40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Benjamin Lamb

Director of Economic Development, 1Berkshire; Age 34; Education: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (BA), the College of Saint Rose (M.Ed.), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Ph.D.)

Lamb’s work focuses on what he calls ‘wraparound economic development,’ which creates connective tissue between traditional and non-traditional participants in the region’s economic ecosystem — most notably through his development and launch of the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0, an economic-development imperative for the region’s next decade.

Benjamin Lamb

Benjamin Lamb       Photo by Leah Martin Photography

What did you want to be when you grew up? A rock collector.

What three words best describe you? Eclectic, dad, caffeine.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? Get it done.

Who inspires you, and why? My two-and-a-half-year-old son. His passion for things he loves, his intense focus when he is learning something new, and his celebration of success make me see how even small actions and achievements can have meaningful impacts and reasons to be excited.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? I’m torn between Nikola Tesla and Bill Nye. Nikola’s mind was so incredible that I would just want to glean from his brilliance. Bill Nye has inspired me since I was a child watching PBS. He made science and learning digestible, regardless of age, and has continued to be someone I deeply admire.

What do you do for fun? Find new and funky ways to celebrate the city I live in and the community I surround myself with.

What’s your favorite hangout or activity in Western Mass., and why? I just love getting outdoors with my family, even if it’s just in the backyard. It helps to remind me of the quality of life I get to enjoy in the Berkshires and the value of our natural surroundings here.

What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. She somehow fits 25 hours into the day, has a deep and unmatched love for her community and work, and is obnoxiously positive in her outlook 90% of the time. I think most who know me would recognize those qualities in what they experience with me.

How do you relieve stress? Gardening.

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? Who’s going to water his plants?

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