I write on behalf of the partners, clients, constituents, board of directors, employees, and friends served by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) to express my sincere thanks to R. Chadwick Paul, Jr. as he retires as its leader. Chad’s creativity, execution, and tenacity have been the driving forces behind Ben Franklin’s lasting accomplishments over the last 19 years while he served as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Pennsylvania’s four-center Ben Franklin Technology Partners network is the recognized national gold standard in technology-based economic development. During Chad’s tenure, Ben Franklin Northeast clients have created thousands, and retained tens of thousands, of highly paid, sustainable jobs.
Pennsylvania established the Ben Franklin Technology Partners in 1983 to address the decline in the heavy industry sectors that had supported the state economy. The statewide Ben Franklin network embraces the promise of highly paid, sustainable jobs created and retained through investments in and support of early-stage technology-based firms and innovative manufacturers. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners has helped create more than 148,000 Pennsylvania jobs and boosted the state economy by more than $25 billion since 1989. According to independent research, Ben Franklin generates a $3.90-to-$1 return on investment and has assisted the Commonwealth in developing a strong and diversified economy.
Chad has played an integral role in implementing Ben Franklin’s winning strategies to optimize the Commonwealth’s taxpayer dollars. Additionally, Ben Franklin clients innovate to solve current global challenges like COVID-19 and to avert or minimize future challenges. The results are good jobs in varied technology-based sectors that provide economic resiliency, and products that serve and protect us.
Ben Franklin complements its financial investments with comprehensive support. Chad continued to develop Ben Franklin’s mission and values by introducing and connecting client companies to a network of resources that accelerates their success. He mentored clients and made key introductions. Leveraging the Ben Franklin endorsement, BFTP/NEP clients have raised $1.6 billion in follow-on funding beyond their Ben Franklin investments since 2007.
Chad also recognized the importance of innovative manufacturers in the regional economy. BFTP/NEP links manufacturers to the extensive resources in Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities, helping them apply technology to be more globally competitive.
Chad advanced business incubation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania through the expansion of the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network, which is among the largest such networks in the world. This 14-member network includes the Bloomsburg Regional Technology Center, acquired under Chad’s leadership, and Ben Franklin TechVentures.
BFTP/NEP’s business technology incubator, Ben Franklin TechVentures, earned the prestigious International Business Innovation Association Incubator of the Year award on two occasions, as well as a number of other regional and national awards. The creation and expansion of Ben Franklin TechVentures was Chad’s singular vision and is among his most brilliant accomplishments. Under Chad’s leadership, TechVentures grew three times, from 18,000 square feet to 129,000 square feet. Chad raised $16.4 million to fund these massive expansions.
I am honored to be succeeding such a talented leader and visionary whose accomplishments will benefit our region for decades. Although I have been in this role for a short time, I have learned that this organization is special. I am humbled and excited to see all the advancements that have occurred under Chad’s leadership, and I am grateful to him for presenting me with a strong team and well-run organization.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners has done tremendous and amazing work for northeastern Pennsylvania. Chad advanced Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania as a “job creation factory.” His legacy in supporting companies that create highly paid, sustainable jobs, advance the regional technology economy, and improve the human condition will be long lasting and far reaching. Pennsylvania is a better place to live, work, and play because of Chad Paul’s extraordinary efforts on our behalf.
Angelo J. Valletta, President and Chief Executive Officer
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania