Maricha Ellis, vice president of marketing and sales operations for Stericycle Environmental Solutions, has been named the winner of a Silver Stevie Award in the Executive of the Year category in the 15th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees and the companies they run—worldwide. Ellis was recognized in the Female Executive of the Year category for business services companies with more than 2,500 employees for her instrumental role in combating the opioid crisis sweeping the nation. She led a team in successfully launching Stericycle’s pharmaceutical TakeBack suite to help organizations and consumers safely return unwanted or expired medication.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition alongside such remarkable female leaders from across the globe,” said Ellis in a statement. “This is a team award that I share with my colleagues at Stericycle Environmental Solutions who have worked on the TakeBack suite, and this recognition marks a milestone for our nation’s positive progress toward creating safer, healthier communities.”
More than 240 million prescriptions were written for opioids in 2014—more than enough to give every American adult his or her own bottle of pills. With so many opioids sitting in medicine cabinets across the country, it becomes dangerously easy for children, family members and friends to access these drugs and develop an addiction.
Recognizing the devastation of this epidemic, Ellis and her team helped bring awareness prominence to Stericycle’s pharmaceutical TakeBack suite, which consists of Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes and Medication Collection Kiosks. The envelopes provide a safe and convenient option for consumers to dispose of their unused or expired drugs by filling a pre-addressed envelope with up to 8 ounces of pharmaceutical waste and dropping it into any United States Postal Service mailbox. Similarly, kiosks offer a reliable, anonymous outlet for consumers to dispose of unwanted drugs in a safe place within their communities.
Since receiving the Product of the Year Award from Environmental Leader, the TakeBack suite has continued to expand across the U.S. As a result of the efforts of Ellis and her team, Stericycle has received thousands of Seal&Send Envelopes from consumers with unused or expired pharmaceuticals, and its kiosks are now in 46 states.
Furthermore, Ellis was a fundamental part of launching Stericycle’s unique partnership with the National Safety Council (NSC). As the exclusive medication disposal partner for the Stop Everyday Killers national education campaign, Stericycle is helping the NSC address the opioid epidemic and offer a solution. The provocative nationwide campaign illustrates the faces behind the numbers, educates the community on the scope of the problem and promotes solutions to address the crisis.
“We congratulate Maricha on this well-deserved recognition,” said Charles A. Alutto, CEO of Stericycle, in a statement. “We hope her achievement sheds light on our country’s opioid crisis and the steps everyone can take to combat this epidemic crippling our nation’s health and causing an immeasurable amount of pain to those who have lost loved ones.”