I had the pleasure of chatting with Sheila Alkire from the National Waste & Recycling Association about this year’s WasteExpo conference program. She is their (somewhat) new Director of Education and has infused the program with such great energy! Therefore, I wanted to share her insights with you…
What were your main goals for the WasteExpo conference program this year?
The primary goal for WasteExpo was to offer interesting educational sessions that covered current trends in the industry utilizing a variety of formats. I also wanted to offer educational sessions based on member’s recommendations and needs. Before identifying topics for each session, I took to speak to members and attendees, soliciting feedback and recommendations for the conference.
You have such a diverse background in education, how do you think that helps you program fresh content for the waste and recycling industry?
I have been leading education and development departments for over 16 years and I am always inspired by the people I am touching through my efforts. Having such a diverse background has allowed me to quickly get up to speed on the industry and understand the needs of our members and WasteExpo attendees. I also believe that effective collaboration, good listening skills, as well as remaining agile, are key components to running a successful education department.
What’s new and exciting for conference attendees this year?
I am very excited about the new educational programming this year at WasteExpo. Highlights of the changes include two new super sessions on Diversion and Landfill Closures, Tech Tours that include presentations with show floor tours, “Ask the Expert” one-on-one sessions in social media/marketing and business strategy, and an off- site tour to the Coca Cola Bottling Plant. Other exciting changes include more sessions on recycling and resource recovery and alternative technologies in the waste and recycling industry.
What are the top take aways attendees can walk away with after leaving Atlanta? I believe that WasteExpo attendees will feel that the educational programming was engaging, valuable, and applicable to their individual opportunities and challenges. I look forward to the feedback and recommendations in order to keep the momentum going.
In the spirit of getting to know our team, speakers and industry better, what’s something our readers would be surprised to know about you?I received my bachelor’s degree from University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Alaska offers
such diversity and I made some great friends while living there.
Check out this year’s WasteExpo conference program for yourself and see how Sheila is bringing it all to life @WasteExpo, April 28-May 1, 2014 in Atlanta!