Meet the instructor: Byron R. Cotter

Ken Marich

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is proud to introduce Byron R. Cotter as an ILR Instructor and the President of the ILR Board of Directors.

Byron was born and raised in Wichita, KS. He attended Wichita High School North (1962-65) where he met his future wife Sharon. He attended the University of Kansas and earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1969. Byron and Sharon married and then moved to Madison, WI where he earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in organic chemistry with a specialty in organic photochemistry.

Ready for the working world, Byron and Sharon moved to Grand Island, NY where he took a job in research and development with the Hooker Chemical Company which is now Occidental Chemical Corporation. During that period, he earned an MBA from SUNY at Buffalo. After nine years of experience with Hooker, they moved to northern New Jersey where he took a research and development management position at Unilever, a multinational consumer goods company with headquarters based in London and Rotterdam. He worked for Unilever for 23 years which included two years at Unilever Research, Port Sunlight Laboratory, in Bebington, UK. As a result of the many research projects Byron worked on during his career, he holds ten patents.

Byron retired in 2005 and he and Sharon moved to SaddleBrooke in 2006. He immediately got involved in many of the SaddleBrooke activities including volunteering for the SaddleBrooke TWO Communications Committee, Golf Task Force, the Accounting Task Force and the Golf Committee. Photography is a serious hobby for both Byron and Sharon and he is currently the secretary and webmaster for the DIGS photography club.

Byron is a strong advocate for continuing education in SaddleBrooke and has taught several courses in the ILR program. He became a member of the board of directors in 2010 and when the founder of ILR died in 2014, Byron was selected to become the president of the ILR. Byron Cotter is an asset to the SaddleBrooke community and a competent leader and teacher for the ILR. For more information about the ILR go to