Nominations for Officers of the Association (FY16)


Nominations for Officers of the Association (FY 16)


The following individuals have been nominated by the Nominating Committee to serve as officers of the Association for Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016), but serving by tradition from the 2015 Annual Business Meeting on August 25, 2015, to the 2016 Annual Business Meeting in August 2016:

President – Michelle Leonard, Vice President, SCS Engineers, Pasadena, California

Vice President – Richard H. Allen, CEO, Salt River Landfill, Scottsdale, Arizona

Treasurer – Jeffrey S. Murray, P.E., BCEE, Senior Project Manager, HDR Engineering, Inc. of the Carolinas, Raleigh, North Carolina

Secretary – Frank R. Caponi, Division Engineer – Head, Air quality Engineering, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Whittier, California

The EC must approve or disapprove the nominating committee’s candidates for Secretary, and advancement of the current officers to the next level of office at the Mid-Year Meeting; The EC-approved recommendations of the Nominating Committee is further subject to IB approval and written ballot of the SWANA Membership via on-line voting in June-July 2015. 

Please see professional biographies below.

President – Michelle P. Leonard, Vice President, SCS Engineers, Pasadena, California
Michelle is a Vice President at SCS Engineers and the West Coast Director of Sustainable Materials Management. She has nearly 30 years of experience in environmental consulting and project management, and is a recognized leader in the field of solid waste management and planning. She has assisted public and private sector clients in meeting recycling and diversion mandates through the preparation of zero waste plans, recycling program design and implementation, and evaluation of program effectiveness. She has also conducted feasibility studies for transfer stations, material recovery facilities, drop-off and buy-back centers, and has permitted TS/MRFs and disposal facilities. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Michelle has been a member of SWANA since 2000.  She has served as the Director, Vice Director, and Past Director of the Recycling and Special Waste Division. In 2010, Michelle was elected to the Executive Committee of the International Board as the Technical Division Representative. In that position, she facilitated the new Technical Division representation on the International Board, and established a more direct connection between the Divisions and the IB.  She spearheaded the effort to prepare the Technical Divisions’ Mission/Vision Statement that was adopted in 2012. In addition, she has directed the review and updating of a number of Technical Policies, has served on the Planning, Finance, and Policy Committees, and as a member of Regions 1 and 2. In 2014, she led the effort to prepare a new Strategic Long Range Plan for SWANA. She presently serves as the International Board Vice President.

Michelle was elected to the Board of the Southern California Founding Chapter of SWANA in 2010. She served as the Chapter’s Secretary for two years. As an officer of the local chapter, Michelle has been engaged in planning for the California Western Regional Symposium, and arranging local workshops, including identifying topics and issues, and recruiting key industry speakers. 

She is a regular presenter at WASTECON®, The Road to Zero Waste conference, and local chapter workshops.  She has been a member of the WASTECON® and Road to Zero Waste conference planning committees for many years, which has included reviewing abstracts, identifying topics, creating the conference theme, and selecting and inviting speakers.  She has also participated at WASTECON® as a moderator, and the inaugural IGNITE event. 

Vice President – Richard H. Allen, CEO, Salt River Landfill, Scottsdale, Arizona
Rich has worked in the solid waste field for over 24 years. He has worked for the Salt River Landfill for the last 20.5 years. The Salt River Landfill is an integrated solid waste facility that includes 144 acres of lined landfill cells, a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that handles approximately 90,000 tons of recyclables a year, a green waste recovery area that diverts approximately 50,000 tons of green waste from the landfill for composting and/or biomass fuel, a White Goods/Scrap Metal area that diverts approximately 1,000 tons of metal from the landfill annually and an e-waste drop-off area that diverts electronics from the landfill. The landfill also collects and pipes their landfill gas to a 4 Megawatt Landfill gas to Energy plant located approximately 3.5 miles from the landfill and operates a 35 acre bioreactor cell. He manages the Salt River Landfill and its 25+ employees.

Rich has been a SWANA member since 1994 and has served on the Arizona Chapter’s Board of Directors since 1996 including as the International Board Representative and Region I Director since 2006. He has been heavily involved in the preparation of educational materials for SWANA and is certified in both the Manager of Landfill Operations and Bioreactor courses. He has been an instructor for MOLO and various other SWANA training courses. He has been consistently involved in SWANA’s Road-E-O having served as the Chairman of the International Road-E-O Committee for the last several years.

Rich is a Registered Professional Engineer in Civil Engineering for the State of Arizona. Rich has BS degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Treasurer – Jeffrey S. Murray, P.E., BCEE, Senior Project Manager, HDR Engineering Inc. of the Carolinas, Raleigh, North Carolina
Jeff is a Senior Project Manager with HDR and has over 18 years of solid waste consulting experience. His areas of expertise include feasibility studies, program evaluations and planning, design, permitting and construction administration of municipal solid waste and industrial landfill expansions, landfill closures, post closure landfill re-use, and recycling and transfer station facilities.  He has managed projects of various sizes and complexity with support from one or two project engineers to multiple-disciplined project teams of engineers, scientists and architects.

Jeff has been a SWANA member since 1998 and served on the Northern England Chapter Board of Directors for 16 years as its Treasurer, President and as its International Board Director from 2004 to 2013, until relocating to North Carolina from New Hampshire.  In addition to serving his Chapter and the International Board, Jeff has also served as the Chair of the Landfill Technical Division Training Committee from 2006 to 2014.  In this capacity he lead the Division’s input on the 2012  revisions to the Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO) Certification Course, the rewrite of the MOLO Certification Exam, and participated in review of Landfill Symposia abstracts and award applications.

Jeff is a Registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, New Hampshire and Maine, is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer through AAEES, and has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MS degree in Civil Engineering both from the University of New Hampshire. 

Secretary – Frank R. Caponi, Division Engineer, Head, Air Quality Engineering, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, Whittier, California
Frank is a Professional Engineer with over 33 years of experience in solid waste and wastewater management.  He is currently a Division Engineer heading up Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts’ (LACSDs’) Air Quality Engineering Section.  Utilizing a staff of engineers, the responsibilities of his section include ensuring local, state and federal air quality compliance at LACSDs’ operating landfills and POTWs, including all permitting, CEQA analyses and emissions inventory.  Frank also acts as a regulatory liaison with federal, state and local air quality agencies, as well as serving on several agency committees.  Facilities under the responsibility of Frank’s Air Quality Engineering Section provide wastewater and solid waste management services for over 5.8 million people in Los Angeles County.

Frank has been an active member of SWANA since 1998 where, upon joining SWANA, represented the organization on an EPA rulemaking committee. In 2000, Frank became the Chairman of the SWANA Landfill Gas Division Rules and Regulation Committee and served in this capacity until 2004.  In 2004, Frank was elected Vice-Director of the SWANA Landfill Gas Division, and subsequently Director in 2006, and Past Director in 2008.  In 2009, Frank became Co-Chair of the SWANA Landfill Gas Division Advocacy Committee, and still serves in this capacity today. In 2010, Frank was chosen as the Landfill Gas Division Technical Division International Board Representative, and in 2012, elected as the Technical Division Executive Committee Representative. In 2010, Frank received the SWANA Landfill Gas Division Individual Distinguished Achievement Award.

Frank has been active in the local SWANA California Legislative Task Force and a regular presenter at SWANA technical symposiums, WASTECON® and local chapter meetings. In addition, Frank was chosen to make the keynote presentation at the 2008 SWANA Landfill conference and 2014 LMOP Conference.


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.

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