ISRI2023 kicked off with a live performance by Nashville based vocal trio, Brassfield. A mix of original songs and country classics like Achy Breaky Heart set the tone as this was the first time ISRI2023 took place in Nashville.
Setting the Stage
Stephen Moss, ISRI convention chair, opened the session with a welcome address that announced ISRI2023 is breaking records with the current count of attendees reaching 6,328. “Little did we know it would be record breaking attendance,” said Moss. “I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone, attend sessions outside of your field, talk with new vendors and network with new people.”
“What got you here this morning?” asked Brian Henesey, ISRI chair during his state of the association address following Moss. “You’re here because you care about your business and career.” At the core of Henesey’s address was the ISRI Mission Statement: ISRI is the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, promoting safe, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible recycling through networking, advocacy, and education. “Every word is active, has a purpose, is true and has a value to our business.” Henesey reflected on his experience as chair so far, citing three big takeaways:
• You must set the agenda
• Depth and breath of services and support from ISRI
• Grateful for people and companies that collaborate with ISRI
“ISRI is where you make the most out of the good times and the best out of the bad…Together we can define our success today and the years to come,” concluded Henesey.
Recognition and Awards
Robin Wiener, ISRI president, was honored by current and past ISRI chairs in recognition of being president of ISRI for 25 years and with ISRI for 30 years.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Goldstein
The ISRI Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Robert Goldstein. He has been a leader in the recycled materials industry for more than 50 years, starting his career at the age of 13 when he began going clean up tasks at his family’s facility. He accepted the award on his worker’s behalf, attributing his success to them and to taking his family’s credo to heart, “honesty, integrity, and your work are your greatest assets.”
2022-2023 Youth Recycling Contest Winners
This year’s Poster Contest Winner is Barbie Lin, an 8th grade student at Myra S. Barnes Intermediate School 24 in Staten Island, New York. Lin’s teacher is Michele Corio.
Video Winners are Team Blue Steel, which consists of Bailey Maltese, Yaesung Kim, and Ashvin Saini, who are fifth graders at Willow Springs Elementary in Fairfax, Va. Team Blue Steel’s teacher is Logan Williams.
“It’s exciting to see the ingenuity and creativity of this year’s Youth Video and Poster contest entries, and the excellence exhibited in presenting the message of recycling as the key to sustainability,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “By combining STEM and elements of the recycled materials industry, winners highlighted the importance of recycling to the continuation of a resilient planet.”
Vicente Fox, president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, and founder of Centro Fox was the featured speaker. Fox provided keen insight into Mexico’s trade relationships — how they formed, evolved and their impact. Mexico is the 13th largest economy in the world, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is reaching $1 trillion and Mexico is one of the U.S.’ largest trading partners for recycled materials. Fox believes that it’s economic relationships like these that can help bring continued prosperity to both countries and the broader world. He stated that the leadership found in the recycled materials industry makes this possible.