Sibyl Ginn never imagined she would work for a garbage company, but 17 years later, she can’t imagine doing anything else.
A lifelong Georgia resident, Sibyl only had two jobs in her life before Waste Pro – department store Sears in high school and cutting men’s hair at her family-owned barber shop, which she did for 30 years.
It was her job at the barber shop that led her to Waste Pro. One of her regulars was John Bellamy, who worked closely with Waste Pro Founder John Jennings in the beginning in Athens, GA. Bellamy repeatedly offered Sibyl a job at Waste Pro, though was she semi-retired at the time.
“After a long period of time I just said, ‘Okay, I’ll go to work for you three days a week part-time,” she said. She told him she would give the job six months. That was in 2004.
In the beginning, Sibyl continued to cut hair, but after undergoing back surgery during her first year at Waste Pro, she decided to formally retire from the barber shop and come to Waste Pro full-time.
Over 17 years, Sibyl has done it all – residential and commercial sales, municipal marketing, human resources, dispatch, accounting, operations – essentially everything except mechanics and driving. She was previously the Regional Business Systems Administrator for GA, SC, and NC.
Today, Sibyl focuses on new contracts and acquisitions. She works closely with the divisions to get the new data into tower so the information pertaining to routing and billing is accurate.
During the transition process of new contracts and acquisitions, Sibyl refers to a concept she calls ‘Waste Pro Eutopia’ and how she helps achieve it.
“Nobody is out sick, trucks are always running, everybody puts their garbage cans out – but then there is reality,” she said. “I like to think I bring calmness to the chaos when Waste Pro Eutopia is not being achieved.”
She is also the go-to person for troubleshooting, a responsibility for which she personally asked John Jennings to entrust her.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity I was given by Mr. Jennings,” she said. “When I presented to him my idea of my current position, he told me it was the best idea he’s ever heard and that was the highest compliment I have ever been given. He’s a class act, bar none.”
The best part of it all, Sibyl said, is training new people and watching them grow. Sibyl describes herself as a people person, and says she loves feeling like she has accomplished something at the end of the day.
“When you go in and train people and see them work and grow as a result of what you’ve done for them, that’s a huge sense of accomplishment for me,” she said.
What people may not know about Sibyl, who is the wife of a Vietnam veteran, is she is the person who spearheaded Waste Pro’s Laptops for Veterans program.
Sibyl has been to many VA hospitals and veterans’ events over the years and saw the need firsthand. As part of the program, Waste Pro donates laptops to VA hospitals across the Southeast so veterans who are being treated have a way to communicate with their families. Sibyl also saw to it they received cameras with internet capabilities so they can share photos with their families as well. To date, Sibyl says over 100 laptops and cameras have been donated and she has also led Waste Pro to support a plethora of other veteran endeavors.
“The least we can do as Americans and as human beings is let these people see their families,” Sibyl said.
It is not lost on Sibyl that she works in an industry composed largely of men, but she feels her experience as a barber gave her an edge. During recent struggles with Gwinnett County in the Atlanta market, Sibyl joined her daughter, temporary Atlanta Office Manager Berkley Ginn, Atlanta Division Manager Jennifer Herring, and two female dispatchers to brainstorm solutions.
“The women of Waste Pro came in like a tornado and we did everything it took – led by Jennifer, we picked up garbage in the rain, we got on trucks, we resolved missed pickups and worked countless hours,” Sibyl said. “Now the County is as happy as it’s ever been with the contract.”
When she’s not working, Sibyl is all about her family. She cares for her 91-year-old father and helps him with his real estate, spends time with her husband Michael to whom she has been married for 39 years, and is a proud mother and grandmother. She is also an avid fan of the University of Georgia Bulldogs – “GO DAWGS!”
Sibyl says she does not get a lot of free time because she is quick to jump to help anyone who calls her in need. However, she says her husband has always been very supportive of her job and all the traveling she does as part of it.
“For me this is not just a job, this is a way of life and a calling,” Sibyl said. “He knows I enjoy my job and my coworkers have become like family to me.”
Sibyl says she never thought she would be 66 and still working, let alone in the garbage industry.
“I am so blessed and attribute God for my good fortune having my second career with Waste Pro,” she said. “I’m having a blast every day. It’s awesome.”