Meet our professionals
Michael Arcieri is sales manager for Ekman Recycling, an Ekman Group company. In his role he travels extensively to recycling plants and paper mills in the USA and around the world to source and market recycled fiber. He is an active member of ISRI and a board member of the New Jersey Paper Association. Arcieri currently serves as co-chair of the Curbside Recycling Guidelines and Specifications Committee and recently served as chair of the Municipal Guidelines Committee. He is a former Division I Scholarship Athlete and Graduate of the University of Vermont. Arcieri resides in New York.
GDB International Inc.
Sunil Bagaria is the co-founder and president of GDB International Inc., a recycling and sustainability company based in New Jersey. Bagaria moved to the U.S. from India in 1991 for graduate studies and completed his Master of Science in polymer engineering from NYU in 1993.
GDB International is a leading international trading company and is at the forefront of marketing of all types of “recyclable” products including plastics, paint, paper and metals to various countries around the world. The company operates on the principle that a company should not only look at the financial b bottom line, but social and environmental bottom lines as well.
Recovered Fiber Specialist
Profile to Follow
Michael “Recycle” Benedetto is the fourth generation in the recycling business and the president of TFC Recycling. Benedetto graduated from American University in 1987 and began working for the family shortly thereafter. TFC Recycling provides waste removal and recycling services in the Richmond and Tidewater areas of Virginia. TFC employs more than 350 people, operates more than 150 vehicles and processes more than 15,000 tons per month of recyclables through two single-stream material recovery facilities (MRFs). TFC Recycling is widely recognized as one of the first companies in the United States to use automation to collect and process single-stream recyclables.
Pratt Industries - Recycling Division
Myles Cohen is currently president of Pratt Recycling. As the chief executive of this business, Cohen is responsible for Pratt’s network of recycling plants, its material recovery facilities (MRFs) throughout the USA, as well as directing the sourcing for Pratt’s 100-percent-recycled paper mills. Cohen’s team manages a variety of recycling activities, including collection and processing of paper, plastics, metals and other materials; operation of MRFs; and more. Additionally, he leads Pratt Industries’ “close-the-loop” initiative, which assists Pratt’s customers in their environmental sustainability initiatives, enabling them to achieve their zero-landfill goals through improved recycling and waste-to-energy solutions
Vice President, Sustainability and R&D
Kevin Cronin is vice president, sustainability and R&D, at Ultra-Poly Corp., one of the largest asset-based plastics recycling companies in the country. Cronin has more than 35 years of professional experience in the field of polymers and plastics.
Over the past nine years he has become more involved with sustainability initiatives and served as CEO of a company that was in the top 20 of all polymer recycling operations nationally. Cronin created his own company to focus on broader, more holistic approaches to sustainability and to develop solutions to more challenging waste streams.
Profile to Follow
Chief of Business Development
Kate Davenport is the chief of business development for Eureka Recycling and leads on merging Eureka’s mission and values with business development, finance and operational systems change and efficiencies. She directs materials procurement and materials marketing as well as leads on development of programs and partnerships for zero waste events and zero waste composting. Prior to Eureka, Davenport co-developed operations for Envirelation, the first commercial organics collection service in Washington. As program director for EcoVentures International, she collaborated with community-based enterprise development programs in East Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean in the areas of sustainable energy; waste reduction, recycling and composting; and sustainable agriculture.
Western Pacific Pulp & Paper
Kevin Duncombe, president of Western Pacific, started in the recovered fiber industry more than 30 years ago after receiving his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Western Michigan University. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to join Western Pacific in the export department. Duncombe became vice president and general manager in 1993 and president in 1998. He is a past president of the Association of California Recycling Industries (ACRI) and the Paper Stock Industries (PSI) chapter of ISRI. In true recycling fashion, he is once again vice president of ACRI.
Kessler Consulting, Inc.
Over the past 29 years, Peter Engel has passionately worked to apply innovative solutions and best practices in recycling, composting and sustainable materials management for a wide range of clients. His work with Kessler Consulting is focused on strategic planning, recycling and composting facility development, and systems modeling. He has analyzed recycled paper supply and demand in metropolitan areas across the U.S. on behalf of private sector clients. Engel was responsible for the Moore & Associates recovered paper price database that was subsequently acquired by RISI. His work on numerous international development projects speaks to his avid interest and knowledge of recycling, composting and analysis.
Judy Ferraro & Associates, Inc.
Mrs. Judy Ferraro has either worked with or been in sales for more than 30 years, selling on a national level and in Chicago’s competitive markets. For 10 of those years, Ferraro owned and operated her own scrap metal business. After 18 years in scrap, she decided to shed the glitz and glamour of scrap metal and form a consulting business.
She has worked with a variety of companies in the retail, insurance, manufacturing, recycling, transportation, telecommunications, healthcare and sports sales and customer service teams at the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks, White Sox and Fire.
Ferraro attended DePaul University’s College of Commerce in Chicago.
Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.
Harvey Gershman, GBB president and co-founder, has been active in the solid waste management field as an adviser to government and industry for more than 40 years, specializing in strategic guidance and infrastructure, and services development assistance to solid waste service/system managers and owners. Gershman has managed the preparation of many long-term plans, market studies, cost and independent feasibility analyses, technology reviews, contractor procurements, contracts development and negotiations, and project financing activities for a broad range of recycling, composting, solid waste management, waste-to-energy and district energy projects. These projects have resulted in sustainable, efficient integrated waste management systems accepted by the community and its leadership.
InterGroup International Ltd.
Mr. Neil Gloger has been recycling scrap plastics for 10 years. Since founding InterGroup International Ltd. in 2006, Gloger and his management team have grown from zero to $18 million in revenue, placing the company on the Inc. Magazine list of the fastest-growing private companies for three years in a row.
Gloger received a Bachelor of Science in political science from Eastern Michigan University, but the most impactful education in his life came from years of observation and participation in his family’s small retail store. Prior to his foray into plastics recycling, Gloger spent five years with the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Prime Plastic Products, Inc.
Vince Gupta is the founder and president of Prime Plastic Products Inc. He is part of a business family in India with interests in the steel and plastic industries. Gupta has dual Bachelor of Science degrees in business and plastics technology from Eastern Michigan University.
He serves on several committees at The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), and is a member of Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).
Prime Plastic Products started in 1993 and is based in Vista, California, with a recycling facility in Norwalk, Ohio. The company processes both engineering and commodity grades of postindustrial and postconsumer plastic materials.
Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS)
Alan Handley serves as chief executive officer for Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS). Under his award-winning leadership, LRS has experienced organic growth in excess of 75 percent from approximately $60 million in sales with 220 employees in 2013 to more than $130 million in sales with 620 employees in 2016.
Handley oversees strategy execution for each of the company’s five operating divisions, all support departments and business development. He also holds a board position where he works closely with the private equity sponsor and other stakeholders in developing and executing long-term strategy.
Senior Director, Recycling & Diversion
SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association
Kim Holmes is senior director of recycling and diversion for SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. The group is committed to maximizing the recovery of all plastics, both postindustrial and postconsumer, across all product categories. The recycling committee at SPI is a collaboration of the full plastics supply chain working together to drive recovery solutions. Under Holmes’ leadership, the recycling committee’s portfolio of work includes launching the SPI Zero Net Waste recognition program, sustainability benchmarking for the industry, and executing innovative recovery projects in healthcare and end-of-life vehicles, among other efforts. She also chairs the North American Plastics Recycling Alliance.
Manager, Materials Management & Quality
Stacy Katz is Waste Management’s manager of materials management and quality. In this role, Katz is responsible for leading the direction of the quality program for WM’s recycling business. She is responsible for improving the quality of material received at WM recycling facilities from customers, as well as the quality of sorted commodities produced. In addition, Katz develops and implements strategic planning initiatives and identifies operational improvements that increase the quality and quantity of material diverted from the waste stream.
Prior to this position, Katz served as WM’s municipal manager of recycling and diversion for the Western Group. She holds a master’s degree in environmental science and management.
Executive Vice President
Recycling Today Media Group
Mr. James R. Keefe joined GIE Media, Recycling Today’s parent company, in 1991 in a sales and market research capacity.
During his career, he has overseen the continuing development of Recycling Today magazine, which is today the leading business magazine serving the recycling industry. In addition, he has managed the launch of its website, www.RecyclingToday.com, as well as numerous publication launches.
Jim currently serves as an executive vice president for GIE Media and is a member of the firm’s executive management team. He is a graduate of Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Vice President of Recycling
Pete Keller is vice president, recycling and sustainability, for Republic Services. He is responsible for defining and implementing the strategic direction of the sustainability platform for Republic Services to meet business development objectives and customer needs. This includes recycling infrastructure development, functional standardization and optimization, return analysis, policy and procedure development and support, as well as development of renewable energy projects, implementation of sustainability initiatives, and customer solutions that support the organization’s strategy.
Keller has an extensive background in operations and compliance. Prior to joining Republic, he practiced as a professional engineer with a national environmental consulting firm and has 25 years of environmental services experience.
Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd.
Mr. Ming Chung Liu is the deputy chairman and chief executive officer of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd. Nine Dragons is the largest containerboard manufacturer in Asia and is a listed company in Hong Kong. Its current market capitalization is approximately US$4 billion.
Nine Dragons’ current annual production capacity is 13.73 million metric tons. The company has nine production bases and 38 paper machines for containerboard and coated board.
Moore & Associates
Mr. Bill Moore is president of Moore & Associates, an international consulting firm engaged in providing a range of market research and strategic services to the global paper recycling industry. Prior to his many years as a consultant, he held a series of positions in the solid waste, paper and recycling industries. At Moore & Associates, he has served more than 250 clients on more than 450 projects. Mr. Moore’s knowledge base includes all aspects of the worldwide supply and demand of recovered paper.
Senior Vice President of Sales
Perpetual Recycling Solutions
Steve Navedo is senior vice president of sales for Perpetual Recycling Solutions, a leading postconsumer PET recycling facility in Richmond, Indiana. He is concurrently vice president of development for Keep America Beautiful, the longstanding national nonprofit committed to improving recycling in America. Navedo has more than 25 years of senior management experience in plastics recycling, packaging and regulatory compliance; he served 13 years on the Executive Committee for the Association of Plastic Recyclers, and is a past chairman of their board of directors and their Technical Committee. Navdeo holds a law degree, with an environmental law specialty from Pace University School of Law in New York.
Director Global Mill Supply & Trade Sales
Mr. Johnny Newsome is Sonoco Recycling’s mill supply, trade sales and national accounts manager. He directs a team of individuals responsible for working to secure supply, quality, price and learn the logistics of feedstock for Sonoco’s 11 paper mills. The team also establishes contracts for fiber materials for domestic and export markets, and services the recycling programs of large national accounts, helping them achieve recycling and waste reduction metrics. Newsome is responsible for managing a volume portfolio of 2.6 million metric tons, achieving double-digit growth for multiple years. Newsome has been with Sonoco Recycling for 23 years, previously holding responsibilities in account development and operations.
Supply Chain Manager
Ryan Pawlinski is supply chain manager, director of new business development at Phoenix Technologies International LLC. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in supply chain management from Bowling Green State University in 2008. That same year, he joined Phoenix Technologies as a procurement specialist responsible for the overall commodity management.
Currently, Pawlinski’s primary responsibility is planning, acquisition, conversion, flow and distribution of goods from raw materials to finished goods. In this roll he acts as the key leader to drive strategic supplier relationships with top domestic and offshore suppliers to improve supplier collaboration efforts, promote dialogue and ensure mutual agreements/goals are achieved.
Assistant Business Development Manager
Port of Long Beach
Joel Perler is assistant business development manager at the Port of Long Beach, where his responsibilities include promoting the port’s facilities and services to current and prospective containerized cargo exporters, developing strategic recommendations for business and trade opportunities, encouraging international trade and related economic development activities at trade events and conferences nationwide, as well as developing a variety of export-based learning seminars and training programs. Perler joined the port staff in January 2014 after five years as vice president of business development for the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
With a master’s degree in management education, P. R. Ray has held senior positions in the paper industry in India for 22 years, giving him deep insight into technical and commercial paper industry operations. Equipped with this knowledge, Ray left a senior position at one of India’s leading paper-producing organizations in 1992 to start his independent business career in the paper industry dealing with raw materials—virgin and recovered fiber. In 1994, Ray and a friend from the paper trade started Esskay Impex, which is now engaged in selling recovered fiber, pulp and finished paper.
Recycling Today Media Group
Mr. Dan Sandoval has been reporting on the recycling industry for more than 20 years. His area of experience is on the paper markets, from collection to brokering and consuming. He also plays an active role in the development and growth of the Recycling Today Media Group’s conference programs.
Senior Vice President
John Schumacher is a senior vice president and shareholder at Assurance. He focuses on insurance placement and risk improvement for businesses within the recycling industry. Schumacher has 25 years’ industry experience and is a Certified Safety Professional and an insurance broker. He uses this combined skillset to help his clients manage the cost drivers of insurance premiums related to property and casualty, as well as employee benefits insurance by applying safety management and wellness principles to sound risk management strategies. Schumacher has been at Assurance for more than 17 years, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational safety from Illinois State University.
Vice President - Material Recovery & Process Optimization
E.L. Harvey & Sons Inc.
Gerald R. Sjogren is the safety director of E. L. Harvey & Sons Inc., a position he has held since 1991. He has built comprehensive safety, environmental and health programs specific to the waste industry, including training in HAZMAT Incident Response and Command up to Level 700. His commitment to safety extends to serving on local and national professional industry organizations, from the National Waste and Recycling Association to ANSI Z245 Sub-Committees.
Sjogren serves as vice chairperson of the Westborough Local Emergency Planning Committee; chairperson of the ISRI Circle of Safety Steering Committee; and vice chairperson of the ISRI Safety Operations Committee.
Senior Economist and Economic Adviser
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
William A. Strauss is a senior economist and economic advisor in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. His responsibilities include analyzing the current performance of the Midwest economy and the manufacturing sector for use in monetary policy. Strauss earned a bachelor’s in economics and geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a master’s in economics from Northwestern University. He is a Certified Business Economist™ (CBE). Strauss has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago and at Webster University in Chicago. He currently teaches at DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.
Resource Management Cos. (RMC)
Calvin (Cal) Tigchelaar is the president and founder of Resource Management Cos. (RMC), a Chicago-area owner and operator of material recovery facilities (MRFs) for 25 years. RMC also provides warehousing, logistics and transload services (RMC Logistics), is involved in direct export (RMC International) and is active in glass beneficiation. The company is based in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, and has facilities in the Chicago and St. Louis regions as well as an export office in City of Industry, California.
Tigchelaar is a native of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Resource Recycling Systems
Profile to Follow
Recycling Today Media Group
DeAnne Toto has been an editor with Recycling Today Media Group, Valley View, Ohio, since 2002. As media group managing editor, she helps to oversee production of all of the media group’s titles, though her primary focus in on Recycling Today, the group’s monthly title, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, and the bimonthly Recycling Today Global Edition. Her areas of focus include plastics, electronics and municipal recycling. She graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, with a bachelor’s of science in journalism.
Senior Director of Secondary Fiber
Graphic Packaging International Inc.
Ed Tucciarone is the senior director of secondary fiber for Graphic Packaging International Inc. (GPI), headquartered in Atlanta. He joined GPI in 2012 after 37 years with Smurfit Stone Container Corp. (SSCC). His career started in accounting for the SSCC recycling and mill divisions, which eventually led to management positions in recycling operations and sales. Tucciarone’s current responsibilities include managing GPI’s Mill Secondary Fiber procurement group, sales from GPI converting plants and sales of off-prime rolls.
Tucciarone earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from William Paterson University and an MBA in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Octavio Victal is currently the commercial manager for Latin America for Innovative Group, a division of Avangard Innovative. Victal has more than 10 years’ experience in recycling, plastics processing and commodities marketing in Latin America. He has been with the company for two years, reinforcing the presence of the company in Latin America. He sits on several committees at The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), is involved with the Mexican recycling and plastics trade associations, and speaks for the company in matters of the industry’s initiatives and programs to promote and increase recycling.
Director, Sustainable Materials Management
Bruce Westaway has spent the last 25 years with Cascades Recovery, which operates 21 plants in 15 markets in Canada and the northeast U.S., and is part of Cascades Inc., the largest Canadian producer of paper and packaging products. Westaway has held positions in sales, customer service and management, and currently serves as director of sustainable materials management for recovery, which is responsible for creating, defining and implementing the Recovery …PLUS™ Program for internal and external clients.
Director of Commodity Sales
Waste Management Recycling Services
Steve Wilson is based in Denver as a director of commodity sales with Waste Management. He started in the paper recycling business with a summer job in 1977 and his varied career has included aspects of mill purchasing, MRF operations, MRF sourcing, MRF commodity sales and commodity brokerage in both the domestic and international arenas.
Recycling Today Media Group
Megan Workman is an associate editor with the Recycling Today Media Group, where she has worked for the past three years. She writes and edits articles for Recycling Today Media Group publications and websites and attends recycling industry trade shows representing the group. Prior to joining GIE Media, Workman was the business reporter at The Charleston Gazette and also has held writing and editing positions at other publications. She graduated from Ohio University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism.
Kathy Xuan is the founder and principal of PARC Corp. USA, PARC Corp. Wisconsin and PARC Corp. China. PARC Corp. is a plastics recycler operating its own processing plants.
Xuan is subcommittee chairwoman of the SPI Recycling Committee and vice chair of the China Plastics Recycling Committee of CPPIA (China Plastics Processing Industry Association).
She has been in the plastics recycling industry for decades, focusing on both postindustrial and postconsumer materials. She also is focused on a closed-loop infrastructure of the recycling of plastic scrap and highly motivated in promoting a more productive process for zero-landfill.
Xuan was born in China and earned master’s degrees in both Beijing and Chicago.