Our Partners

Board of Directors

Raul Kirjanen

Raul Kirjanen started Estonia-based Graanul Invest in 2003 in a small office, and today the company is Europe’s largest manufacturer of wood pellets, employing more than 500 people through numerous subsidiary companies in the Baltic States.

Recently, CEO Kirjanen was elected to the steering committee of the Forestry Development Plan as a commissioner of the Estonian Renewable Energy Assn. Kirjanen believes the main problem of Estonian forestry is that a significant part of Estonian private forests are in poor condition and thus maintenance and renewal of forests should form the cornerstone of the Forestry Development Plan.

Rob Clark PhD

Dr. Clark is the Provost and Senior Vice President for research at the University of Rochester. Prior to being named Provost, he served at the Dean of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Clark joined in 2008 from Duke University, after serving as Senior Associate Dean and Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. 

His expertise in the science of acoustics and in bionanomanufacturing has led to 130 journal publications and earned him awards including the Lindsey Award of the Acoustical Society of America, the National Science Foundation Career Program Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the NASA Group Achievement Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Acoustical Society of America, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Markus Buehler PhD

Dr. Buehler is the Head of the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering department, directs MIT’s Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM), and holds the McAfee Endowed Chair Professorship at MIT. 

In his research, Professor Buehler pursues new modeling, design and manufacturing approaches for advanced sustainable materials that offer a wide range of controllable properties from the nano to the macroscale. He has published more than 320 scholarly articles on multiscale materials and authored several monographs. Dr. Buehler has received a large number of awards and recognitions, including Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award for exceptional distinction in teaching and in research or scholarship, the highest honor bestowed on young MIT faculty. After undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at the University of Stuttgart, Master’s studies in Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech, he received a PhD in Chemistry (Materials Science) from the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. After a postdoctoral stay at Caltech, he joined the faculty of MIT in 2006.

Arunas Chesonis

Mr. Chesonis joined Sweetwater as CEO in December 2011 after also serving as its Chairman since 2010. Prior to Sweetwater, Mr. Chesonis served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PAETEC Holding Corp., a Fortune 1000 telecommunications company acquired in 2011 by Windstream Corp. (NASDAQ: WIN), one of the largest national telecom carriers. Mr. Chesonis founded PAETEC in 1998.

Mr. Chesonis has a long history in sustainability. His private philanthropic organization, the Chesonis Family Foundation, has supported numerous environmental and renewable energy projects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to address climate change. He also personally invests in clean tech, life sciences, and artificial intelligence ventures through his involvement at universities in Boston and Rochester.

Mr. Chesonis received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award by the College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology and was elected to the Rochester Business Hall of Fame.

He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Rochester. Mr. Chesonis is also a member of the M.I.T. Corporation and is a life trustee of the University of Rochester.

Jack Baron

Mr. Baron served as the founding Chief Executive Officer of Sweetwater Energy from 2009-2011, and since December of 2011 has served as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. He also serves on Sweetwater’s Board of Directors. Prior to his position at Sweetwater Energy, Mr. Baron was Co-founder, President and Chief Marketing Officer at PAETEC Corp., a Fortune 1000 company with over $2 billion in annual revenue. At PAETEC, he was responsible for regional and national divisions including sales, marketing, product engineering and account management, as well as full P&L for 6 six subsidiary company acquisitions. Previous to his tenure at PAETEC, Mr. Baron was National Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ACC Telecom from 1995-1998 where his teams grew annual company revenues over 300% in 3 years to $108 million, while increasing annual net profit ten fold to over $30 million. Prior to ACC, Mr. Baron served as President at a four year engineering college, ETI Technical College in Cleveland, and as National Vice President of Private Banking at Goldome Bank.

Mr. Baron earned his B.S. in Biochemistry with a concentration in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester, and earned his M.B.A. from Syracuse University with a concentration in marketing, graduating summa cum laude. Mr. Baron was recognized as one of Rochester Business Journal’s top 40 under 40 in 2001 for his outstanding professional accomplishments coupled with his charitable and community involvement.

Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson is CEO of Ubiquitous Energy. Wilson brings over 25 years of experience in operating management and finance, including venture capital as an investor and operating partner. Wilson has led public and private companies across telecom, materials science, energy, and healthcare, most recently serving as Managing Partner and CEO of Cranberry Capital along with management roles at Sweetwater Energy, Clerio Vision, and Health Care Originals. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College and a master’s from University of Michigan.

Board of Advisors

David Lovetro

Principal & Owner, DCLovetro Consulting, LLC

Mike Baron

Senior Vice President, Dell Technologies

Francisco Martin-Martinez, PhD

Lecturer, Swansea University

Paul Koehler

Vice President, Pacific Ethanol

Egle Thomas

Founder & CEO, Stratergix GmbH Consulting

Michael Alt

President, Altra Tech Consulting

Grace Jeon

Founder, JUST, Head of New Ventures @ KeepCool

Cora Leibig

Founder & CEO, Chromatic 3D Materials

Lauren Eichelberger

Vice President, Business Development, Reflexion

Daniel Johnson

Chair, Packaging Science Department, Rochester Institute of Technology

David Lovetro

Principal & Owner, DCLovetro Consulting, LLC

Shelley Diamond

Chief Client Officer, Young & Rubicam

Bill Eibon

Vice President, Commercialization, HygraTek

Scott Chaplin

Principal, SCMC Consulting

Andrew Bivona

Owner, The OH Group

Jack Miller

Founder, Market-Intell LLC

Industrial Partners

Graanul Invest operates in the field of bioenergy and renewable energy production, forestry and biomaterials development. The company has grown to be one of the biggest pellet producers in Europe and one of the biggest independent renewable energy producers in the Baltic Sea region. Graanul Invest produces and supplies nature-friendly, high-quality products and contributes to the preservation of the environment by providing renewable fuel to the market.

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

MetGen designs and markets novel enzymatic solutions for the most challenging of industrial conditions. MetGen’s enzymes – MetZyme® – are industrial, highly-active, natural catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions. Offering customized projects to meet customers’ specific needs, MetGen uses advances in genetic engineering and microbiology to adapt enzymes to harsh industrial conditions and to handle a variety of lignocellulosic substrates. MetGen has achieved successful industrial trials with sector leaders in the forest and renewable chemicals industries.

Leveraging its core expertise in twin-screw technology, Clextral provides its customers with turnkey processing lines that integrate extruders, dryers and ancillary equipment. Its reliable and innovative systems are quality and excellence benchmarks in its three key markets: Food & Feed, Green Industries and Powder Industries. Its global offering includes upstream design and testing of industrial solutions, equipment manufacturing, on-site installation and full maintenance and continuous process improvement services. Based in Firminy (France), Clextral is present on all five continents, providing local support to its customers in 88 countries.

Feedstock deconstructed in just 20 seconds.

Only with Sunburst from Sweetwater our process

Sweetwater Energy uses a unique technology for producing low-cost nanofibrillated cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, sugars, and clean lignin from non-food plant materials to help meet the modern world's increasing bioenergy and biochemical demands.

Contact Us

2400 Mt. Read Blvd.

Rochester, NY 14615

Call Us: 585-647-5760

Email: [email protected]

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