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SWANA Announces Three 2022 Professional Achievement Award Winners

Three members are recognized with the Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award, SWANA’s Professional Achievement Award, and SWANA’s Life Member Award

Silver Spring, MD - The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual Professional Achievement Awards. Three members of the association are recognized: Kathy Morris, with the Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award; James R. Miller, with SWANA’s Professional Achievement Award; and Murray Griffin, with SWANA’s Life Member Award.

“SWANA professional achievement awards are one of the highest honors someone in the solid waste industry can receive,” stated David Biderman, SWANA’s Executive Director and CEO. “I have worked closely with several of this year’s awardees, and can personally confirm they are among the best of the best in this great industry.”

The Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award

Not necessarily awarded each year, the Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award is the highest accolade SWANA members can give to an individual. The award is intended for a SWANA member or non-member who, by a career of unusually meritorious service to the municipal solid waste management field, have earned consideration. Determination of the award is based on the nominee’s service and activity beyond normal responsibilities to the employer and to the public.

Kathy Morris, Executive Director, Waste Commission of Scott County, IA

Kathy Morris

For more than 30 years – all spent as the Executive Director of the Waste Commission of Scott County – Morris has demonstrated "contagious passion" in advancing solid waste management services across Scott County, Iowa; the Quad Cities region, the state of Iowa; and the Mississippi River. Under Kathy's leadership, the Waste Commission of Scott County has been at the forefront of implementing new services and technologies and supporting other public entities in Iowa and the region doing the same. After a short time on the Iowa Chapter (ISOSWO) Board, she continued to mentor Chapter Board mentors, including a four-year president; to regularly volunteer for committee work, to support and drive legislative and regulatory initiatives; and to volunteer the Commission, its employees and resources wherever and whenever necessary on behalf of the Chapter, the environment and advancing solid waste management practice.


Professional Achievement Award

Professional achievement awards recognize SWANA members for valuable and distinguished contributions to the Association, the individual’s employing organization, chapter, technical division, and/or the public. Unique achievements and outstanding services by the individual, potentially but not always tied to career longevity, are considered in the selection.

James (Jim) R. Miller, SE, PE, Founder & CEO of J.R. Miller & Associates, Brea, CA

Jim Miller

Mr. Miller has more than 45 years of experience with a focus on the planning and design of solid waste processing facilities. He has been a SWANA member since 2003 and is a member of the Collection & Transfer Technical Division where he has served in leadership positions and currently chairs the Legislative/Advocacy Committee. He has been a guest lecturer at several California colleges and universities; presented at numerous at SWANA and industry conferences and written articles for a variety of industry publications.


SWANA Life Member

Consideration for the Association's Life Member Award includes an individual's length of service and commitment to the Association, service and support to Chapter(s) or technical divisions, superior commitment and service to their employer, long term involvement in the field of municipal solid waste management in general, and the significance of contributions to the Association and the industry.

Murray Griffin, Past President/CEO, Atlantic Coast Consulting, Inc., Savannah, GA

Murray Griffin

Mr. Griffin was recognized for “unprecedented” service and commitment to SWANA and the Georgia Chapter where he served on the Chapter Board of Directors for more than 20 years; supported participation in conferences, Road-E-Os, scholarship and award programs and advocacy efforts, and served as a Chapter training instructor. His nomination submitted by Atlantic Coast Consulting and supported by the Chapter presented his “Generosity, Leadership, and Commitment” to the Chapter and Association across thousands of hours of service in a long and distinguished career.


Professional achievement award nominations are reviewed by the International Awards Committee, which presents recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval.

“It is with great pleasure we selected this year's recipients for the annual Professional Achievement Awards. As always it is exciting to be part of the Awards Committee in recognizing our industry's top professionals,” said Michael Brinchek, PE Senior Project Manager at Smith Gardner, Inc. and SWANA Awards Committee Chair. “This year's recipients, as in years past, represent the best of our industry in and out of the SWANA organization and exemplify what it means to be a Solid Waste professional. These recipients are admired by their colleagues for their 'contagious passion', are respected for their “generosity, leadership, and commitment" and are valued for their dedication in moving our industry forward."

All 2022 awards will be presented on December 6 during SWANA’s Annual Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with WASTECON® 2022 in San Diego, California.

About SWANA

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.

Media Contact

Amanda Suntag,
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240-494-2238
asuntag@swana.org