ISRI 2014 Convention: A shoe that didn’t fit

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers address to ISRI attendees, after dodging a thrown shoe.

April 29, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Conferences & Events Legislation & Regulations Municipal / IC&I
An unwelcome interruption attracted national attention at the closing keynote session of the 2014 Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) Annual Convention, held in Las Vegas in April. The closing session featured former first lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Several minutes into Clinton’s presentation, a woman approached the stage and threw a shoe and several pieces of paper at Clinton. The thrown objects missed the former Secretary of State, who initially expressed confusion before joking about the substandard aim of the shoe thrower.

In her presentation and in a question-and-answer period afterward, Clinton approached a wide variety of topics, including America’s competitiveness on the world stage.

Clinton said America is “better positioned than any of our competitors to seize the challenges” facing the world. “Nobody has ever won, in this city [Las Vegas] or anywhere else, by betting against America,” she stated. Clinton also commented, however, that “leadership is not to be taken for granted.”

Clinton referred to America’s “broken immigration system” as one of its challenges, saying immigrants contribute to a “culture of creativity and risk taking” that has helped build America.

In the question-and-answer period with ISRI Chair Jerry Simms, the first question (fittingly after the thrown shoe) dealt with civility in politics and public discourse. Clinton said she had “a serious problem with people who run for office claiming they will never compromise. That’s not how democracy works. It’s rare that you get everything you want.”

Pointing to the positives of compromising, Clinton cited the 2014 budget deal struck in late 2013 between Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. She said the two “certainly spent time listening to each other,” which Clinton said has become disappointingly rare.

In one portion of Clinton’s presentation that touched on the topic of solid waste and recycling, she described a Clinton Climate Initiative program in Delhi, India. Clinton referred to the project as the city’s “first integrated solid waste management system” and said it was diverting tons of plastic scrap each year from landfills and had “given a lot of people good jobs.”
The closing session also featured the presentation of the 2014 ISRI Design for Recycling Award to Dell Computers

At the start of the session, 2014 ISRI Convention Chair Stephen Moss announced that 5,764 people had registered for the convention. He invited those in attendance to make plans for the 2015 ISIR Annual Convention, to be held in Canada at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Incoming ISRI Chair Doug Kramer also delivered comments. He praised the accomplishments and guidance of outgoing ISRI chair Jerry Simms and said that, as with Simms, greater ISRI safety program participation and a better industry safety record will be one of his top priorities.

Kramer reflected back on sitting in as a young man with his father at committee meetings for ISRI and its predecessor organizations. “People from all over the country were having real debates; together, you could see that they really cared about what they were doing,” he recalled.

Regarding his new role, Kramer called it “both thrilling and terrifying . . . to take the reins” of ISRI considering its size and scope in 2014.

The ISRI 2014 Convention & Exposition was April 6-10 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.