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For its 2013 Convention and Exposition, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. is planning the largest exhibit hall yet and a full roster of speakers.

February 11, 2013
Brian Taylor

Regular attendees of the annual Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) Convention and Exposition have grown to expect a large exhibit hall and a program that offers a considerable number of sessions.

Planners of the 2013 event, to occur April 9-13 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., promise more of the same, calling it “the largest ISRI Convention and Exposition ever.”

As the ISRI convention dates approach, additional information is available at the event’s website,

Podium Presence

Among the many high expectations ISRI annual convention planners have set for themselves is finding keynote speakers who cause attendees to compete for good seats at these early morning sessions.

Past speakers have included former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and U.S. Army General Colin Powell.

At the 2013 convention, on the morning of Saturday, April 13, Tom Brokaw, former “NBC Nightly News” anchor and managing editor, will step to the podium to recount his career in the network news industry.

During his broadcast journalism career, Brokaw worked in Los Angeles, Washington and New York. He and the programs he anchored won Peabody, duPont and Emmy awards.

Six years before retiring as a full-time broadcaster in 2004, Brokaw authored the nonfiction best-seller “The Greatest Generation,” his tribute to Americans who survived the Great Depression and united in the effort to win World War II.

The 1998 book is described by Brokaw as telling the story of “America’s citizen heroes and heroines who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America. This generation was united not only by a common purpose, but also by common values—duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country and, above all, responsibility for oneself.”

Brokaw is not the only noteworthy personality making an appearance at the ISRI 2013 Convention and Exposition, as he is joined by a pair of former governors and a winner of 12 Olympic medals.

The morning of Thursday, April 11, former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) and former Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) will offer their perspectives on the current political climate. As well, according to the ISRI convention website, they may help answer the question, “Can a Democrat and a Republican safely share the same stage anymore?”

Barbour and Rendell each served two terms as governor of their states and each has served as chairperson of the two major national political parties. Rendell has offered political analysis on NBC News and MSNBC, while Barbour makes regular presentations for the Leading Authorities speakers’ bureau.

As part of its Just for Fun program, often enjoyed by attendees’ family members who are not involved in the scrap business, 12-time Olympic swimming medalist Dara Torres will offer a presentation.

Torres began swimming in international competitions at age 14 and continued to compete into her 30s and 40s. At the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, she became the oldest swimmer to compete in Olympic history. According to the ISRI Convention and Exposition website, Torres will offer insight as to how to “stay competitive in a field half your age and about the importance of never giving up on your dream.”

Hot Commodities
In addition to newsmakers and reporters, the convention will offer considerable programming of direct interest to processors and traders of scrap commodities.

The most commonly traded materials again will be the focus of spotlight sessions in 2013, with the schedule including the following sessions:

ISRI staff members and committee members also are busy preparing programming to cover a wider variety of educational topics, including safety, processing techniques, emerging markets and transportation. When the final program is in place, ISRI says it expects to host some 100 educational sessions.

Electronics recycling is the particular focus of attention Wednesday, April 10, with Electronics Recycling Workshops that run all day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While most board and governance meetings will occur April 9 and April 10, the Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter will hold its meeting Thursday, April 11, from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m.

Exhibiting it All

Ranging alphabetically from Accent Wire to Young Corp., the 2012 list of exhibitors at the ISRI Convention also covered a broad range of products and services.

This year’s roster of exhibitors promises to be just as comprehensive, as ISRI is taking advantage of its location at the Orange County Convention Center to make available a record amount of floor space.

ISRI says it is expecting more than 300 exhibiting companies in 2013, and buyers and sellers of equipment and commodities will have plenty of chances to interact in the exhibit hall and in meeting rooms throughout the convention center.

Wednesday, April 10, a 6:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the opening of the exhibit hall, followed by a Gala Opening event that will last until 9:30 p.m. The three-hour event will offer the first of several opportunities for scrap recyclers to shop for the equipment they’ll need to keep their businesses moving forward in 2013.

Thursday, the exhibit hall is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with lunch being served there from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Friday’s exhibit hall schedule is similar (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), again with lunch being served from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Outside of the exhibit hall, people wishing to meet up with existing business contacts or to cultivate new ones also will have the opportunity to do so at a variety of receptions that will be held Thursday and Friday evenings, including the Consumers Night Reception from 6 to 7 Friday.

The networking comes to a festive conclusion Saturday night with the Grand Closing Event at Universal Studios.

Those interested in learning more about the 2013 ISRI Convention and Exposition, including how to register and book hotels near the Orange County Convention Center, can visit

Before and After

The 2013 Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) Convention and Exhibition starts with a series of meetings delving into the details of governance and ends with a party at an amusement park.

For many attendees, the event will not start until the exhibit hall opens with the Gala Opening event Wednesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m.

However, for the dozens of scrap company owners, executives and managers who volunteer on ISRI committees, April 9 and April 10 will include appointments at board and committee meetings that run those two days.

The bulk of the convention’s programming (as well as most of the exhibit hall hours) occur Thursday, April 11, and Friday, April 12.

Saturday, April 13, attendees who remain in Orlando will be rewarded with the appearance of Tom Brokaw at the Chair-Elect’s Breakfast from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and with additional workshops that run from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The convention closes with a bang—or perhaps the wave of a magic wand—Saturday night, when “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” exhibit at Universal Studios Orlando hosts the Grand Closing Event.

ISRI promises “unlimited access to the incredible rides and attractions in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, from the streets of Hogsmeade to Hogwarts Castle.” Also included are dinner at Universal’s CityWalk and a desserts reception at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

More information can be found at



The author is editorial director and associate publisher of Recycling Today and can be contacted at