2024 in balloons

2024 YP of the Year Award

The SWANA YP of the Year Award formally acknowledges the hard work and dedication of Young Professionals in the solid waste industry. The award, which is presented to three exemplary Young Professional members annually, recognizes YP’s for outstanding performance and dedication to the solid waste and resource management industry.

Application deadline is June 24, 2024.

  • YP of the Year Award Eligibility Criteria

    To be eligible for SWANA YP of the Year, candidates must be:

    • A SWANA YP (35 year or younger) at the beginning of the calendar year of award
    • An active SWANA YP member (Click here to join SWANA)
    • Working in the solid waste/resource management industry for more than three years

    YP of the Year Award Applications can be submitted by the nominee or on behalf of the nominee.

  • YP of the Year Award Application Requirements

    1. A letter of interest (LOI) with one-page limit. The LOI must answer these questions:
      • Brief description of the nominee’s professional experience
      • Brief description of the nominee’s SWANA and/or solid waste industry participation
      • Brief description of volunteer community activities the nominee is currently engaged in
      • Brief explanation of why should the nominee be selected for this award
      • Brief description of what servant leadership means to the nominee
      • Brief description of what personal and professional strengths can the nominee offer to SWANA
    2. A current resume, limited to two pages
    3. A letter of recommendation from a professional in the solid waste industry with over 10 years of work experience
    4. A letter of recommendation from the nominee’s immediate supervisor (if the applicant is self-employed, then in lieu of this letter of recommendation another letter of recommendation from an industry professional is required.)
    5. All documents submitted to the online Application Form
  • YP of the Year Awards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q: How many winners are there?
    A: Three winners will be selected. Runner-ups may be selected and notified following closure of the application deadline.

    Q: Can I nominate someone else?
    A: Yes, you can nominate someone else using the same application process. Simply upload the documentation as part of the application with your relationship to the nominee outlined in the Letter of Interest (LOI). The process to nominate someone else requires fewer supporting files.

    Q: Who are we addressing the letters to?
    A: The letters should be addressed to SWANA at their headquarter location: 8484 Georgia Avenue, Suite 230, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Please note that all letters should be included in the online application packet and not actually mailed to this address.

    Q: When are the applicants and winners contacted?
    A: Winners will be announced the first week of August, 2024. All applicants will receive notification of their status. The winners will be recognized at WASTECON (October 21–24, 2024).

    Q: How do we obtain an employer letter of recommendation if we are self-employed?
    A: In lieu of a letter of recommendation from the nominee’s immediate supervisor, please acquire an additional letter of recommendation from a different professional in the industry with over 10 years of work experience (therefore, two letters in total).

YPs of the Year will be formally recognized at WASTECON during the Awards Ceremony.

YP’s of the Year will receive

  • One-year SWANA membership voucher (following the year of the award)
  • WASTECON or SOAR (nominee’s choice) attendance voucher
  • Physical award (to be presented at WASTECON)
  • SWANA Press Releases acknowledging awards
  • Member spotlights heading into following year’s WASTECON conference

Congratulations to Our Previous YPs of the Year

Allison Omens

Allison Omens

Zero Waste Program Coordinator
Metro Nashville Waste Services
Nashville, TN

Mateja Vidovic Klanac

Mateja Vidovic Klanac - 2023

Project Professional
SCS Engineers
Boca Raton, FL

David Henry, PE

David Henry

Consulting Engineer
Harbin Engineering
Forsyth, GA

East Region Winner (Regions 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 13)


Emily Tucker, HDR, Charlotte, NC

West Region Winner (Regions 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, & 12)

Dr. Sonia Samir, P.E.

Sonia Samir, Parkhill, Friso, TX

Discretionary (No specific region)


Haley Kunert, HF&H Consultants, Irvine, CA



Any question regarding the program and/or selection criteria must be directed to Hailey Tatum.