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October 31, 2023

Meet Our Senior Director of Learning & Development!

Arminda Valles-Hall

Arminda Valles-Hall
Senior Director,
Learning and Development

Arminda Valles-Hall sets the strategic direction for SWANA’s certification, education, and training efforts.

Arminda uses her 30+ years of experience with nonprofit organizations to help individuals, programs, and companies reach new levels of performance. As a member of SWANA’s Management and Leadership Team, she plays a pivotal role in guiding the organization toward its mission and strategic objectives. Her responsibilities are multi-faceted and involve long-term and day-to-day decision-making, and include:

  • Aligning SWANA’s Certification, Education, and Training programs with larger organizational strategic goals and objectives
  • Setting budgetary goals and allocating resources to meet targets
  • Leading the development of programs that meet the needs of solid waste professionals and the industry
  • Evaluating the performance of programs and team members
  • Adapting to meet changing priorities and circumstances
  • Building productive relationships with SWANA’s leaders, industry-serving organizations and subject matter experts, and SWANA’s members and customers

Meet Our Training Accounts Manager!

Natalia Giraldo

Natalia Giraldo
Training Accounts Manager

Natalia Giraldo empowers solid waste professionals to build their knowledge, competencies, and careers.

As the driving force behind SWANA’s external training program, Natalia orchestrates the delivery of education and training delivered through:

  • SWANA national events, including its SOAR Technical Conference, training at SWANA headquarters, and regional training centers
  • Chapter events held throughout North America
  • SWANA’s Training@Work Program, through which employers secure SWANA’s high-quality training for their people directly at their sites, helping them stretch their training budgets and minimize operational downtime.

To uphold the quality of SWANA’s solid waste training, Natalia ensures industry subject matter experts undergo a rigorous training and evaluation process to qualify as SWANA faculty members.

Dedicated to process improvement, Natalia uses her in-depth knowledge of SWANA’s systems, including its website and other communication vehicles, event management system, and membership database, to streamline processes, improve communications, and enhance the SWANA member experience.

Meet Our Certification & Training Coordinator!

Sheri Johnson

Sheri Johnson
Certification & Training

Sheri Johnson is a customer service champion and master problem solver.

Sheri is generally the first person with whom SWANA members and customers interact for all things certification- and training-related. Demonstrating expert knowledge of SWANA systems, she resolves the requests, inquiries, and, sometimes, complaints received through the and inboxes. She expertly connects members to the resources they need to further their professional and career goals. If Sheri doesn’t have the answer, she’ll find it!

Sheri’s impact is felt throughout SWANA, most notably, through her work:

  • Guiding current and prospective certification-holders through the certification process
  • Managing the process for awarding professional development credit to individuals attending SWANA National, Chapter, and third-party educational events
  • Serving as an internal resource to SWANA staff in the areas of event management, research of historical trends in SWANA certification and training, and the processes that serve our members

Meet Our Learning & Development Project Manager!

Laura Widdows

Laura Widdows
Project Manager,
Learning & Development

Laura Widdows plays a crucial role in developing educational programs with impact.

As the newest member of SWANA’s Learning & Development team, Laura helps plan, implement, and oversee the development of educational initiatives and projects. Currently, she is redeveloping SWANA’s Recycling program to meet current and future industry needs.

As a project management specialist, Laura ensures educational projects are completed successfully, on time, and within budget while meeting their intended objectives. Among her many responsibilities, she:

  • Collaborates with SWANA members, subject matter experts, and others to leverage their expertise
  • Researches industry trends to inform development efforts
  • Monitors and reports risks to the project’s success, including changes in requirements and external factors
  • Communicates with project stakeholders about the project status, changes, and milestones
  • Maintains detailed records of project activities, decisions, and outcomes
  • Evaluates the impact and effectiveness of educational initiatives and projects

Thank you for supporting LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT!

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