Fresh Perspective

Departments - Fresh Perspective

Recycling industry professionals share their perspectives on the industry.

September 3, 2019

Sarah Kaylor

Director of Sales and Marketing at Balcones Resources

Sarah Kaylor grew up in the waste and recycling world; her father and brother have worked in the industry for most of their careers. During a second-grade Career Day event, Kaylor even told classmates she wanted to grow up to be a trash woman.

That goal changed when she went to college. “I wanted to be a sports broadcaster in college,” she says. “My goal was to be the next Erin Andrews. But once I realized that goal was far-fetched, I took a closer look at my career and decided to get an MBA.”

Kaylor received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a master’s in marketing from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

“We want the sales team to engage with the operations team on a day-to-day basis.”

“I also interned at a recycling company right before going back to get my MBA. So, it got my career started in the industry.”

Kaylor joined Balcones Resources, Austin, Texas, in 2013. She currently is the company’s director of sales and marketing, managing sales representatives at Balcones’ three locations in Austin, Dallas and in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Recycling Today (RT): What are some unique projects happening at Balcones Resources?

Sarah Kaylor (SK): It’s been a huge year for us. We recently had our 25th anniversary in January. We hosted a big party for it in February. I know a lot of people on the executive leadership team have been with us since the company started, so it was a big celebration.

We did a retrofit this year; we installed additional equipment at our facility in Austin, Texas. Really, that retrofit was to help us clean up some of that material, making sure we have the cleanest material possible we can send to our buyers.

RT: You studied broadcast journalism while in college. How have those skills translated to your career at Balcones?

SK: The way I’ve used my broadcast journalism degree is by learning how to ask the right questions to get the kind of answer you’re really looking for to understand people and understand what their needs are.

As far as marketing goes, part of what marketing is means understanding people. With the journalism degree, you’re learning how to understand people, what makes them tick and why. So, I think all of that translates well to marketing and asking the important questions to our clients.

RT: What are some challenges you have overcome during your career with Balcones?

SK: With being in sales, you run into sales versus operations. No matter where you work, people see that as the case. It was an obstacle because I didn’t understand the operations and issues they were running into. The biggest thing to improve myself and my team was to learn the operations component—ask the important questions to the operations team. Who is loading the baler? What are problems they run into? I want to understand that.

Balcones is small enough that we get to talk every day to our operations team. We want the sales team to engage with the operations team on a day-to-day basis. We don’t want them to just try to drive the numbers. At the end of the day, I want them to know the numbers that they are selling on the front end impact the back end.