Benjamin C. Rivera
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1990
President, Leatherman Tool
Benjamin Rivera had three job offers after graduation and turned down the most lucrative one to work for Leatherman Tool. To this day, he doesn’t regret the decision.
“It sounds cliché, but I believe I’m successful because I do what I love. I get up every day and get excited to go to work. That’s my definition of success,” he said.
Today, Rivera is the president of Leatherman, the flagship multi-purpose tool company that has more than $100 million in annual revenue and more than 500 employees in the Portland area. During his 20-plus years in helping to build the company, he has achieved many noteworthy accomplishments, including more than 100 U.S. patents for his work as a product design engineer. In addition, his design for the WAVE Leatherman tool is part of the permanent collection within the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
As a mechanical engineering student at Oregon State, Rivera’s social network was equally important to academics. He developed a circle of friends who later became professional peers. Close mentorship from Professor James Welty further developed his people skills and enabled him to become a well-rounded professional. As a result, he’s had the opportunity to pursue many different facets of engineering, from management to intellectual property.
“Engineering is a great profession because you can become so many things,” he said. “There’s a lot of flexibility and opportunity.”
Ben Rivera is the president of Leatherman Tool in Portland, Oregon—the manufacturer of the original multi-purpose tool. With more than $100 million in annual revenue and employing more than 500 people in the Portland area, Leatherman designs, manufactures and distributes its highly sought-after products to over 80 countries throughout the world.
Some of Ben’s key accomplishments include being named on more than 100 U.S. patents for his work as a product design engineer, and designing the WAVE Leatherman tool, which is part of the permanent collection within the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Ben earned a B.S. Mechanical Engineering in 1990. Besides spending time with his wife Sally and their two children, he loves camping, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and the outdoors in general (which blends well with the customers he serves). He once climbed to the top of Mt. Saint Helens while on a low-carb diet, which he says was a big mistake.