On March 24 in Las Vegas, ISRI’s board of directors elected Brian Henesey of Rocky Mountain Recycling in Commerce City, Colo., chair of ISRI for the 2022-24 term. Gary Champlin of Champlin Tire Recycling in Concordia, Kan., is the immediate past chair, having served in the position from 2020 to 2022.

The other national officers elected Jan. 24 to two-year terms are Chair-Elect Colin Kelly of Schnitzer Steel Industries’ Everett, Mass., operation; Vice-Chair Andy Golding of Toledo, Ohio-based Kripke Enterprises; and Secretary/Treasurer Neil Byce of Monticello, Minn.-based CW Metals. Robin Wiener remains president of ISRI in a nonvoting capacity.

Scrap News asked Champlin and Henesey to share their perspectives about ISRI and leadership. Here is an excerpt of that exchange.

Scrap News: Gary, what are some of the things that you learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that surprised you about being a leader?

Champlin: Chaos can be managed. It takes a heightened sense of awareness. When you’re dealing with chaos, all things are possible—and all things are impossible. So, I learned you can manage chaos but you … have to stay anchored. Because if you pulled up anchor, you could’ve gone any direction; eventually you would have capsized.

SN: Brian, what is your vision for ISRI going forward?

Henesey: It’s not, what’s my vision, it’s, what’s our vision? What’s best for our members? What’s best for our industry?

Initially we need to relearn to connect with each other, as we have more in-person meetings and get back to that bond that human beings have—that’s critical. We also need to look at … the evolution of our association and the industry and the world around us. For the last two years, we have seen changes that our society has not seen in decades—and our association is not immune.

We need to improve upon our communication internally amongst our members. We also need to look at our messaging with our elected officials, with schoolteachers, with the community around us. Our association, our industry, [does] a lot of good; we can do much better in elevating our voice to communicate that to the community around us.

Regulatory and legislative matters before us: We need to engage—embrace—consider. They are challenges, but with every challenge is opportunity.

You know, when I first got into this industry, my company and my family [said] let’s stay under the radar. Let’s run our business, pay taxes, provide jobs, and then call it a day. Well, with the world so much smaller and the way society is today, that’s a thing of the past.

We need to be good stewards for the environment. We need to be advocates for our communities. So, it’s not only jobs and it’s not only taxes you pay. It’s what you do for the community. I think that’s critical and that’s here to stay.

SN: Gary, do you have any advice for Brian in terms of what he might expect or some things he might want to prepare for?

Champlin: Brian, I’ve known you a long time. You were made for this. There might be times when you feel you’re out there alone. You’re not, so build that consensus and lead all the time. If you do those simple things, everything else will take care of itself.

Henesey: I appreciate the many years of Gary’s mentorship assistance. I begin to take over the role as chair of ISRI knowing that he and [past chairs] Brian Shine and John Sacco and others before them are there to assist me. But what’s most comforting for me—and exciting for me—over the next two years is the people that I’ll get to work with.

I promise to our members, and I promise to our volunteer leaders, that I am going to be efficient. I’m going to respect your time. At the end of the day, I want us to enjoy it and have fun in what we’re doing.

Champlin: If you’re thinking about ISRI and leadership, call me.

Henesey: Or call me! Our association is inclusive of all members. All members have a voice. We don’t just want or appreciate your engagement: We need your engagement. We need your voice.

It doesn’t need to be on the national level. It doesn’t need to be on the boards—although we would embrace it and appreciate the engagement. Get engaged within your region or within your local chapter. Reach out; they would love to hear from you.

Photo courtesy of ISRI. Caption: ISRI Immediate Past Chair Gary Champlin, his wife, Debra, and Chair Brian Henesey observe the end of ISRI2022 in Las Vegas.


Dan Hockensmith

Dan Hockensmith

I'm a native Ohioan who since 2014 has called Maryland home. My background includes print, broadcast, and digital journalism; government contracting; and marketing communications.