Personnel Notes

Departments - Personnel Notes

Personnel announcements from recyclers and those allied to the industry

December 2, 2019

NWRA elects new leadership for Women’s Council

The Women’s Council of the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), Arlington, Virginia, has elected new leaders for 2020. Among the changes in leadership, Faith Zydowsky, vice president of Ocala, Florida-based Sierra Container Group, has been named president.

“Congratulations to the 2020 board on their newly elected positions. On behalf of the 2020 board, we look forward to the continued growth of our fine membership, professional development activities and fundraising for our scholarship program,” Zydowsky says. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the waste and recycling industry as vice president and chair of fundraising for the NWRA Women’s Council. I am eager and excited to work with the exceptional members of this organization.”

Outgoing NWRA Women’s Council President Carmen Smothers of 3rd Eye, Katy, Texas, says, “It has been a pleasure to serve as president of the NWRA Women’s Council. We have done great things together, and I know that will continue. I look forward to supporting the industry and the Women’s Council in other roles.”

In addition to Zydowsky and Smothers, others elected to the 2020 NWRA Women’s Council board include:

All Women’s Council board members terms begin Jan. 1, 2020.

Recycle Track Systems appoints new chief technology officer

Recycle Track Systems (RTS), headquartered in New York, has appointed Allyn L. Shaw as its new president and chief technology officer. RTS works with local, independent haulers to outfit vehicles with proprietary routing technology designed to streamline collection routes and communicate with individual pickup sites.


In this newly created role, Shaw will oversee the expansion of RTS’ technology platform as the company continues to grow. He also will focus on enabling end-to-end technology and operations, including software, data management, mobility and communication technologies, to support scalability and innovation.

Shaw previously served as chief operations officer of global information security at Bank of America, delivering end-to-end technology and operating services across the company supporting 66 million customers worldwide.

“We are thrilled a proven leader like Allyn is joining the RTS executive leadership team,” says RTS CEO Greg Lettieri. “Allyn’s experience gives him a unique perspective on how workforce strategy, operations and technology intersect to increase sustainability efforts and operational efficiencies for our customers. At RTS, we strive to uphold our core values of service, transparency and sustainability, and Allyn will be critical in helping the company achieve those goals.”

RTS says it completed a second round of funding earlier this year and has rapidly grown its customer base. It also has started supporting smart-city initiatives after expanding into the municipal sector, where its digital solutions can help advance city operations and connect local, independent haulers to the community.

Metal Exchange Corp. names new CEO


Metal Exchange Corp. (MEC), headquartered in St. Louis, has announced that Rick Merluzzi has been promoted to chief executive officer. Mike Lefton, the current MEC chairman and CEO, will assume the title of executive chairman.

Merluzzi oversees all MEC businesses, including Metal Exchange Trading, Pennex Aluminum Co., Continental Aluminum and Electro Cycle Inc. He joined the company 15 years ago as president of MEC subsidiary Pennex Aluminum Co. For the past five years, he has served as president and chief operating officer of MEC.

“Much of our success at MEC can be attributed to Rick Merluzzi’s outstanding leadership,” says Lefton. “Rick builds high-performing teams internally and creates valued partnerships externally. I have extreme confidence in Rick’s ability to continue to lead Metal Exchange Corp. to new heights as we continue our quest to impact our world and create raving fans.”

Merluzzi says, “Metal Exchange has an incredible track record of success over its 45-year history. I am humbled and honored to work for this family-owned, people-focused organization, which has a long-term commitment to our industry. We have grown substantially by focusing on helping our customers achieve success. This impressive growth is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of the many talented people throughout our company who embrace our core values of safety, integrity, respect and drive.”

Weima business development and sales manager retires

Weima America, Fort Mill, South Carolina, has announced the retirement of Mark Kunz, who served as business development and sales manager for the past 12 years. His retirement began in July.

Kunz “epitomizes the meaning of collaboration, a Weima core value, and has taken great pride in the work he’s done throughout his career in this industry,” the company says.

“Weima America was fortunate to have Mark Kunz on board for over a decade,” says Madison Burt, vice president of sales for Weima America. “Mark’s dynamic and engaging personality created connections for Weima that will last long after he has left. Mark is the perennial door opener. He was excellent at making the initial connection with a customer or OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and then ensuring they got everything they were asking for and more.”

In memoriam: Peter J. Avagliano

Peter J. Avagliano, a leader in the steel recycling industry who specialized in ferrous scrap imports, died Oct. 26 at the age of 88 at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Avagliano was a longtime resident of Jersey City, New Jersey.

Born in Maplewood, New Jersey, he moved to Jersey City in 1952. He spent his entire 53-year career at Jersey City-based Schiavone-Bonomo Corp., later Hugo Neu Schnitzer East, and rose from the position of office assistant to executive vice president. He started at Schiavone-Bonomo in 1950 and was promoted to vice president in 1976. He became executive vice president of the company in 1985. At the end of his career, he was the senior advisor to Hugo Neu Schnitzer East.

According to Avagliano’s obituary, he was a known leader in the steel recycling industry. He was also very active in the Institute of Scrap Iron and Steel association, a predecessor to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, and he was president of the association’s New Jersey chapter from 1977 to 1979 as well as national chair of its foreign trade committee in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Avagliano is survived by his wife, Mary; his children, John and Joan; his daughter-in-law, Marisa, and son-in-law, Tom Psathas; and his grandchildren, Kristin, Danielle, Alessia, Peter, James and Giana. Funeral services were Nov. 1 at Riotto Funeral Home & Cremation Co. in Jersey City.