This article was originally posted on LehighValley.org.
By Colin McEvoy on September 30, 2021
Angelo Valletta is a multiple award-winning senior business executive with 35 years of comprehensive organizational leadership experience in areas including operations, technology, and P&L in a wide range of industries, from small consulting firms to multinational corporations.
But whether its his time as President of an independent community foundation or a manager with a global financial technology organization, Valletta believes his background made him a perfect fit for his new role as President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP).
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Valletta said. “My background is in technology, so I put innovation and strategy in place from a technology standpoint for operations groups, for financial services, putting in straight-through processing, connecting different systems and so forth. I consider that innovative from an internal organizational perspective, and I really did that throughout my career.”
Valletta was the interview subject in the latest entry in a weekly series the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is conducting with new corporate leaders with some of Lehigh Valley’s leading companies and largest employers. New videos are released each Thursday at 11 a.m. on LVEDC’s Facebook page.
“It’s been an astounding 18 to 20 months in the Lehigh Valley, where no short of about 20 new leaders have come to lead our major organizations,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham, who conducted the interview.
The full video interview with Valletta can be viewed below. Current and previous archived videos can be found here and on LVEDC’s YouTube channel.
Valletta discussed BFTP/NEP and the ways in which it invests in and supports early-stage technology companies, which in turn create and retain highly-paid sustainable jobs in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania, as well as catalyzing technology-based economic growth.
This includes Ben Franklin TechVentures, the 129,000 square-foot incubator on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus in Bethlehem, as well as connecting clients with BFTP/NEP’s network of established companies, industry experts, and local colleges and universities.
“The investment happens, but it’s the relationships over a 40-year period that we’ve been able to really connect our early-stage as well as our established manufacturers with those experts and those colleges and universities,” Valletta said. “We all work in concert from that perspective to assist these organizations.”
Valletta and Cunningham discussed a wide range of topics, including the process through which BFTP/NEP decides when and how to support an early-stage firm, as well as major companies that have previously gone through Ben Franklin, such as OraSure Technologies.
The statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners network has returned $3.90 to the Pennsylvania state treasury for every $1.00 invested in the program, Valletta said.
“That’s key. That’s investment,” he said. “That’s why I don’t say its funding, this investment in the Bens, because we like to return that investment back in regard to the jobs.”
Other upcoming interviews in the video series will include:
Gunnar Brunius, Vice President & General Manager Lehigh Valley Operations of Mack Trucks
Rick Bucher, Chief Executive Officer of Victaulic
Shelly McWilliams, President of Lehigh Valley Plastics
Sarah Santos, President of Cigars International
Julien Sauvagnargues, President of Olympus Corporation of the Americas
Sponsors for the series include presenting sponsor Lehigh Valley Health Network; premier sponsor Capital BlueCross; gold sponsor Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba; event sponsors Boyle Construction, Klunk & Millan Advertising, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, interview sponsor Victaulic, and production sponsor Countess Communications.