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Characters of the Caribbean: Contractor James Benton

IMG_36081. What is your favorite place on St. Croix and why?

I could not possibly choose one favorite place!  I love that for such a small landmass, we have such distinct areas… the north shore; rain forest; Christiansted and Frederiksted towns; beachfronts and mountaintops… all have such unique feels to them.  I love the overall geographic diversity here.               

2. What is the most memorable experience you’ve had living on-island?

Personally, it would be snorkeling and scuba diving with my father as a kid for conch and lobster.  Professionally, it would be the dedication ceremony for the GERS Executive Office Building, as that was the first major project my company completed.  It will always have a special place in my heart because we turned around a troubled project that the previous contractor could not complete.

The Government Employees' Retirement System (GERS) Executive Office Building on St. Croix was completed by J. Benton Construction.
The Government Employees’ Retirement System (GERS) Executive Office Building on St. Croix was completed by J. Benton Construction.

3. In what ways do you enjoy giving back to your island community and which non-profits do you most like to support?

I support many worthwhile organizations locally, but I am laser-focused on Good Hope Country Day School currently.  My daughter has just started school there and I am committed to making sure we continue to provide a world-class education in America’s Paradise!

4. What is the best piece of advice you can give someone new to St. Croix about making the leap to island life?

Come with an open mind and try not to let preconceived notions get in your way.  It is amazing what you can experience here, once you truly embrace and understand the local vibe.

5. Finish this sentence, Caribbean Life is…

The only life imaginable for me!

James Benton is a second generation contractor and owner of J. Benton Construction, LLC.  In his spare time, he enjoys travelling and sits on the boards of Good Hope Country Day School and Merchant’s Commercial Bank.  Benton was raised on St. Croix and graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management.

Ready to start your Caribbean life?  Contact Chris and Kerri Hanley for expertise in Virgin Islands real estate.  Start by downloading their free St. Croix Event Guide to find the ideal time for an extended visit.

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