This past Tuesday, we were honored to have Jack Baron, President and COO of Sweetwater Energy, present on our second Commons Speaker Series evening. The title of Jack’s presentation was “Sugar–the new oil”. Sweetwater Energy is engaged in taking waste forest and agricultural biomass and converting it into useable sugars to replace traditional petroleum-based products such as fuels, plastics and chemicals. Jack’s background is in neurochemistry (U of R), engineering, banking, and telecommunications (PAETEC). He is also a proud Harley parent and Board member.
The audience was engaged throughout the discussion, given opportunities to ask questions, respond to Jack’s own “burning questions”, and to share past experiences and speculation about the future. It was a full evening of incredible information, innovation and connections among people all interested in sustainable practices and bettering our world. Biodiversity, unions, community impact, global economics, lignin, ethanol and other hot topics were raised and weighed. At the end of the presentation, many audience members stayed to continue the conversation.
Jack shared several resources during the presentation, some of the most interesting of which were www.ethanolrfa.org (for those who want to know more about ethanol and its uses) and their related video which can be found here: Renewable Fuels Association video