Editor’s Note: This quarter’s column is written by Elizabeth Roe, Vice Director for the Technical Division.
How Did I Get Involved? How Can You?
By Elizabeth Roe, President, EcoPartners, Inc.
Of course, it began simply enough. “How can I help?”
I had run into a client and friend, Cristina Polsgrove from the City of Tucson, who had just discovered that she would be moving up to Director for the Communication, Education and Marketing (CEM) Technical Division of SWANA. As it turned out, someone would need to step in as Vice Director. I said that I would be happy to place my name in nomination and then was honored to be selected for that position.
On my first conference call, I had no idea what to expect. Frankly, I was intimidated. I scanned the list of people on the call and felt as though I was among rock stars. I was afraid I would have nothing to offer. But my fears were unfounded. These are people who are passionate about our profession. These are people who want to listen. These are people who want to learn from their peers.
The CEM Technical Division brings a unique perspective to the table and our voice is needed. The success of all of our programs depends on our ability to communicate them. Without educating residents, staff, elected officials, and other stakeholders, good ideas are just that – ideas. Education moves our program ideas through the steps from awareness to action. And even within SWANA, our marketing skills bring a creative spark to conversations about events and so much more.
If you were at WASTECON® in September, you have returned to work with renewed energy. You are ready to innovate. You are probably already exploring new avenues. Don’t lose that feeling! Get more involved in SWANA throughout the year. The CEM Technical Division gives you the opportunity to work with your peers on various projects. When you serve, you continue learning about the best of the best.
We specifically need volunteers to serve on three committees: Awards, Program, and Training. Our committees meet virtually, via email and, at times, conference call. Our capable SWANA staff provides everything we need to accomplish our volunteer tasks efficiently.
I have been around SWANA for a long time. But until 2011, when I became President of Eco Partners, my involvement had been sporadic. Since then, I’ve become involved with the CEM Technical Division and served on the Exhibitor Advisory Committee for WASTECON®. Each time I said “yes,” I have learned more about our profession, made valuable contacts and new friends, and discovered ways to do my job better.
But the best part? Becoming more involved in SWANA and, especially, the CEM Technical Division has given me a new energy to sit down at my desk every day and produce better work than I did yesterday.
I am so glad that I said, “Yes!” Will you?
Elizabeth Roe, President of Eco Partners, Inc., can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-450-3346.
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The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 60 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.