PITTSFIELD -- Berkshire Creative has reached into the Massachusetts Museum of Con temporary Art to hire its new director.
Jodi Joseph, of Williamstown, the director of retail operations for Mass MoCA, will assume her new position with Berkshire Creative on Monday, June 4.
She replaces Helena Fruscio who left in September to become the state's second creative economy director.
Joseph, 36, a North Adams native raised primarily in Dalton, coordinated MoCA's participation in Berkshire Creative's creative challenge competition two years ago.
"I'm thrilled to be chosen," said Joseph, who graduated magna cum laude from the Mas sachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
She said Fruscio "did tremendous work for this organization. She continues to be a huge advocate for this region. I'm looking forward to contributing to the work that she started."
Founded in 2007, Berkshire Creative's mission is to stimulate new job growth and economic opportunity in the region by sparking innovative collaborations between artists, designers, cultural institutions and businesses. Berkshire Creative is one of three organizations that belong to Pittsfield-based 1Berkshire, the county's leading economic development group.
Although Fruscio left Berkshire Creative nine months ago, the organization didn't begin the formal search for her replacement until the end of March, said board chairwoman Cathy Deely. Some of the delay occurred because
"I think it was a time where we needed to strengthen the organization internally and have a firm footing on the ground," Deely said. "The time was right to start looking for a new director when we did."
Joseph was one of five candidates who interviewed for the position, Deely said. Although Berkshire Creative posted the job on Monster.com, the finalists were all from the Berk shires. They had each made major contributions to both the creative economy and economic development, she said.
"I think we had a great candidate pool of talented qualified people, but there was something special about her," Deely said about Joseph. "It wasn't just her experience working in the creative economy and doing the project with Berkshire Creative at Mass MoCA.
"It was her passion about the Berkshires as a whole," Deely said. "We believe in her ability to lead Berkshire Creative at this particular time."
Before assuming her current position at Mass MoCA four years ago, Joseph worked on various freelance and marketing projects with The Dream Away Lodge in Becket, Inland Management in Williamstown, the Braza Corp. in Lee, and the Berkshire Arts and Tech nology Charter School in Adams. She is currently secretary of BART's board of directors.
Earlier in her career, Joseph worked extensively in the gift industry with local firms in Pittsfield and Great Barring ton, and on projects with firms in Chicago and Connecticut.
"I've been in the trenches here working in the creative economy for 15 years," Joseph said. "So there's nothing that I'm more committed to then the health and welfare of this region. Berkshire Creative's done a great job bringing a lot of enthusiasm into the creative economy and I hope to continue it."