Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) announced its Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2023. This year, four more will join the 208 men and women who have been admitted since 1986. They are the late Nicolas Belanger; Bob Lee, Chief Executive Officer of ECOTECH Waste Logistics & Clark-Floyd Landfill, LLC; the late Tommy Stump of First Piedmont Corporation; and Richard Wojahn, Vice President of Business Development for Waste Connections, Inc.
The Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by NWRA’s Board of Trustees from a list of distinguished finalists compiled by the association’s Awards Committee.
“The Board of Trustees and the Awards Committee always have a difficult task with so many distinguished nominations submitted to them, and this year was no different,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “Ultimately, the leadership and contributions exhibited by Nicolas, Bob, Tommy, and Richard were deemed to have reached the iconic status required to be a member of the Hall of Fame. I congratulate the Class of 2023 inductees on this prestigious honor.”
Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on scores in five categories, including recognition in the industry as a founder, pioneer, visionary or icon; enduring legacy and impact of contributions to the industry for a minimum of 25 years; steadfast values such as integrity, respect, courage, mentorship, volunteerism and inclusiveness; inspirational leadership at an NWRA service provider or supplier and on issues important to NWRA at the national, state and/or local level; and active association engagement and service as an ambassador of the industry.
The 2023 Hall of Fame inductees will be officially recognized at WasteExpo 2023 during the NWRA Awards Breakfast.
About the Inductees
Nicolas served in the waste and recycling industry for 25 years. He quickly rose through the ranks, and in 1999, he established Machinex’s presence in the United States market and drove the company’s growth more than four-fold as President of Machinex Technologies Inc. He was recognized as a leading industry expert for automated recycling facilities and robotic sorting. He was highly sought after as one of North America's most intelligent, visionary, and talented systems design engineers. Nicolas passed away in 2020.
Bob has over 50 years of experience in the area of environmental management, directing activities in every facet of the solid waste industry. Over the years he has been closely involved in environmentally sensitive public relations issues along with local, state, and federal zoning and permitting affairs. In 1998, Bob established ECO-TECH Environmental as a solid waste consulting firm, which evolved into a solid waste broker and finally acquired a solid waste collection truck in 2001. In 2004, he signed an agreement to manage and operate the Clark-Floyd Landfill.
Tommy dedicated his entire career to the waste and recycling industry. He spent over 40 years at First Piedmont Corporation (FPC). After graduating college in 1980, Tommy began his career there as a dispatcher and sales representative. Within two years he became its Chief Operating Officer, and in 1996, he was promoted to Vice President. In 2000, he became President and CEO of FPC and served in that role until his death in 2021.
Rick’s career spans more than 40 years with WM, Allied Waste, Mountain Jack Environmental Services, and Waste Connections. He has done over 500 deals and touched every public company and hundreds of small and regional companies. He has been a key element in growing and strategically positioning companies to become the top public waste and recycling companies in North America. Rick is a recognized leader in mergers and acquisitions in the industry.
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.or