Sometimes, you need to venture out for a bit more perspective before your true purpose and calling comes into focus.

For Ben Salestrom, a brief season spent living outside of Denver — more than 600 miles from his hometown of Sioux Falls — provided that opportunity to gain more clarity.

The graphic designer moved to Colorado in 2021 in search of some different experiences in his new surroundings. “I went there to spread my wings a little bit,” he recalls. As an avid skier, Ben figured the Rocky Mountains would be a good place to be. But it wasn’t long before he began to miss home, family and friends. “I didn't realize how much they meant to me.”

Ben eventually returned to South Dakota and worked on freelance design projects before landing at Paulsen in October as a Production Artist.

“We have a really strong team of designers,” says Marcus Squier, Paulsen President & CEO. “But what we needed was someone to help manage the workload and, at the same time, bring some new creative energy to the process. Ben will do an awesome job filling that niche here at Paulsen.”

Ben’s interest in design dates back to high school. He earned a bachelor of arts in graphic design at University of South Dakota, where he served as president of the school’s chapter of the American Institute of Fine Arts. Upon graduating, he worked in insurance but always felt that pull toward full-time design work.

Diligent throughout the creative process, Ben loves the satisfaction of completing a project. “Seeing something that you made out in the world is a great feeling,” he says. “You go to sleep a bit happier when you see a client’s face light up after seeing your work.”

He enjoys spending time with friends, exploring new places and immersing himself in creative projects in his free time — including designing beer can labels for local breweries.