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Updated: May 2, 2022 / The Power 50 for 2022

2022 Power 50: Michael O’Kronley

Photo | Courtesy of Ascend Elements Michael O’Kronley, CEO & director of Ascend Elements, Inc., in Westborough
Michael O’Kronley Titles CEO & director Company Ascend Elements, Inc., in Westborough Residences Westborough and Novi, Mich. College University of Michigan Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here
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Michael O’Kronley and Ascend Elements’ goal is to be at the forefront of the public’s transition from gas-guzzling cars to electric vehicles.

O’Kronley joined Ascend’s board in 2017 before becoming CEO of the lithium battery recycler and manufacturer in 2020. Founded with research from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Ascend has seen vast expansion over the past year with O’Kronley overseeing $95 million in investments used to expand the company’s commercial markets domestically and breaking into new international markets. In January, Ascend opened a $43-million, 154,000-square-foot facility in Georgia, capable of processing 30,000 metric tons of discarded lithium.

Prior to Ascend, O’Kronley was the executive director of A123 Systems, where he served as head of corporate strategy for the renewable energy semiconductor manufacturer in Michigan, which utilized nanoscale materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With a carbon footprint 87% less than its competitors, Ascend walks the walk as it gives new life to old batteries and reduces the need for mining lithium from the ground.

What sets the Central Mass. business community apart from the rest of the world? With world-class universities like Worcester Polytechnic Institute and MIT in the region, Central Massachusetts is a dream location for any climate tech startup.

Walking the walk, driving the car: I have been working with lithium-ion batteries for 12 years, but I finally bought my first EV, a Ford Mustang Mach-E, last year. It’s fantastic!

Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here

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