W&J to Honor Entrepreneurs of the Year at 25th Annual Entrepreneurial Leadership Dinner

WASHINGTON, PA (Nov. 2, 2011)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) will honor Robert M. Beavers, Jr. ’65, founder, chairman and CEO of Beavers Holdings, LLC, and Lalit M. Chordia, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Thar Technologies in Pittsburgh, as Entrepreneurs of the Year at its 25th annual Entrepreneurial Leadership Dinner Nov. 9 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.

Beavers Holdings, LLC, is comprised of nine companies that provide a variety of goods and services to quick-service restaurants and the casual-dining industry. Beavers’ first acquisition was a leveraged buyout of Fresh Start Bakeries, a group of 14 bakeries that provides baked goods for McDonald’s restaurants across four continents. Previously, Beavers worked for 37 years at McDonald’s Corporation, where he rose from a part-time crew employee to the head of the Midwestern/Western zones, responsible for several thousand restaurants exceeding $5 billion in annual sales. He became the first African-American elected to McDonald’s Board of Directors in 1990, where he served for 19 years until his 

Beavers received a Distinguished Service Award in 1993 from W&J, where he also serves on the board of trustees. Beavers attended W&J before earning his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.

At Thar Technologies, Chordia is a pioneer in the research and development, manufacturing and commercialization of green materials processing technologies.

Thar Technologies is a global leader in green, high-pressure processing technologies for
the pharmaceutical, food, chemical and energy industries. Originally built as four distinct
operating divisions, the company expanded operations domestically and internationally under Chordia’s technological and commercial leadership. The divisions spun off into separate operating entities, including Thar Pharmaceuticals, Thar Process, Thar Energy and Thar Geothermal. The largest group, Thar Instrumentals, which specialized in analytical instrumentation for drug development, recently was sold to Waters Corporation.

Chordia holds a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

W&J established its Entrepreneurial Studies Program in 1986 with the generous support of Dr. Joseph A. Hardy III.  The program has received national recognition for innovation and excellence. Exemplary students in the Entrepreneurial Studies Program are designated as Hardy Scholars. During the past 25 years, the College has honored a variety of regional business builders for their success as entrepreneurs, including Hardy; Kenneth R. Melani, M.D. ’75, president and CEO of Highmark, Inc.; William C. Byham, Ph.D., co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI), Inc.; and Daniel M. Rooney, chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tickets are $125 per person for the dinner, which is open to the public. For reservations, contact 724-223-6075.