Sustainable Materials Management
Distinguished Individual Achievement Award 2019
As a member in good standing with SWANA and the Past Director of the Sustainable Materials Management Division, Kim Braun nominates Michelle Leonard for the Division’s Distinguished Individual Achievement Award.
Michelle began her career in the Waste Industry in 1996 with SCS Engineers. I met Michelle in 1998 at a SoCal SWANA event held in Santa Monica. At that time, there were approximately five women who attended the event. Michelle is still a great advocate for women to “Get into the Waste Business”.
Michelle Leads the Way at every level: local, state and municipal. Michelle is always willing to “Think outside the Box” which was the theme for the very first Recycling and Special Waste Division conference held in Los Angeles in 2010 led by Michelle. It was packed with attendees and the concept Zero Waste came to fruition. There was heated discussions in the room from the WTE groups about California’s No Bury/No Burn stance on waste management and Michelle guided the group tactfully and with passion.
The following year, Michelle was nominated for the SWANA Executive Board where she served as treasurer, secretary, vice-president and President in 2016. Michelle was instrumental in pushing policy, programs and education. This includes the most recent Zero Waste Certification Program currently administered by SWANA. Michelle also instructed several certification programs at SWANA training events.
Since 2010, Michelle sits on the Southern California Founding Chapters Board as a Private Director and works to enhance programs to educate our members and increase our membership. Michelle is instrumental today in assisting with the startup of the WISR LA Chapter. Our first meeting for members and marketing efforts is scheduled for February 21, 2019. Michelle is very active in planning this event.
She has mentored many young professionals as well as all that are new comers to the waste industry. She is always available to present, moderate, sit on panels, work with clients on the latest programming and most importantly, willing to learn. Michelle attends conferences as an active participant, welcoming new ideas and commenting on controversial topics.
The name Michelle Leonard is renown in the waste world. Her accomplishments are too many to mention here. Her passion for her work and her depth of knowledge in our industry is unsurpassable.
I am honored and proud to nominate Michelle Leonard for the Distinguished Individual Achievement Award and acknowledge her accomplishments in the waste management industry.
—Kim Braun, Environmental Programs & Operations Manager, Culver City Public Works, California