Marilla Kiwanis hosts annual dinner
A punch and appetizer social before dinner was organized by Lynne Parry and Joyce Cullen. Chairmen of the event Dan Handy and Dave Weaver presented Michael Sawyer as the featured speaker for the program,
Sawyer is a co-founder, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Western New York Energy, LLC, a 50 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Shelby, NY, which produces ethanol gasoline from corn.
Since many farmers in Marilla produce corn, this was thought to be a timely topic for those in attendance.
Prior to beginning his work with Western New York Energy in early 2005, Sawyer had experience in business planning, corporate finance and sales operations roles for Rochester area companies including Celltech Pharmaceuticals, Frontier Corporation and Harris Corp.
Sawyer spoke of the production process and the impact of ethanol production in WNY. Their facility was completed in 2007 at a cost of $90 million and was the first plant like this in the northern-eastern United States.
He stated that they produce various items such as fuel grade ethanol, grain to be used in beverages and food production processes.
Ethanol added to fuel helps by enhancing the octane of fuel and also improves automobile performance, while it decreases the price of gasoline and decreases dependency on foreign oil.
The WNY energy plant runs with a very high efficiency emission control system.
A question and answer period followed the program and many questions were presented and answered.
Club President Jerry Weitz thanked all for attending and it was agreed that the dinner provided by the Whistle Stop Restaurant was excellent.
The next meeting of the club will be a board of directors meeting at 630 p.m. on Jan. 3 at the Whistle Stop.
For information on membership or meeting attendance, please call 652-7608.