Tributes paid to ‘inspirational’ Leeds agency owner, Ben Wolfenden, who has died aged 39

Tributes are pouring in from across the business community for Ben Wolfenden, the founder and CEO of digital marketing agency Wolfenden, who has died aged 39.

By Greg Wright
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 9:59 am

Mr Wolfenden lived with Cystic Fibrosis, and after complications arose following a double lung transplant in 2019, sought potentially life-saving treatment in Geneva, Switzerland.

A statement released today on behalf of his family said: "While Ben and his family - which includes his wife and managing director of the agency, Daisy Wolfenden – relocated to Geneva in November 2020, the treatment wasn’t granted and Ben’s body faced chronic decline. Ben passed away on Friday 21 January, leaving behind Daisy and their two young children, Max, 7 and Ivy, 4.

"Ben is remembered as an “inspiration” by many amongst the agency and business community, as well as those affected by Cystic Fibrosis who followed his journey as a disabled entrepreneur.

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Tributes are pouring in from across the business community for Ben Wolfenden, the founder and CEO of digital marketing agency Wolfenden, who has died aged 39.

"As well as establishing an award-winning digital marketing agency, which now boasts over 40 members of staff and a year-on-year revenue growth of 74%, Ben was an avid campaigner for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust."

After winning the 2014 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK and £50k prize, Mr Wolfenden invested the money into growing his agency – then named Visibilis. The agency has grown significantly ever since and in September 2020, as Mr Wolfenden's condition began to deteriorate, the agency rebranded as Wolfenden, recognising his influence on the team and their success.

In October of the same year, Ben was voted by his peers as Entrepreneur of the Year at the Leeds Digital Festival Awards, just weeks before he made the long journey by road to Geneva for one last chance at life-saving treatment.

The statement added: "His dedication to Wolfenden and his influence on the agency’s recent success was again recognised in April 2021 when Ben was voted Digital Leader of the Year at the Digital City Festival Awards.

A statement released today on behalf of his family said: "While Ben and his family - which includes his wife and managing director of the agency, Daisy Wolfenden – relocated to Geneva in November 2020, the treatment wasn’t granted and Ben’s body faced chronic decline. Ben passed away on Friday 21 January, leaving behind Daisy and their two young children, Max, 7 and Ivy, 4.

"As Ben’s wife Daisy broke the news on Monday, tributes have poured in from across the community, with many reminiscing moments and memories shared with him and praising the inspirational impact he had despite his health struggles on so many across his successful 15-year marketing career."

Daisy commented: “While the treatment in Switzerland wasn’t granted, we’ve had a beautiful year of memories created and moments of freedom for Ben in Geneva that I wouldn’t have previously thought possible.

“Ben’s condition has worsened over recent weeks to a point his body could no longer sustain. He wanted it to be known that he tried to live to the full right till the end, he fought so hard and tried to treasure every moment.

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“Despite a life dominated by pain, his humour and courage shone brightly, and his smile touched the hearts of all who met him. Ben was a wonderful friend, mentor, colleague, father, family member and husband. We miss him now and forever.”