This article is from the Diversity in the Recycling Industry: Successes, Lessons Learned, and Ways to Improve presented by the ISRI Women in Recycling Council session during ISRI2021. If you would like to watch this session in its entirety, you can still register for ISRI2021 here. This session, along with others, are available to attendees on demand.

This year’s recipient of ISRI’s Young Executive of the Year award is Dan Garvin, president of Colorado Iron & Metal. A second-generation scrap recycler, Dan co-owns Colorado Iron & Metal with his brother, Marty. They service northern Colorado and southern Wyoming from Fort Collins and Loveland in Colorado.

“Having had the pleasure of working with Dan over the years, I can say that he embodies everything the Young Executive of the Year Award represents,” ISRI President Robin Wiener says. “From his start on the board of ISRI’s Rocky Mountain Chapter to his current work on the ISRI Board of Directors, Dan has consistently demonstrated his leadership skills while working to raise the visibility of the essential role of the industry as well as ISRI. The present and the future of the industry are in great hands because of the work of Dan and our young executives. I congratulate Dan, and look forward to working with him for years to come.”

In a recent, wide-ranging interview with Scrap News, Garvin explained that after graduating high school in 2000, he first wanted to own a pizza restaurant. To give him a taste of owning his own business, Garvin’s uncle suggested he work that summer at Colorado Iron & Metal. After spending the summer cleaning radiators, stripping copper wire, buying aluminum cans, and helping customers, Garvin fell in love with the scrap business. Once the summer was over, he started college in Minnesota and forgot about the pizza business. “It’s a common theme in the industry. You’ll hear people say, ‘Oh, I just fell in love with it; it’s in my blood and I can’t get out of it.’ It’s 100% true for me,” Garvin states.

After graduation in 2003, Garvin went to work full time at Colorado Iron & Metal. A few years later, his brother Marty came in to help manage the company. From 2007 to 2010, Dan and Marty received minor ownership in the company. In 2014, their uncle finalized the deal, stepped down, and passed the reins to the brothers.

Dan attended his first ISRI chapter meeting in 2004. He attended his first national convention a few years later, and has been heavily involved with the association ever since. He serves as a director at large on the ISRI Board of Directors, as well as vice chair of ISRI’s Government Relations Committee. Garvin previously served as the ISRI Rocky Mountain Chapter president, co-chair of the ISRI Council of Chapter Presidents and Membership Committee, and vice chair of the Communications Committee.

With plenty of career still ahead, Garvin is excited for whatever the future holds. “I strongly believe I’ll spend my career in the recycling industry, working as a family-owned operation,” he says. “With all the mergers and acquisitions in the industry today, it’s a great source of pride to hold on to our ownership as a family. I don’t know what the future holds, but it’s going to be recycling related. Whatever it is, I’m excited for it.”

ISRI’s Young Executive of the Year Award was created to promote the accomplishments of successful young professionals in the recycling industry by highlighting their contributions and dedication, along with a high degree of demonstrated leadership potential. The award, established by the Young Executives Council, works to elevate the recycling industry as an exciting career option and recognize well-rounded young professionals who have a strong track record of leadership in business and community. The award is open to executives born on or after January 1, 1981, employed by an ISRI member company, with at least one year’s experience in the recycling industry.