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2023 Business Person of the Year - Ben Tallini

Ben Tallini, owner of Haven Jiu Jitsu, has been selected as the 2023 Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) Business Person of the Year. Awarded since 1988, the Business Person of the Year honors those who have demonstrated integrity, accomplishments in business, and business, civic, and/or corporate leadership.

Tallini opened Haven Jiu Jitsu in August 2021, offering Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes for adults and children as well as yoga classes. The school recently won the Syracuse Grappling Industries, an international competition circuit for jiu-jitsu practitioners, and is ranked 7th in North America and 10th in the world for Grappling Industries. Haven is producing men and women who consistently medal at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) events. Haven Jiu Jitsu is the first and only independent IBJJF affiliation in Syracuse, and started the first Brazilian jiu-jitsu program run by women for women in the Syracuse area. In 2023, IBJJF promoted Tallini to Black Belt Second Degree, honoring his expert level of technical and practical skill.

In addition to owning Haven Jiu Jitsu and teaching classes, Tallini designed a Brazilian jiu-jitsu training program specifically for law enforcement officers. He has partnered with a professor to conduct the first peer reviewed study in New York State showing the efficacy of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in law enforcement; preliminary data suggest a reduction in the use of force as well as injuries to both officers and suspects. Both the Syracuse Police Academy and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department have implemented his program.

Tallini also founded Haven Initiative, which uses law enforcement officers trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to assist in coaching at-risk children in Syracuse to improve community relations, provide positive role models, and enhance relationships between the youth and the officers.

Tallini was nominated by many of his students. One nominator said in their statement of support: “Ben has not just built a successful business, he has also built a community with hundreds of members in a short time span. Being the person that he is, Ben will credit no one but the members themselves for creating this strong, supportive community but without him, the community would not be what it is.”

The award will be presented at Haven’s 3rd anniversary celebration, scheduled for September 8, 2024. Five other GBCC members were also nominated for the honor: Albert Clos, Falardeau Funeral Home; Sandra Fitzpatrick DVM, Beaver Lake Animal Hospital; Matthew Hunt, Heritage Insurance Agency; Lindsay Kratzer, Reflections Management & Care; and Tina Solomon, Primerica.


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