Tom Vatter, a 22-year veteran of the garbage truck manufacturing industry, now serves as vice president of North American sales for Environmental Solutions Group, which encompasses Heil, Marathon and Bayne. An unapologetic Chicago Bears fan, we’ll leave it to him to explain to Vince Lombardi’s ghost over dinner why his perfect day involves the defeat of Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. Read on to learn more about Vatter in our lighthearted Q&A.
Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?
Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?
Vatter: Driving to Chicago with my family, going out to some cool places to eat, walking the streets with them showing them the city, maybe some shopping for my wife and daughter, and then going to a Chicago Bears game at night with my son (and the Bears beat the Packers), walking back to our hotel and hanging out. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Vatter: “Get in that truck and don’t come back until you sell it!”
Waste Age: What was the last book you read?
Vatter: “Iron War,” by Matt Fitzgerald, a great story about a legendary race between two of the greatest tri-athletes that ever lived.
Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?
Vatter: This is a tough one. There are so many, but I would have to say either “The Shawshank Redemption” or “The Godfather.”
Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?
Vatter: I would have to say “Seinfeld” was responsible for more laughs than any other show that I have ever watched. Definitely “Seinfeld.”
Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Vatter: Rolling Stones.
Waste Age: What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve ever come across?
Vatter: I don’t know about strange but a few years back my brothers and I had the opportunity to clean out my grandparents house after my grandmother passed. We came across a chest full of WWII memorabilia: pictures, helmets, medals, knives – even a German luger. We lived far away from them and weren’t really as close as some are to their grandparents, but it was awesome to see photos and items from my grandfather in that era.
Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?
Waste Age: Besides your family, what is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Vatter: I just realized I am not attached to too much besides my family. If it were all to end, I would miss kicking back watching a really good football game with my friends.
Waste Age: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?
Vince Lombardi, Winston Churchill and, without getting too serious, Jesus Christ.
Waste Age: If you weren’t serving in your current role, what would you like to be?
Vatter: I always thought I would like to coach a high school/college football team.
Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?
Vatter: The Chicago Bears.
Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Vatter: I would fly. Then I wouldn’t get any speeding tickets!
Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
Vatter: Leaving my first and only job, moving to Arizona and marrying my wife there.
Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about?
Vatter: I can play a mean round of golf with a single club.