The board of directors for the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), Raleigh, North Carolina, has announced the election of three new members.
The new board members are Tim Benter, vice president, engineering and environmental compliance, at Republic Services, Phoenix; John Casella, chairman and CEO at Casella Waste Systems, Rutland, Vermont; and Mike de Castro, executive vice president, supply chain, at Covanta, Morristown, New Jersey.
EREF says its board of directors consists of executives representing all aspects of the waste industry, including haulers, facility owners, consulting firms and waste equipment manufacturers. The appointment of the new board members aligns with the five-year expanded strategic direction set forth by the board in 2016 to position EREF as a leading source of waste industry funding, education and research, the foundation says.
Since 2016, Benter has worked with Republic Services as vice president of engineering and environmental compliance, a role in which he manages corporate and field engineering and environmental compliance strategy, planning and execution. Previously, he served 18 years within Republic Services’ legal department, most recently as vice president and deputy general counsel. Benter has been a member of the Phoenix Suns Charities’ board of directors since 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Maryland, a Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
“With increased public and corporate focus on environmental initiatives, including clean energy and waste reduction, EREF’s research and funded projects are and will continue to be critically important in thoughtfully shaping industry policy and operations,” Benter says. “I’m pleased to serve on EREF’s board with members who are as passionate about the foundation and advancing the industry as I am.”
Casella has served as Casella Waste System’s chairman of the board of directors since July 2001 and as CEO since 1993. Additionally, he served as the company’s president from 1993 to July 2001 and as chairman of the board of directors from 1993 to December 1999. He received an Associate of Science in business management from Bryant & Stratton College and a Bachelor of Science in business education from Castleton State College.
Casella says, “Our industry has an important role to play in helping to develop a sustainable approach to how we use and renew the world’s limited resources. It has been my personal mission for over 40 years, and now I’m excited to be a part of this industrywide effort as part of EREF’s board.”
De Castro began working for Covanta in 2015 as executive vice president, supply chain. Throughout his 33-year career in the waste industry, he has served in various roles, including CEO of Interstate Waste Services, director of global operations Americas for Air Products and Chemicals Inc. and vice president of Operations for American Ref-Fuel Co. De Castro received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in 1984 and his Master of Business Administration from Boston University in 2002.
“Through its commitment to education, innovation and research, EREF is paving the way for a new generation of leaders and forward-thinkers to guide the waste industry towards a more sustainable future,” says de Castro. “I’m honored to support EREF’s mission as a member of the foundation’s board.”