Benhur Castro builds brands and relationships
Teak Partners & Collaborators: get to know the people behind the work

BenHur Castro is the Head of Employee and Ambassador Engagement at Paceline and was the third employee to join the company. We met when Paceline approached us to help them with the brand strategy, messaging and design of their website. Paceline was still in the early stages of launching their health-based rewards credit card and we were instantly impressed by Ben’s genuine and enthusiastic passion for making the world a healthier place. -Eli

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My parents named me after the 1959 movie, BenHur. Charlton Heston played me. My father loved the movie. As a young child, I remember BenHur movie paraphernalia filling my room. Aside from that, I’m a proud dad to three boys ages 15, 19, and 21. They keep me busy! We play a lot of sports, we like hanging out at the beach and we prioritize having meals together. If it’s sports or food related, you’ll find all 4 of us there.

Outside of that, you could say I’m a people person. I’ve built my career around people and building relationships, whether that’s helping Paceline grow from a 4-person start-up to a Series A company or launching inclusive experiences for Sephora, I’m interested in working with people who genuinely want to make the world better. What little free time I do have is split between sports and finding new adventures with awesome people. My friends and I will try anything. For example, this weekend we’re going to Hangar One Distillery in Alameda to try a Vodka tasting.

Tell us some of your go-to content at the moment? What are you reading/listening to/watching now?

I’m a sucker for a good competition show. I’ve never missed a season of Survivor, for example. I also like The Challenge. I’m just finishing up Winning Time which has been great because I’m a diehard L.A. sports fan. The show did a great job showing the different perspectives of so many key characters.

In terms of listening, I listen to a lot of podcasts. For sports, I listen to the Dan Patrick Show on the daily. If you like witty banter and interesting guests, I recommend Smartless with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes, or Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (he’s amazing!).

What’s the best advice you’ve received that you actually use?

There are two that come to mind. The first is a quote based on the writing of Geroge Bernard Shaw, “Some people ask why and I ask why not.” I don’t want to be in a position where I say no to something out of fear so I often try to think about my decisions from the lens of “why not?”

Secondly, I love people which can also mean I tend to be a people pleaser at times. I remember hearing something that stuck with me: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” I remind myself of that often.

I don’t want to be in a position where I say no to something out of fear so I often try to think about my decisions from the lens of “why not?”

Tell us about a brand you admire and why.

love Patagonia! I’ve always loved their clothes, but what makes them stand out in my mind is how consistent they are across the board.They’re on a purpose-driven mission that “Patagonia is in business to save our home planet,” and they’re one of those brands who live that out. I was struck by their Black Friday “Don’t buy this jacket” ad in the NYT, or in 2019 when they closed their doors and bought ads to raise awareness for Climate Week protests. They are committed to the environment and it is synonymous with their brand. They create clothes and gear that allow you to visit the coolest places around the world and they ensure that those cool places are protected. I think it’s an amazing brand.

Another one is Sephora. I’m biased because I worked there, but as a Filipino, I’ve always tried to buy from and work for inclusive brands that speak to people of different backgrounds. I look at the brands that my mom or sister or sons use and pay attention to how those brands are helping contribute to a more representative society and I think Sephora does a great job truly embracing diversity. They’ve launched some great marketing campaigns and the one that comes to mind was a campaign called “We Belong To Something Beautiful

What’s your favorite non-famous app on your phone?

I love a good Moleskine journal, but there were too many times when I would be traveling and not have it with me to jot down a great idea or special memory. I’ve been using the Day One app regularly now for years and I use it for both my personal and work life. I try to journal 3-5x a week. Day One makes it easy to journal by adding video, photo, audio, social media posts and anything else you can think of to save memories and thoughts.I might add an idea I don’t want to forget for work then see a memory pop up with an old photo of my kids.

What is the current topic/hobby/subject that you are obsessed with?

Over the past year, I’ve been spending more time listening to True Crime podcasts. I love listening to various true crime podcasts while I’m commuting, jogging, doing chores, or chilling on the beach. I also recently binged-listened to American hostage with John Hamm. If you have any suggestions, please send them to me!

What’s something that’s brought you joy recently at your work?

At Paceline, our mission is “To build a healthier world by changing the nature of preventive health in society.” We reward people for reaching 150 elevated-heart-rate minutes a week. I’ve heard from many customers on how Paceline motivates them to get their weekly 150 minutes. One is a 62 year old professor that walks around her neighborhood each week to maintain her weekly streak. Another is a 34-year-old that suffered a stroke and uses Paceline to keep him active each week. So many stories like this bring me joy!

What’s something that’s brought you joy recently outside of work?

My boys. I have so much joy whenever I’m with my boys. And now that things feel like they’re slowly (knock-on-wood) getting back to something of a normal life, it’s just been so nice seeing people in person again. I’m a people-person so it really energizes me. Recently, it ranges from a Vegas trip with 15 buddies from my fraternity to a weekend in Healdsburg with my MBA classmates to one-on-ones with friends I couldn’t see during the pandemic. There’s a lot of lost time to make up for and I’m loving every second of it.

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