Arunas Chesonis, Chairman and CEO of Sweetwater Energy, Inc., a Rochester, NY-based cellulosic sugar manufacturer, has been elected to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees, called the MIT Corporation, consisting of 72 distinguished leaders in education, science, engineering and industry.
Chesonis holds a BS in civil engineering from MIT and an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester. He most recently served as Chairman and CEO of PAETEC Holding Corp., a Fortune 1000 telecommunications company acquired in 2011 by Windstream Corp. His private philanthropic organization, the Chesonis Family Foundation, supports environmental and renewable-energy research projects, and has supported breakthrough technology research at MIT to address climate change and sustainability. Chesonis is also a trustee of the University of Rochester where he holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.
“It’s a great honor to be asked to serve an institution like MIT in this way,” says Chesonis. “I’m very fortunate to have this chance to help support the alma mater that helped shape me. It’s a wonderful way to contribute to generations of students to come.”
Chesonis began his career at Rochester Telephone Corporation and went on to serve as President of ACC Corp. until it was purchased by TCG/AT&T in 1998. He’s 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. In 2011, the telecommunications site, FierceTelecom, ranked Chesonis in their elite list of the 15 Most Powerful People in Wireline Telecom.
Sweetwater Energy uses a unique technology to produce low-cost sugars from non-food plant materials. The company’s sugar solution is sold to refineries, which use it to produce biofuels, biochemicals, and bioplastics. Unlike petroleum-based technologies, Sweetwater Energy’s process uses renewable plant materials that are not only grown domestically, but significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sweetwater Energy utiliza una tecnología única para producir celulosa nanofibrilada de bajo costo, celulosa microcristalina, azúcares y lignina limpia a partir de materiales vegetales no alimentarios para ayudar a satisfacer las crecientes demandas de bioenergía y bioquímica del mundo moderno.
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