During the initial planning for the 2022 Western Region Conference, Sandy Brooks, vice chair of ISRI’s West Coast Chapter, looked to the success of the 2021 Southeast Region Conference. “Last year the Southeast Region’s fall conference fell right after the ISRI fall board meetings [in Charleston, S.C.],” she says. “So, a lot of people who attended the board meetings in October stayed to be part of the southeastern regional conference. I thought that might be something we could do for this year.”

She took the suggestion to ISRI Chair Brian Henesey, who loved the idea of holding national ISRI meetings in conjunction with the Western Regional Conference. The regional event will be Oct. 23-26 at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif. The 2022 ISRI Fall Meeting also will be at the resort Oct. 25-27.

“The Western Regional Conference encompasses ISRI members from the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, and West Coast chapters,” says Anthony Bonilla, West Coast Chapter chair. “The last conference I attended was hosted by the Pacific Northwest Chapter. The Western Regional Conference is a great event for networking, and it’s fun and family friendly. We hope the event this year will exceed everyone’s expectations.” The three chapters rotate hosting the Western Regional Conference.

Knowing that the conference will draw in more people this year because of the fall meetings, West Coast Chapter leaders aim to throw a week of events that are attractive to a variety of audiences.

Activities will include a sand volleyball tournament, golf at Monarch Beach Golf Links, deep-sea fishing at Dana Point Harbor, and an art tour of local galleries. The general session keynote speaker will be Mark Sanchez, former NFL quarterback and Fox Sports NFL game analyst. The Western Regional Conference is open to ISRI members as well as their families and children.

“We hold a golf event every year that’s geared for the West Coast Chapter,” Bonilla says. “We’ll have golf this year too, but there will be a lot of different offerings at the conference with so many new people.”

Though the event is scheduled for October, the Surf & Sand Resort has already been sold out. But there’s no cause for concern. Interested attendees have a variety of great options just around the corner. “There are so many great places to stay that are minutes away from the Surf and Sand Resort,” Brooks says. “We’re glad to see so much interest in the event. The neighboring hotels are within walking distance of the resort, so we hope to see more people take advantage of all the opportunities.”

Nearby hotels are:

The chapter plans to highlight the conference location throughout the week. “Laguna beach is an art colony,” Brooks says. “We wanted to tie that into our event, so we’re excited to offer a tour of local art galleries. It’ll be in partnership with the Women in Recycling (WIR) Council. There are so many great galleries right within walking distance, and we’ll also get to meet the artists.”

Attendees will get some fun beach vibes at the beginning of the conference with a Hawaiian luau on the first night. The luau will include cocktails, dinner, and music provided by the Kalama Brothers duo. Brooks recommends guests dress up in theme for the evening.

“When the Pacific Northwest Chapter hosted the conference in Oregon, they had a cowboy theme one night and people dressed up,” she says. “I want to encourage people to have some fun. Wear a Hawaiian lei along with your favorite colorful shirt or dress.”

Bonilla and Brooks are excited to see so many members eager to attend the conference. “It’s great to see such great turnout this early on,” Bonilla says. “People seem ready to get out and are excited to come. We’re grateful to be hosting the event this year and especially want to thank Caterpillar for being the main sponsor of the conference.”

Featured Photo by Steady Hand Co. on Unsplash. Body Photo Courtesy of ISRI.

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah is a Writer & Editor for ISRI's Scrap News. She's interested in a wide range of topics in the recycling industry and is always eager to learn more. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in History and a minored in Creative Writing. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband.