PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Innovation Center has a new leader.
Ben Sosne is taking over as the executive director as the opening of the BIC at the William Stanley Business Park inches closer. Sosne replaces Scott Longley, who served as the executive director during the construction.
"The BIC was fortunate to leverage the leadership of Scott Longley during the funding and early construction periods. Scott's efforts supported the rapid transformation of the BIC from concept to a growing organization set to manage a $14 million facility. Scott will remain a valued member of the team, leveraging his manufacturing and supply chain experience to further enhance BIC member services and development opportunities - and assisting Ben as he assumes his new role," said President Stephen Boyd in a prepared statement.
"Ben's leadership experience, advanced skillset, and network will serve the organization well during the final phases of the facility's construction, to its grand opening and beyond. Ben's interest is proof that the BIC's momentum is getting noticed and starting to attract top talent from other respected organizations."
Sosne, a Berkshire County native and 1998 graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School, returned to the area in 2015 with his family after working in law and digital media in New York City for several years. Ben comes to the BIC after serving as general counsel and senior project manager for Thomas Krens' proposed Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum (EMRCA) in North Adams.
"I have been following the progress on the BIC for several years and have been incredibly impressed with their model, leadership team, and the partnerships they have established," said Sosne.
"As someone passionate about the Berkshires and the economic future of the county, this position offers an amazing opportunity to help shape an organization that will play an absolutely critical role in spurring economic growth, job creation, and overall investment in the region."
The BIC has been under construction since September. The $13.75 million center will be for research and development featuring cutting edge technology, biotech wet space, clean rooms, and other features. It will run training programs and includes members from colleges, universities, and vocational high schools. It features offices and event spaces and the organization will be holding various business events.
In all, the center is particularly eyed to help small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in the advanced manufacturing and life sciences fields, expand and grow. It had been years in the making and expects to open later this year.
"While the BIC and the EMRCA operate in different sectors, there is a tremendous amount of overlap in terms of the technology employed and the overarching goals of serving as a catalyst for economic development," said Sosne.
"Thomas Krens is without peer in the world of arts and culture. Working with him over the last three years has been an education far beyond anything I could have imagined. He has encouraged me to take this leadership role with the BIC and I am certain the two organizations will remain strong allies in the regional economic development landscape."
Sosne lives in Williamstown with his wife Amy and their three young children. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 2002 and a doctorate from Pace Law School in 2009. He is a member of both Massachusetts and New York State Bar and also serves as president of the Sand Springs Recreation Center.
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