Waste360 Unveils the Inaugural Women Who Inspire Award Winners

Recognizes Five Extraordinary Women in the Waste and Recycling Industry for Leadership, Achievements and Empowering Others

NEW YORK, April 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Waste360 today unveiled the inaugural Women Who Inspire award winners. The program recognizes the extraordinary women in the waste and recycling industry for their leadership and achievements, as well as for empowering others.

Liz Bothwell, Head of Content & Marketing and Waste360 NothingWasted! Podcast Host said, “We are overjoyed to announce the winners of this inaugural award. As we combed through hundreds of nominations, it was clear that the waste and recycling industry is filled with remarkable women doing important work. This award not only celebrates proven leaders, but women who elevate others along the way. We look forward to celebrating them at WasteExpo in May.”

The Women Who Inspire winners:

  • Anne Germain, COO and SVP of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, National Waste & Recycling Association: Germain understands the inner workings of the waste and recycling industry. She knows both the public and private sectors, and her engineering background is one of the many tools in her professional toolkit. She has moved the needle on the local, state, and national advocacy levels. She also leads the Healthcare Waste Institute, the Recycling Committee, the Landfill Institute, and other working groups focused on sustainability and environmental justice. Germain is a true example of a leader. Her work is driving the industry forward and she actively mentors along the way. 
  • Joy Grahek, Executive Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives, GFL Environmental Inc.: Grahek has been in the waste and recycling industry for 20+ years, working on numerous acquisitions and divestitures. She has been instrumental in the massive growth of GFL Environmental and brings a wealth of knowledge and calm to every deal and transaction. Grahek is constantly advocating for women in waste and the next generation of industry leaders and she is at the forefront of today’s timely issues such as climate change.
  • Dana Gunders, Executive Director, ReFED: Gunders has been a passionate voice promoting a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system – one that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow. Under her leadership, ReFED has become a trusted partner for various stakeholders seeking to make an impact in the food waste space. Gunders believes that everyone has a role in fighting food waste, and this inclusive mindset has guided her work. Her path from scientist to author to consultant to executive director of ReFED has demonstrated multiple ways to approach a career in sustainability for women and others.
  • Michelle Leonard, Senior Vice President, SCS Engineers: Leonard has invested 35+ years into a career focused on solid waste management, working to lead communities in their efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste materials. She is well-known for helping businesses, educational institutions, and municipalities successfully adopt a sustainable materials management program as a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycle. Her work finds new implementable opportunities to minimize environmental impacts, conserve resources and reduce costs. Leonard’s expertise in solid waste management regulations and practices has helped many city, county, and state regulators to manage successful and award-winning waste management and recycling projects. Leonard is currently driving the firm’s strategies and response to California Senate Bill 1383, the State’s Food Waste Reduction Act to meet the growing need for composting strategies, technologies, and facilities. Leonard is a mentor, guide, and influencer for the women and young professionals at SCS Engineers.
  • Ana Wood, Director, Waste & Recycling, Polk County Board of County Commissioners: Wood has been a trailblazer in the waste management industry for 25+ years. She is vital to the Florida waste management industry, especially the Polk County waste management system. Through her leadership, she has motivated other local government officials to set goals of innovating their landfill systems and recycling programs. She bridges funding from the county to Florida Polytechnic University and through these research projects, Polk County can evaluate the environmental impacts of its waste management system and forecast impacts when changing aspects of its recycling program. This research provides hands-on practical data on recycling programs and a chance for the County to understand the implications to the environment of their program. She also uses her own experience as an example to others of how to succeed in a male-dominated industry. She uses multiple forums to actively assist women in achieving their full potential and support for their personal and professional advancement.

The Women Who Inspire awards are sponsored by Wastequip.

The Women Who Inspire will be celebrated at WasteExpo, North America's largest solid waste, recycling and organics industry event, which takes place May 1-4, 2023 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. To register to attend WasteExpo, click here.

WasteExpo is co-located with Waste360 Sustainability Talks, the Waste360 Food Recovery Forum, the Waste360/Stifel Investor Summit, and the Waste360 Healthcare Waste Conference. Separate registration is required.

For more information on WasteExpo, please visit WasteExpo.com or follow WasteExpo on Twitter at @Waste_Expo.

Media interested in attending WasteExpo can email meryl.franzman@informa.com.

For additional information on exhibition or sponsorship opportunities, contact Juliana Sherwood at Juliana.Sherwood@informa.com or Debra Busby at Debra.Busby@informa.com.

About WasteExpo
WasteExpo is the leading event in North America for waste, recycling and organics professionals from the private and public sector. WasteExpo offers an interactive conference program that dives deep into vital industry topics such as recycling, landfills, fleet management, collections, organics, safety, food waste and recovery, and more. WasteExpo also boasts a robust Exhibit Hall showcasing hundreds of exhibitors and the latest industry solutions. WasteExpo is co-located with the Waste360 Investor Summit, the Waste360 Healthcare Waste Conference and Waste360 Sustainability Talks.

About the Waste360 Group
The Waste360 Group harnesses the power of its many properties to serve the solid waste and recycling industry. The industry widely consumes this content in the form of websites, live events, online learning and digital opportunities and includes: Waste360.com, WasteExpo, The Global Waste Management Symposium and topical and timely eNewsletters including Waste360 Daily Wire. Waste360’s NothingWasted! Podcast features the rockstars of the waste, recycling and organics industry weekly for the latest news and insights on people behind the industry. For more information, visit www.waste360.com.

About Informa Markets
Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. We provide marketplace participants around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, targeted digital services and actionable data solutions. We connect buyers and sellers across more than a dozen global verticals, including Pharmaceuticals, Food, Medical Technology and Infrastructure. As the world's leading market-making company, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.

Media Contact
Liz Bothwell
Head of Content & Marketing, Waste360 NothingWasted! Podcast Host
E: Liz.Bothwell@informa.com