Gene Wingerter is the managing director of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based investment banking firm Farlie Turner & Co. LLC, where he focuses on the U.S. and Canadian environmental services industry. As the former head of the Environmental Industry Associations (then simply the National Solid Wastes Management Association) and an EIA Hall of Fame inductee in 2005, Wingerter is certainly one of the industry’s senior statesmen. And while some of the answers he provides in our informal Q&A may suggest a certain degree of conservatism, the charming mental image of him speeding across a significant portion of Lake Erie atop a pair of water skis goes a long way toward upsetting that otherwise staid appearance.
Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?
Wingerter: When a person who asks me a question is not an active listener when I answer.
Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?
Wingerter: Knowing that my counsel and decisions were helpful to family, friends, colleagues and others.
Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Wingerter: “Good leadership leads to effective governance of an organization.” — Received early in my tenure at NSWMA from dedicated Board of Director members.
Waste Age: What was the last book you read?
Wingerter: Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025, by Patrick J. Buchanan
Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?
Wingerter: “The King’s Speech” staring Colin Firth acting as King George VI of Britain at the start of WWII.
Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?
Wingerter: “Sean Hannity and Guests.”
Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Waste Age: What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve ever come across?
Wingerter: A $100 bill cut in half with a tape repair.
Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?
Wingerter: The beach, especially Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.
Waste Age: What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Wingerter: I could not live without my family, especially my loving wife, Roberta, three children and five grandchildren. They brighten my days and make everything worthwhile.
Waste Age: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?
Wingerter: Bob Hope for comedy, Walt Disney for creative entertainment and President Dwight D. Eisenhower for strong leadership.
Waste Age: If you weren’t serving in your current role, what would you like to be?
Wingerter: I’d like to direct an organization (non-profit preferred) whose mission is the education and development of entrepreneurial talent and initiatives.
Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?
Wingerter: The Washington Redskins.
Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Wingerter: The ability to translate visions of opportunity into reality.
Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
Wingerter: Waterskiing in Lake Erie in a long-distance competition.
Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about?
Wingerter: The ability to hit 18 good tee shots, make all short putts, not lose any balls on water shots and include a hole in one all in one round in 2008. It only happened once..
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