Sharon Kneiss, the president and CEO of the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), has resigned, effective immediately. Kneiss has served as NWRA’s president and CEO for the past four and a half years, during which she led the development and implementation of a strategic plan to help improve safety, communication and education within the industry.
“After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I have taken the association as far as I can to make it the most effective and respected voice of the industry. The timing is right for a new CEO to take this special organization to the next level,” Kneiss stated in a letter to the NWRA Board of Trustees.
The NWRA Board of Trustees will soon start a search for Kneiss’ successor and in the interim, NWRA Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Kraushaar will serve as acting president and CEO.
“We are indebted to Sharon for her leadership and contributions to our industry over the course of the past several years,” said Scott Dols, chairman of the NWRA Board of Trustees, in a press release. “Sharon has done a great deal to make our industry safer, stronger and smarter and has created an important foundation for the association to move forward in the future.”
Kneiss joined the organization back in 2012 when it was still a collection of three groups: the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA), the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association. She replaced longtime Chief Bruce Parker.
The selection of Kneiss followed an extensive executive search of candidates. The group's search committee received more than 150 applications. A four-person committee led by then Advanced Disposal CEO Charlie Appleby conducted the search and the choice was approved by EIA’s full board of trustees.
About a year later, Kneiss helped oversee the effort to reorganize the EIA into a single association. In November 2013, it announced it would re-dub itself as the NWRA. The process of restructuring the group concluded in mid-2014.
In 2015, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) tapped David Biderman as its executive director and chief executive officer. Biderman had previously worked for the NWRA and its predecessors for 18 years. Biderman replaced longtime SWANA head John H. Skinner. Biderman became just the third head of the association in its more than 50-year history, following in the footsteps of H. Lanier Hickman (1978 to 1996) and Skinner (1996 to 2015).