Work description: I wrote this Press Release for SWANA in order to announce its Keynote Speakers at the WASTECON 2019 event. The boilerplate included at the end of all SWANA Press Releases and the formatting of their press releases have not been included here.

SWANA Announces Keynote Lineup for WASTECON 2019

Innovative recycling insights to be shared by Jon Vander Ark, Republic Services, Inc., Taimur Burki, Intel, and more

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is excited to announce the keynote speaker lineup for its WASTECON 2019 conference to be held in PHOENIX, Ariz., from October 21-24, 2019. Attendees at this year’s conference will hear from recycling industry experts and innovation leaders about sound methods to improve their recycling performance and strategize for the future thanks to our Keynote lineup. 

Jon Vander Ark, President of Republic Services, Inc. is scheduled to kick-off the conference by revealing how to turn recycling into a resilient business with his address, “Forging a New Path to a Sustainable Recycling Model.” Republic Services, Inc. is the second largest provider of non-hazardous solid waste services providing pick-up, transfer, disposal, recycling and waste-to-energy for its customers by revenue. Serving in various roles at the company since 2013, Mr. Ark will share insights on how to strategically optimize business performance in the recycling industry based on his own successes. 

Dr. Teri Pipe, Chief Well-Being Officer at the Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience, Arizona State University, is scheduled to give a Discovery Series address: “High Performing Leadership and Mindfulness in Action.” Dr. Pipe explains how solid-waste collection, the fifth deadliest profession in the U.S., could benefit from mindfulness: “While mindfulness may seem like a ‘soft skill,’ in reality, there are many ways that using mindful practices can translate into risk reduction, error prevention and safer outcomes.” 

Harvey Gershman is the Co-Founder of Gershman, Brickner, & Bratton, Inc. (GBB), a consulting firm specializing in solid waste management. With over forty years of experience, Mr. Gershman shares his award-winning insights on balancing recycling, sustainability and community engagement in his Lawrence Lecture address this year. As a GBB adviser to the industry in both the private and public sectors, he has aided long-term strategic planning and implementation for numerous solid waste management, recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy projects. 

Peter C. Wright, Assistant Administrator of the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), will give conference attendees a preview of OLEM’s work in his address, “Framework for Recycling in the U.S.” Over the past year, Mr. Wright has played a crucial role in developing OLEM’s national recycling framework to be announced on America Recycles Day, November 15, 2019. Nominated to the position of Assistant Administrator of OLEM on March 20, 2018, Mr. Wright previously worked closely with the EPA for nearly two decades on regulatory issues, environmental remediation, and Superfund site management as managing counsel for the environmental, health, and safety matters at Dow Chemical Company.    

Dr. Travis May aims to help the solid waste industry engage its stakeholders with storytelling in his address: “The Importance of Storytelling.” Dr. May is the Storytelling and Workforce Faculty member of the Storytelling Institute of South Mountain Community College. The Institute now partners with ASU’s Changemaker’s Initiative thanks to his leadership. He draws upon his diverse educational background in Anthropology, Education, and Organizational Outreach to frame how organizations often miss important storytelling opportunities for strengthening the workplace community.

In her role as Resident Futurist at the Alliance for Innovation, Rebecca Ryan predicts future outcomes to aid complex decision-making. In her address, “Discovery Series: Making a Big Bet on the Future,” she evaluates how solid waste industry professionals can best invest capital, time, and resources. A successful thought-leader, entrepreneur, and TEDx speaker, Ms. Ryan is a faculty member at the Institute for Zen Leadership, the founder of Futurist Camp, the inventor of Futures Labs, and the owner of NEXT Generation Consulting, Inc. She is also author of several books including ReGENERATION: A Manifesto for America’s Future Leaders (2013)

Taimur Burki, Waste and Recycling Manager at Intel, will share how engaging a culture of sustainability from the ground up influences his approach in his address, “From Dumpster Diver to Driving Global Change.” A Fortune 200 company, Intel generated a revenue of $70.8 billion in 2018. Mr. Burki summarized its minimal waste footprint: “In 2018, we sent just 4% of our hazardous waste to landfill – and since 2010, we've kept that number below 5%. But as the rate has fluctuated slightly from year to year, it's a good reminder that it's an ongoing journey.” Mr. Burki has also helped the company achieve a 90%-plus recycling rate and conserve 60 billion gallons of water worldwide over his two decades at Intel.

SWANA proudly welcomes all of this year’s WASTECON 2019 Keynotes as generous contributors to an important industry-wide conversation surrounding sustainable business innovation. We expect all attendees to benefit from valuable perspectives on workplace culture, strategic planning, and resilience in step with future demands.