Award-winning research scientist and prolific entrepreneur Lalit Chordia is founder and CEO of Thar Process Inc., one of his many spinoff companies, which is focused on optimizing the medical marijuana industry—that means extracting, separating and reconstituting cannabinoids to create consistent concentrations for treatment of pain, glaucoma, muscle spasms, nausea and other disorders. In 1990, Dr. Chordia founded the parent company, Thar Technologies Inc., which pioneered the commercialization of supercritical fluid technology that can be used in the food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, chemical and energy industries. An adjunct research scientist at Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute, Dr. Chordia moved to Pittsburgh from India at 22, receiving his doctorate in chemical engineering from CMU in 1985. We cannot wait to follow his progress.

Monday, November 14

Every morning I start my day on the treadmill, reading The Wall Street Journal.

As the work week begins at our offices in RIDC Industrial Park, I look forward to diving into a new project—bringing pharmaceutical science rigor to the cannabinoid industry that is being run as the Wild, Wild West. For me, it’s about making better medicines.

I’m also learning to be a barista—we closed the Blue Elephant Café near my office but the equipment I own is still there so I make my own lattes.

Tuesday, November 15

Thank goodness for my assistant, Carm Acre, who keeps my schedule flowing. I believe in hard work, a positive attitude, honesty and loyalty—and she shares these attributes! Frustration and long hours are common for entrepreneurs, but it’s satisfying if you love what you do.

Lalit Chordia in Iceland.

Today I will work with my trainer, who comes twice a week to our home, so I’m looking forward to coffee with Todd Palcic, my partner from my former company, Thar Instruments. We do real estate development together and we like to talk about what we can do to make Pittsburgh better.

After, I will attend the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh‘s 46th World Affairs Institute for Student Leaders event at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Wednesday, November 16

Today I’m meeting with Ed Green, director of engineering at Thar Energy, and Marc Portnoff, general manager of Thar Geothermal, to talk about the science of producing electricity from food waste, sewage waste, manure, and other materials without polluting the environment. Not the best topic, perhaps, for a lunch meeting, but we’ll talk over Thai food at Silk Elephant.

Tonight, my wife Supriya and I are having dinner at the Duquesne Club with international attorney Dennis Unkovic and his wife, Diane. With the election, it’ll be a lively conversation about politics and our country!

Thursday, November 17

I have a meeting at Avenue B with my friend Ravi, to talk about lowering health care costs through automation.

After work, I want to stop by the Holiday Happy Hour benefiting Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, for hors d’oeuvres at the Fairmont Pittsburgh. It’s a great event for the Free Care Fund at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. I’m donating gift cards since I didn’t have time to shop for any toys.

Friday, November 18

Every Friday, I have a strategy meeting regarding Thar Process with CFO Paul Skanderson, VP of Business Development Brian Moyer, and General Manager Dr. Jose Martinez. Thar Process will oversee the work to improve the composition of cannabinoids.

Lalit Chordia in Iceland.

I’m thrilled that a green energy installation is part of this year’s Light Up Night: the wind-powered LED-light display on the Rachel Carson Bridge. Supriya is meeting me at the Ft. Duquesne Boulevard riverfront promenade to check it out.

Then we’ll have our usual Friday night date—dinner at Donato’s in Fox Chapel where we live—and a movie.

Saturday, November 19

I have tickets to attend the 50th Anniversary Gala for Community College of Allegheny County at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, where the CCAC Educational Foundation will honor 50 distinguished alums. I’m impressed by the broad program offerings at Pittsburgh’s colleges and universities—it’s important to steer students to careers of the future and show them how to become entrepreneurs.

Sunday, November 20

Sundays are made for relaxation—I’ll work a few Sudoku puzzles with my morning coffee. Keeps my brain healthy!

We have Steelers season tickets, but today they play in Cleveland so I’ll watch the game on TV after Sunday brunch with friends at Ten Penny.

See who else is NEXT Up here.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...