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What’s Next for EREF?

Article-What’s Next for EREF?

The Educational Research and Education Foundation (EREF) aims to increase the number of grants, scholarships and internships as part of a five-year strategic plan the organization recently adopted.

Another goal EREF has in place is to seek substantial revenue growth. It plans to do this two ways. It will attempt to expand EREF’s donor base to peripheral industries such as manufacturing and utilities, as well as identify major donors (corporate and individual) with philanthropic interests that parallel EREF’s mission. It also plans to maintain and increase fundraising revenue from its existing events, including the EREF Annual Charitable Auction and the Fall Classic.

“EREF has experienced substantial growth path over past five years and now the board elected to create an overarching goal to expand our number of scholarships further,” says Bryan Staley, Ph.D., P.E., EREF president and CEO. “We’ve been able to demonstrate the value-add in the programs we have. … Our continuing education program been very successful. With our internal research program we debuted a number of datasets last year, including a study on recycling, that were met with lot of interest.”

In terms of scholarships, EREF’s board discussed doubling or tripling the amount it currently gives, Staley says.

The development of the strategic plan was the result of a year-long process that began in December 2014.

“There was just a lot of effort put into considering what’s the right path, what’s the right level of change,” Staley says. “One thing you take away is we’re not trying to get into a new car. Instead, it’s enhancing the trajectory we’ve been on and it’s a refinement of that.”

EREF is making staffing adjustments as well. It’s created two new positions, including a communications coordinator and a program manager for research and scholarships. The communications coordinator will be responsible for executing all communications supporting brand awareness, programs, partnerships, fundraising and marketing campaigns. The program manager will manage the research and scholarships programs. Additionally, areas of responsibility for key staff will be re-aligned. As part of these changes, Kristy Pickurel was named vice president of development and communications, and has primary responsibility of all communications and fundraising staff.

“We’ve designed it so key staff have more time to focus on development efforts and stakeholder growth,” Staley says. “The hope is with continued stakeholder growth we will be able to hit those increased benchmarks.”

New board members

EREF also went through its typical changing of the guard within its board. Leonard “Butch” Joyce, P.E., president and CEO, Joyce Engineering, will begin a two-year term as chairman, succeeding Advanced Disposal CEO Richard Burke. Joyce had been vice chairman of EREF.

In addition, Patrick Carroll, president and CEO, Environmental Solutions Group, moved from serving as secretary/treasurer of EREF to vice chairman. And Ven Poole, chairman and CEO of Waste Industries, is now secretary/treasurer for EREF.

New scholarships

EREF also announced that scholarship applications for the 2016-2017 academic year are now available. The application deadline is May 4, 2016.

Applications will be considered from those who:

  • will be this year or are now a full-time master's or doctoral student, and
  • have a clearly demonstrated interest in solid waste management research. EREF defines solid waste management to pertain to municipal solid waste, construction & demolition waste, industrial waste (e.g. coal ash), WTE ash, etc. Note this definition does not include agricultural wastes or wastewater treatment plant sludge.

EREF Scholarships recognize graduate students pursuing excellence in solid waste management research and education. Recipients are chosen based on credentials and potential contributions to the solid waste industry and its scientific community.

Awards are based on:

  • Academic performance
  • Professional experience
  • Relevance of one's work to the advancement of solid waste management science
  • Potential for success

More information on EREF’s scholarships, as well as a link to the scholarship application, can be found at http://erefdn.org/index.php/scholarships/index.

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