The CALS Alumni Association is welcoming a new president for the 2014-15 academic year: Peter S. Schott ‘81.
The second-generation owner of the Rochester-based engineering and manufacturing company XLI Corporation, which serves customers in defense and medical diagnostic equipment industries, was actually a horticulturist at Cornell. He majored in pomology and has fond memories of his courses with professors Robert Way and John Tomkins.
“I can still see and hear Dr. Tomkins introducing himself on the first day of class, speaking as he wrote his name on the board, ‘Tomkins, that’s just like the county but without the P’,” Schott said. “At the end of the spring semester he invited the whole class to his home for a picnic and tour of his garden.”
Upon graduation, Schott maintained his Cornell connection through Monroe County Cornell Cooperative Extension, where he is a Master Gardener volunteer and served for several years as a trustee of the Extension Foundation of Monroe County. He also participated as a speaker on a panel at the 2013 Entrepreneurship at Cornell event, and served as a Rochester area representative for the CALS Alumni Association before assuming its presidency.
Professionally, Schott has experience with all aspects of running a small tech company, as well as growing businesses via economic development programs such as Empire State Development and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). He is also committed to sharing his knowledge. He is a director for High Tech Rochester - an organization that promotes new business formation, development and growth in the Finger Lakes region, and operates two business incubator facilities – and a former president of the Rochester chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association.
Schott also serves on the Perkins Advisory Committee at Monroe Community College, which provides guidance to the college’s trustees in awarding Perkins federal grants for programs that help support student success.
When he’s not tooling around the garden or fixing up his Rochester home with wife Mary Jane Tasciotti, Schott can be found making music or attending events with the Cornell Club of Rochester.
“I am always happy to sing the alma mater and will do so without hesitation at the drop of a hat,” Schott said.