Bruce Sohn grew up in Herrin and graduated from Herrin High School in 1979. He is the son of Harvard and Miriam Sohn. He is married to the former Julia Klingelsmith, also of Herrin. She is the daughter of Herrinites Rick and Stephanie Klingelsmith. Sohn will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for HerrinFesta Italiana -2014 at the Festa Honoree Banquet at The Herrin Elks May 20.
Bruce and Julia are proud parents of Ashley Sohn Higashi, her husband Aaron Higashi, and Spencer Sohn. Ashley is currently in medical school at the Chicago School of Medicine. Spencer is a software engineer with Cappex. All three children live together in suburban Chicago.
Bruce’s family continuously operated a clothing store in Herrin for 85 years. His grandfather, Dan Sohn immigrated to Herrin in 1908. His father, Harvard Sohn, was instrumental in growing the family business and was a key contributor to developing the original HerrinFesta concept. His brother, Barry, lives in Florida and his sister, Nancy, lives in Geneva, IL. The Sohn family was lifelong members of the United Hebrew Temple in Benton.
Bruce graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his degree in Materials Science and Engineering. Following graduation, Bruce took an engineering job with Intel Corporation where he spent nearly 25 years growing from fundamental engineering jobs to building and operating the company’s largest, multi-billion dollar production facilities.
While at Intel, Bruce designed the transistor for an early microprocessor. He was responsible for the company’s conversion to 300mm wafers, made key contributions to operations research and was a thought-leader behind Intel’s renowned Copy Exactly philosophy.
In 2003, Bruce joined the Board of Directors of First Solar Corporation and later transitioned to company President. He was responsible for growing the business from an early-stage start-up into the largest solar company in the world with more than $3B in sales and 7500 employees globally. The company is the world’s leading developer of utility-scale solar power systems.
Bruce was the former CEO of Fluidic Energy and is currently the president of a Silicon Valley-based energy storage start-up that is operating in stealth mode. He has been a manufacturing, technology and management consultant to numerous financial firms, Fortune 500 companies and the US Government. He was tapped by the Obama Administration to lead the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Council. He has been a guest lecturer at MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Duke Universities; was a Clean Energy Ambassador to the WWF and is a Senior Member of IEEE.