generously to MSU, which started in 1972 and their generosity has continued ever since forever impacting students, faculty, and programs across the campus. They made a gift that served as the catalyst in the development of the career services center in the College of Engineering and participated in a campus-wide scholarship program to increase undergraduate student support. In 2017, Ben and Barb invested in Alzheimer’s research in the MSU College of Human Medicine and established the Maibach Smiley Alzheimer’s Research Professorship.

As someone who knows the importance of state-of-the-art facilities, Ben has been instrumental and led by example supporting many campus projects – Cowles House Renovation, Broad Art Museum, Breslin Center, Spartan Stadium North End Zone and Munn Arena Renovation. Ben and Barb are true MSU champions who tirelessly drive for excellence in all areas across the University.

Throughout his career, Ben has been heavily involved in numerous other community organizations, including: the Detroit Regional Chamber, Business Leaders for Michigan, the Detroit Economic Club, New Detroit, and United Way.

Ben has always been a passionate advocate for our area, our communities, and charities that can benefit from his time and talents. Everyone who knows Ben well understands his commitment and fundamental belief in improving the lives of those in need. His kind demeanor and his widely respected personal integrity serve as an inspiration to all of us.