Personnel Notes

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Personnel announcements from recyclers and those allied to the industry

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May 6, 2019

Jerry Simms

Jerry Simms receives ISRI’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has awarded its 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award to Jerry Simms, who retired from Atlas Metal & Iron Corp. of Denver. Simms received the award during ISRI’s 2019 Convention & Exposition April 8-11 in Los Angeles.

Simms’ career in the scrap recycling industry spanned more than four decades, during which time he led a number of what ISRI calls key regulatory and legislative victories for the industry through his involvement with the organization.

“This year the honoree is Jerry Simms, and what a deserving winner he is. He has always been an ISRI mentor to me,” says Brian Shine, ISRI chairman and president of Lancaster, New York-based Manitoba Corp. “Conducting himself with class and professionalism, he has a special gift to include input from everyone around him and then make thoughtful decisions that always promoted the best interests of our industry and its members,” Shine says.

ISRI reports that Simms was a leading advocate for Superfund reform to protect scrap recycling companies. In 1991, he wrote to ISRI encouraging the organization and the industry to aggressively fight Superfund’s injustices. He argued that the law unfairly made scrap recycling companies liable for contamination that other companies caused. His letter called for rallying ISRI members at the grassroots level and leveraging their political power to effect change on this critical issue. His efforts culminated in the passage of the Superfund Recycling Equity Act (SREA) in 1999. Simms’ effort helped build a political structure at the trade association, the Grass Roots Implementation Team (GRIT).

“I had the enormous pleasure of working closely with Jerry on Superfund all the way through his term as chair and beyond,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “There is no stronger advocate for ISRI and the recycling industry than Jerry. He showed us the power one person can have, bringing together an entire industry to fight for a cause.”

Simms held other ISRI leadership positions, including chair of the government affairs committee, member of the stormwater steering committee, nonferrous division director, director at large, chair of the ISRI PAC Leadership Council, member of the national board of directors and head of task forces that addressed SREA, automotive mercury switches and other issues. He led the membership criteria subgroup that helped draft ISRI’s code of conduct. Simms also was ISRI’s board chair from 2012 to 2014.

Greif president/CEO becomes AF&PA board chair

The Washington-based American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has elected Pete Watson, the president and CEO of Greif Inc., Delaware, Ohio, as AF&PA board chair.

“I am eager to partner with AF&PA’s leadership to advance 2019 advocacy priorities that will support our industry’s ability to grow the economy and create American manufacturing jobs,” Watson says. “A more resilient market-based paper recycling system, improved transportation infrastructure, free and fair trade, a competitive tax system and regulatory reforms and process improvements top our list. All will set a stronger foundation for the one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the nation to prosper as our companies apply sustainable manufacturing practices to make the products that improve everyday life.”

Watson has served as president and CEO of Greif since Nov. 1, 2015, having previously served as chief operating officer. He joined Greif in 1999.

AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman says, “Under Pete Watson’s leadership, we’ll share the industry’s compelling story with decision-makers in Washington and in state legislatures to ensure public policy clearly reflects the benefits of our products to society and reflects the needs of our members and their hard-working employees.”

In addition to Watson, AF&PA officers include First Vice Chair Mark Sutton of International Paper, Memphis, Tennessee, Second Vice Chair Mike Doss of Graphic Packaging International Inc., Atlanta, and Immediate Past Chair John Rooney of Evergreen Packaging LLC, Memphis.

RRS appoints two senior consultants

Resource Recycling Systems Inc. (RRS), Ann Arbor, Michigan, has added Elisa Seltzer and Shaun Spalding to its team as senior consultants.

Seltzer is the former public works director for Emmet County, Michigan, where she designed and oversaw the county’s self-funded resource recovery program. During her 30-year tenure with Emmet County, Seltzer helped the county reach a diversion rate approaching 50 percent, spearheaded the bin-to-cart transition for six municipalities and managed a regional facility that included a material recovery facility (MRF) providing recycling processing services in a hub-and-spoke network of five counties, a transfer station and a compost facility.

In her role as senior consultant, she will focus on assisting communities in developing and improving recycling and composting programs and cultivating public-private partnerships.

Spalding is a certified engineering technologist and environmental professional in waste management. Throughout his 19-year career, he has worked in the public and private sectors, improving operational service delivery, developing program and material specific strategies, creating master plans and conducting material stream composition studies.

He will work with public and private sector clients as a senior consultant focusing on recovery infrastructure development, including MRFs, transfer stations and organics recovery sites.

From left: Michael Goldstein and Jay Robinovitz; photo by Jason Winkeler Photography

Alter makes changes to executive team

St. Louis-based Alter Trading Corp. has made changes to its executive team designed to support the extension of the company’s growth strategy and to advance its succession planning. The changes include promoting Michael Goldstein, the fifth generation of his family to lead Alter, to the role of vice president of operations. Goldstein is now responsible for Alter’s daily operations and capital allocation across its 70 locations.

Goldstein reports to Alter President and CEO Jay Robinovitz.

Alter also made the following promotions that affect its executive leadership:

  • Jack Grundfest, who joined Alter last year as part of the Tenenbaum Recycling Group (TRG) acquisition, was promoted to senior vice president. In addition, he took on the newly created role of chief administrative officer. Grundfest will lead the company’s human resources, safety, environmental and ISO quality departments. He also will oversee the TRG group and the Arkansas operations.
  • David Klein was promoted to senior vice president of nonferrous marketing. Klein has been with Alter since 2004 and has led the company’s nonferrous business since 2016. Klein has been “instrumental in developing new products and new markets” for the company’s nonferrous commodities, Alter says.
  • Lisa Walden, who has been with Alter since 2011, was promoted to senior vice president of finance and treasury. The company says Walden will assume more responsibility to facilitate Oliver’s transition to president.

Also, Bob “Rosie” Rosencrants and Jim Logerquist retired from the company in April. Rosencrants had been a part of the company for more than 40 years and retired as vice president of operations. Logerquist retired from his position as vice president of human resources.

These changes, which became effective March 31, demonstrate Alter’s desire “to develop its successors from within and to establish a team of capable leaders charged with preserving a proud tradition and extending a pattern of profitable growth,” the company says in the news release announcing the changes.

NWRA re-elects board chairs

The board of trustees for the Arlington, Virginia-based National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) has re-elected Ben Harvey as chairman and Dave Call as treasurer of the organization.

Harvey is the president of Westborough, Massachusetts-based regional recycling and waste firm E.L. Harvey & Sons Inc. Call is the senior vice president for business development at Phoenix-based national waste and recycling firm Republic Services Inc.

The renewed terms of these positions take effect at WasteExpo May 6-9 in Las Vegas.

“I am pleased that Ben and Dave will continue to serve on the board of trustees,” says NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “They bring tremendous experience, and I appreciate their perspective. Our industry is facing many challenges and their leadership is valuable.”