In Conversation With Ben Skowronski, Director of Business Development at CRB

Meet BioBuzz and ISPE Board Member, Ben Skowronski

On April 6, 2017 BioBuzz and ISPE will be hosting the annual Life Sciences Showcase. Since Ben Skowronski is a key organizer of the event, as well as a BioBuzz and ISPE board member, we thought you might like to get to know him and learn more about the Showcase. Interested in registering for the Showcase? Click here to register.

Liora Knizhinik: What did you always dream of doing with your life? How did you get to where you are today?

Ben Skowronski: I do not think I have ever stopped dreaming! Both personally and professionally I enjoy being kept on my toes, seeking new opportunities and meeting new people. I graduated from the University of Maryland in 2004 and have been working in the AEC industry since. I knew that I wanted to be in a role where I would spend time both in the office and out in the field. I do not like sitting at a desk too long and enjoy being out and about. I think that these attributes lead me to business development and specifically within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry- every day is different!

A few years ago I took a role for a company that manufactured, installed and serviced high purity water systems with a large portion of the business being in the Biopharma industry- Hydro Service and Supplies. This led me to develop a strong network within the Life Sciences industry and I eventually made the move to work for one of my clients, CRB, who offered me the opportunity to help build the Maryland office. CRB is a full service Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Consulting Company that specializes in Advanced Technologies and specifically the Life Sciences industry. I was very excited to get on board with a great company in a growing market. Over the past two years CRB has grown to 30+ full time Architects, Engineers and Construction professionals

LK: What excites you most about your work/the field you work in?

BS: The work that we do is extremely interesting because it straddles multiple industries: Design Consulting, Construction Management, Manufacturing and Life Sciences. Every project is unique and challenging in its own way! We get involved with projects and companies at the early stages when their product is in the early regulatory/research stages and then get to see them through to actually designing and building the manufacturing facilities that produce the medicine, vaccines etc. that are distributed around the world.

CRB has a great culture and extremely knowledgeable team. I feel very fortunate to work for a company that hires good people and encourages entrepreneurial ideas. CRB’s thought leaders have been involved in the development of Biopharma industry standards and is committed to sharing our world-class technical knowledge and expertise with our clients and the industries we serve.

Lastly, I have really enjoyed being in the Life Sciences industry, because on top of the day-to-day job functions, you can go to bed at night and feel like your work is having a direct impact on others. At CRB, we have kept track of the products our clients produce and the direct impact that it has had on our own employees whom benefit directly from them or who might have a family member or friend who has benefited. We have these displayed in some of our offices and it really highlights our involvement in an industry that both prolongs and saves lives! The work we do on designing and building efficient, cost effective, facilities directly impacts how effectively the company will be able to produce the drugs to meet demands and hopefully cut costs of the end products.

LK: How did you get involved with BioBuzz? What is the biggest benefit that you think BioBuzz brings to Maryland biotech?

I have been involved with Biobuzz for about 4 years now. I had heard about it from one of the other circles that I was running in and you did not have to twist my arm to get me to grab a beer! I recognized Chris Frew right away- Chris and I actually grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same high school- Go Hall! I was already sitting on the board for another group locally ISPE (International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers- Chesapeake Chapter) and thought it would be a good idea to collaborate on a few events with Biobuzz. Since collaborating with Chris we have more than doubled our attendee and exhibit registration for the annual Mid-Atlantic Life Sciences Showcase.

Biobuzz offers several benefits to the Maryland Biotech community. It is a friendly, low key environment that attracts a wide range of experience and personalities from the BIO industry. It is extremely inclusive and one of the only organizations in the area that truly brings the BIO industry together as one in this region. I have met everyone from students to scientists, patent lawyers, economic development professionals, CEO’s, entrepreneurs etc. Biobuzz offers something for everyone in the industry and offers a warm introduction to countless resources.

I know Biobuzz will continue to grow as well as its benefits. I have witnessed this first hand with the launch of the Biohive. The Biohive provides you with the opportunity to follow up with those that you may have met at a BioBuzz event and a platform tailored to not only the BIO industry, but specifically the subsets that exist within the BIO community. With advances in technology and the rapid pace that we move at, I think Biohive is a great way to keep people connected and offers a wide range of resources for anyone to have in their back pocket (& education, industry news, networking, research collaboration etc.)

LK: If you had one piece of advice for someone entering your field, what would it be? 

BS: Get involved! This region offers a lot of opportunities to get involved and meet great people. I believe this region ranks #1 in regards to talent in the BIO industry- do not take this for granted- get out there and meet people!

More About Ben:

Ben Skowronski is currently a Director of Business Development for CRB working out of the Rockville, MD office. CRB is a full-service network of engineers, architects, constructors and consultants focused on delivering design, construction and consulting solutions that achieve successes for life sciences and advanced technology clients. Ben is a graduate of the University of Maryland and has worked in the AEC industry for over 12 years, solely focusing on the life science industry in the last six years. Prior to joining CRB, Ben was a System Specialist for Hydro Service and Supplies working within the life sciences industry to help plan, design, install and service High Purity Water Systems.  Ben has presented to the National Institute of Health and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers and assisted numerous universities, hospitals and pharmaceutical/biotech companies on the design and implementation of high purity water systems.

Ben is an active member of the Chesapeake Bay Area Chapter of ISPE serving as VP and the Vendor Committee Chairman for the past three years. Ben is also an active Biobuzz Board member.

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