at the helm

Greentown Labs names interim leader as hunt for CEO continues

The newly named interim Greentown Labs CEO is based in Boston. Photo via Greentown

Greentown Labs, after announcing its CEO is stepping down at the end of the month, has named the climatetech incubator's interim leader.

Kevin Dutt, a recently named member of Greentown's board of directors based in the Boston area, has been appointed interim CEO. The decision, made by the board, is effective July 8. Dutt is a management consultant at Sustainable Edge Consulting, as well as an environmental entrepreneur, executive, and adviser with 25 years of experience.

"We continue to believe deeply in Greentown and are proud to have one of our board members step into this role before our next long-term CEO is identified," the nonprofit writes in the announcement. "We are confident Kevin is best suited to lead Greentown through this time of transition—his experience in climate and sustainability, philanthropy, and venture will play a key role in helping seamlessly guide Greentown in the coming months."

Dutt will lead the organization, which has dual locations in Houston and Somerville, Massachusetts, following outgoing CEO and President Kevin Knobloch. Knobloch announced in May that he will be stepping down after less than a year in the position. He was named CEO 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 just over a month after the organization announced that it was eliminating 30 percent of its staff, which affected 12 roles in Boston and six in Houston.

Dutt is the fourth person to take the help of Greentown since Emily Reichert, who held the position from 2013 to 2022, stepped down. Prior to Knobloch's appointment, Greentown's Co-Founder Jason Hanna and former CFO Kevin T. Taylor, who each served in an interim capacity.

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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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