James O. Benson ’57 is co-founder and co-chairman of PHB Inc., a privately held manufacturing company in Fairview. PHB is recognized across the globe as a fully integrated supplier of quality parts and assemblies with multiple manufacturing capabilities, including die casting, machining, plastic and rubber molding, and tool and die processes. Housed in a 750,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, the company employs more than 650 people.
Benson is currently the chairman of the board for Hazard Control Technologies, Inc. in Fayetteville, Georgia. Founded in 1997, Hazard Control Technologies manufacturers and distributes firefighting equipment, chemicals, and nozzles, as well as specialized firefighting foam equipment.
After he served in the Army during the Korean War, Benson attended Penn State Behrend and then earned his drafting and design technology degree. He is a member of the Laurel Circle, the Mount Nittany Society, the Glenhill Society, the President’s Club, and a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association. And as founder and past-president of the Penn State Behrend Alumni Society, Benson is active as a Behrend Pioneer.
Benson and his wife, Gerda, established the Jim and Gerda Benson Trustee Scholarship in support of students here who are studying engineering and have demonstrated a strong academic record. He helped to launch the engineering program with his philanthropic investments. In recognition, Benson Building, located on the west end of campus, was dedicated in his name in 1996.
The Bensons reside in Jupiter Island, Florida. They have two daughters, Debbie Benson and Jan Thompson, and two sons, Rick and Rob, who are deceased.