onboarding

Greentown Labs names 3 new board members

Three climatetech experts have joined Greentown's board. Photo via Greentown Labs

With dual locations in the Houston and Boston areas, Greentown Labs has added three new members of its board of directors.

The climatetech incubator has added the following individuals to its board:

All three of the new board members are based in the Boston area, joining 10 existing members, which includes Houstonians Barbara Burger, Dawn James, and Nisha Desai.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we enthusiastically welcome Kevin, Elizabeth, and John to Greentown Labs’ Board,” James, who serves as the board chair, says in a news release. “They each bring impressive experience and deep expertise across the climate and energy transition ecosystem that will play an important role as we chart Greentown’s next chapter of impact.”

The nonprofit has seen some big changes this year, announcing that its CEO and President Kevin Knobloch will be stepping down at the end of July. Knobloch assumed his role last September, previously serving as chief of staff of the United States Department of Energy in President Barack Obama’s second term.

The news of Knobloch's departure came several weeks after the organization announced that it was eliminating 30 percent of its staff, which affected 12 roles in Boston and six in Houston.

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A View From HETI

Nádia Skorupa Parachin joined Cemvita as vice president of industrial biotechnology. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based biotech company Cemvita recently tapped two executives to help commercialize its sustainable fuel made from carbon waste.

Nádia Skorupa Parachin came aboard as vice president of industrial biotechnology, and Phil Garcia was promoted to vice president of commercialization.

Parachin most recently oversaw several projects at Boston-based biotech company Ginkjo Bioworks. She previously co-founded Brazilian biotech startup Integra Bioprocessos.

Parachin will lead the Cemvita team that’s developing technology for production of bio-manufactured oil.

“It’s a fantastic moment, as we’re poised to take our prototyping to the next level, and all under the innovative direction of our co-founder Tara Karimi,” Parachin says in a news release. “We will be bringing something truly remarkable to market and ensuring it’s cost-effective.”

Moji Karimi, co-founder and CEO of Cemvita, says the hiring of Parachin represents “the natural next step” toward commercializing the startup’s carbon-to-oil process.

“Her background prepared her to bring the best out of the scientists at the inflection point of commercialization — really bringing things to life,” says Moji Karimi, Tara’s brother.

Parachin joins Garcia on Cemvita’s executive team.

Before being promoted to vice president of commercialization, Garcia was the startup’s commercial director and business development manager. He has a background in engineering and business development.

Founded in 2017, Cemvita recently announced a breakthrough that enables production of large quantities of oil derived from carbon waste.

In 2023, United Airlines agreed to buy up to one billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel from Cemvita’s first full-scale plant over the course of 20 years.

Cemvita’s investors include the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, an investment arm of Chicago-based United; Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based energy company Occidental Petroleum; and Japanese equipment and machinery manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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