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July 1, 2007

3 Min Read

Alice P. Jacobsohn

The environmental industry associations (EIA) recently honored members of the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) for their good work. See the June issue for NSWMA honorees.


Houston Ratledge entered the waste industry as an engineer for Dempster Brothers in 1961. There, he designed rear loaders, including the Dempster Route King I and II. In the '80s, Ratledge started his own distribution business. In 1991, he went to work for the Heil Co. (now Heil Environmental) to manage the localization of Heil's Waste Management System (WMS), imported from Germany. He also engineered Heil's R-2000 Packing Recycler. In 1997, he transitioned from chief engineer to product manager, retiring in March 2007.


Jeff Givens has been with J.V. Manufacturing for more than 20 years, primarily in production and operations. He has served as purchasing manager, materials manager, vice president of logistics, and, most recently, vice president of operations, responsible for two facilities and more than 150 employees. With a 22 percent increase in sales in 2006, he kept the production lines moving while implementing Lean manufacturing principles. This resulted in a 15 percent increase in productivity and a drop in average labor content from 68.9 hours to 58.8 hours per unit. Initial defects fell from 0.27 to 0.14 defects per unit.


Working for Michelin Tire Corp. for the last 15 years, John Stephens has been instrumental in facilitating technology improvements. He has grown the refuse tire market share to more than 50 percent and the retread market share to more than 20 percent as the strategic account manager. John also pushed for application specific compounding and brought in a refuse company to co-develop these products. The result was a 30 percent improvement in current generation products.

Distinguished Service Awards:

As Trucks and Parts of Tampa's truck group president, Scott Dols is responsible for the truck and rental business units, including exports, wholesale, and new and used truck purchases. He also is the company buyer on major deals. As WASTEC's new membership committee chair, Scott is recruiting companies and raising the funds needed to provide services. He is a leader in WASTEC's branding project to increase the association's visibility.

Susan Eppes joined the waste industry in 1991 as a safety engineer for Browning Ferris Industries. Today, she owns EST Solutions, Inc., a safety consulting company. As the chairperson of WASTEC's American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z245.42 subcommittee, she directly addresses safety standards in materials recovery facilities and transfer stations. She also participates on WASTEC's other ANSI Z245 committees and has been instrumental in developing NSWMA's “Be Safe, Be Proud” videos.

Member of the Year:

Ron McCracken joined WASTEC in 1988 as the CEO of Bes-Pac. He now owns RJM Waste Equipment Company. Ron recently stepped down from WASTEC's board of governors after a three-year term as chairman. During his term, he focused on recruiting and championed a branding project to enhance WASTEC's image. He expanded WASTEC's statistics program, ensuring the delivery of timely information to members. Ron now represents the industry on a committee before the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and serves on the Board of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation.

Alice Jacobsohn is director of public affairs and education at the Environmental Industry Associations. Contact her at [email protected].

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