EIA: The Next Generation

The Future Industry Leaders Alliance grooms young minds as tomorrow’s waste executives.

The Environmental Industry Associations’ (EIA) Future Industry Leaders Alliance (FILA) accomplished a lot in 2011. FILA provides educational, networking and mentoring opportunities to its membership of younger industry professionals from Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) and National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) member companies, helping to prepare them for executive advancement and professional leadership in the waste industry.

FILA also hosts webinars and seminars where members have opportunities to learn new business, financial and management skills, and it organizes tours where members can visit other members’ facilities and gain operational insights. And FILA holds receptions and other events where members can network and socialize with one another.

A Big Brother
In 2010 FILA created a mentoring program, where select FILA members are paired with, and mentored by, some of the solid waste services industry’s most celebrated and respected leaders.

The idea of a leadership development track within NSWMA and WASTEC is not new. “Such a special-purpose group existed 30 years ago within the association,” says EIA president and CEO Bruce Parker. “Many current association and industry leaders benefitted from their participation in those early leadership programs.”

Program organizers are optimistic that a new generation of industry and association leaders will emerge from FILA’s ranks and carry the torch forward.

In addition to its mentoring program, recent FILA activities have included the following:

• In May, FILA hosted its first reception on the show floor at WasteExpo 2011 in Dallas. Several mentor program participants, members of the WASTEC and NSWMA boards, as well as FILA members and prospects talked and mingled and enjoyed a sense of camaraderie. The reception was an excellent opportunity to educate and update all guests about the FILA mission.

• In August, FILA members treated 25 children from the Indianapolis Boys and Girls Club to a pre-season football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins at Lucas Oil Stadium.

• The following month, FILA also held its 2011 fall meeting in Indianapolis, with a record attendance of about 80 participants. During the three-day meeting, members attended an NFL football game between the Colts and the Steelers, held an official business meeting, toured Republic Services’ 96th Street transfer station and material recovery facility and a Covanta waste-to-energy facility, hosted a panel discussion with industry leaders from Autocar and Republic Services, and toured the Autocar manufacturing plant.

Outgoing NSWMA FILA chairman B.J. Harvey, from E.L. Harvey and Sons in Westboro, Mass., recently noted, “It is great to see, from the time of FILA’s first meeting, with only a handful of folks attending, that the group has taken hold, weathered some growing pains and come into its own, while holding such great promise to grow more effective as it moves forward.” Harvey also was quick to praise Sean O’Brien, his co-chairman from WASTEC, “For the time and effort he put into helping make FILA a success. I couldn’t have done it alone!”

How to Participate
FILA is open to all NSWMA and WASTEC members, who meet specific membership criteria. Members must be 45 years old or younger and have at least 1 year of work experience in the waste industry.

Prospective candidates must also either manage at least 15 percent of the gross revenue/assets of his/her employer or submit two letters of recommendation (one from a NSWMA-WASTEC member in good standing and one from a management-level employee at the applicant’s company of employment).

To learn more about FILA and its programs, contact FILA program manager Steve Changaris at schangaris@nswma.org or 800-679-6263.

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