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Young Professionals


What is SWANA’s Young Professionals Group?


A “Young Professional” (YP) is defined as an individual in the resource management industry (a.k.a. solid waste industry) who is 35 years of age or younger. The YPs includes everyone working in the industry – from field/operations staff to office workers, working in public or private sector, operations or management, collections, processing or disposal, legal or marketing, etc. The YP Group is committed to actively pursuing the engagement and career advancement of the fellow YPs by providing learning, networking and leadership opportunities by creating active roles in SWANA.

Mission Statement

The SWANA YP Group provides a structured bridge from an entry-level to a mid-career leader in the resource management industry. The group aims to develop a pool of well-rounded leaders for the future of our industry and provide a platform to elevate new ideas and initiatives from the youngest members of the industry.

The SWANA Young Professionals support SWANA’s mission to advance from solid waste management to resource management by offering YP focused programs designed to foster interest in industry-related careers, encourage active involvement in the industry, and develop young SWANA members into future leaders of the association.

Why Join?

SWANA’s Young Professionals Group is run by YPs for YPs who are interested in advancing into leadership positions.  Here are a few of the many benefits of SWANA’s Young Professional group:

  • Webinars and conference sessions designed specifically for Young Professionals’ professional development
  • Mentorship program — networking and learning from industry leaders
  • Opportunities to voice your opinion about the future of SWANA and become an integral part of SWANA leadership
  • Access to training and development that will deliver a clear, transferable, and recognizable skill set
  • Access to a network of other Young Professionals

How Do I Join?

New member Young Professionals pay a special first-year membership fee of $100.

The renewal rates for new YP members following their first year:

  • Year 2: $150 for a renewing YP under the Public, Private, or Small Business sector
  • Year 3: $200 for a renewing YP under the Public, Private, or Small Business sector
  • Year 4: Back to full price at the standard membership rate for the industry sector

Must be a YP member for three consecutive years to receive the discounted YP membership rates. Once your membership is complete, log-in to your MySWANA account to connect with other YPs, interact with YPs on Twitter @SWANA or check in with the YP Linkedin Group.

If you have any questions, please contact Shelby Truxon, YP Program Manager.

How Do I Get Involved?

Recruitment, development and involvement of Young Professionals (YPs) is critical to the future of SWANA. That’s why SWANA has developed a Young Professionals Group to foster YP participation at the local level through a team of regional reps and chapter liaisons as well as on the national level through a team of technical division reps and a Young Professionals Steering Committee.  For those not looking to formally assume a role, you can reach out to the reps and liaisons to help coordinate formal or informal events.

Contact your regional rep to get in touch with your local YP chapter liaison or inquire about open leadership positions. For further assistance, contact the YP Program Manager, Shelby Truxon, at

How Do I Get Involved Internationally?

The ISWA Young Professionals Group aims to bring about new ideas and initiatives that address the challenges in waste management through engagement with wider society. In addition, the YPG strives to make global connection to people, ideas and knowledge more accessible. ISWA YPG is open to anyone under the age of 35 who is working in the field of waste management. SWANA has partnered with ISWA to offer a free six-month trial of ISWA membership.

Learn more

How Do I Get In Touch with the YP Leadership?

Feel free to contact Shelby Truxon at for any further information.

FY2022 YP Steering CommitteeCity and State
Sonia SamirFrisco, TX
Nicole BurkhardtWilmington, DE
Alex ThomasAppleton, WI
Hailey TatumGreenwood Village, CO
Mateja Vidovic KlanacBoca Raton, FL
Wes GlakasHouston, TX
Bently HiggsNorth Vancouver, BC
Cassidy BraunsBelmont, NC

YP Technical Division Chairs

FY2021 Technical DivisionYP TD Chairs
Communications, Education, and MarketingAshley Krug
Collection and TransferMadison Aberer
Landfill Gas and BiogasAlex Newell, Shashank Patel, Michelle L. Tomasiewicz
Landfill ManagementPaul Shamoian
Planning and ManagementRocky Strong
Sustainable Materials ManagementSara Nichols
Waste Conversion and Energy RecoveryRobert Burke

Download Recruitment Flyers

Download to share information with other Young Professionals.


Download to share information with your chapter leaders.



Congratulations to our Design Competition Winners!

Watch student presentations from SWANA’s 2021 Solid Waste Design Competition on Closing the Bakoteh Dumpsite in Kanifing, The Gambia!