ISRI2022 is back in person and its main-stage speakers are similarly focused on the personal—whether it’s through changing your language, developing a futuristic mindset, or rethinking how you interact with your employees. Each speaker will offer opportunities for the industry and association to focus on internal and external growth.

Maslansky+partners heads to its second ISRI Convention and Exposition to continue the work CEO Michael Maslanksy began at ISRI2012. Global trend-watcher Dr. Vikram Mansharamani comes to ISRI2022 to go deeper into some high-level perspectives he first shared with the industry during ISRI2017. Thought leader Cara Silletto will focus on the area of workforce development and how recyclers can hire and retain employees in a competitive marketspace. “We hope these three session speakers will bring longer-term ROIs to both our members and the association as a whole,” says Stephen Moss, ISRI Convention Chair.

When mapping out the general sessions, ISRI President Robin Wiener looked to the past for resources that could help guide the industry into the future. The recycling industry is filled with experts in their respective fields who can paint an accurate picture of the recycling process and the value it presents to the public and the environment. However, getting the message to stick isn’t always about painting with the most words—sometimes it’s about the perfect elevator pitch.

“There’s a lot of noise in the recycling space; we need to figure out a way to break through,” Wiener says. “It’s important not to just know all the information but be well equipped to give people a snapshot; that’s where the firm maslansky+partners comes in.”

The key to understanding perception is knowing your audience, including customers, the local community, potential business partners, or all the above. ISRI has brought back language experts from maslansky+partners, who spoke at ISRI2012, to provide insights into how the right words can help change behavior and drive business results.

“Many of the things the experts told us in 2012 are still relevant to what we’re facing today, even more so,” Wiener explains. “This is going to help us break through the noise, we’ll have the words and phrases that resonate for the people we’re talking to. This is the first step toward helping policy makers and the general public really understand recycling, so this session is not only going to be useful to ISRI but also to members and how they talk to their local communities about what they do.”

Moss anticipates maslansky+partners will help the recycling industry develop and build its messaging to local communities and the public at large. “We want to demonstrate that we’re good stewards of the environment,” he says. “These experts will help give us the tools to do that work.”

ISRI Chair Gary Champlin agrees, noting that one of the important aspects of ISRI2022 is not only getting back together in person but getting back to basics. “We’re establishing our identity, and maslansky+partners is perfect to help us move forward, they’ll give us deliverables to do more work after the convention,” he says.

ISRI selected Mansharamani based on the same model of cutting through the noise and refining the basics. “He’s a futurist and understands our industry, and he’s really interested in the industry,” Champlin says. “Where maslansky+partners will help us work on the language for the industry, Dr. Mansharamani will help give us a snapshot of where we’re headed.”

A global-trend watcher, Mansharamani shows people how to anticipate the future, manage risk, and spot opportunities. He spoke at ISRI2017, and Wiener notes the presentation was captivating and insightful. “He talked about the world we’re facing, the trends, the changes, the demographics, the circular economy; he really brought everything together in a 30,000-foot view,” she says.

At ISRI2022 Mansharamani will help shine a light on what the industry can expect but from a slightly more focused vantage point. “We’re asking him to give us a 20,000 foot-view this time,” Wiener adds. “He’s going to help us understand what we should be thinking about and planning for in the next few years. We want to figure out what’s ahead for the industry and have that information for members; he’ll help us do that work.”

For the closing session, ISRI looked to an ongoing issue many industries are facing—hiring and retaining new employees in extremely competitive labor-market conditions. Workforce thought leader Silletto will discuss tools and strategies recyclers can use to inspire their teams, stop high-volume turnover, keep high-level talent, and create a workplace where people want to stay. Silletto uses her expertise to assist organizations of all sizes reduce employee turnover by bridging generational gaps and making managers more effective. Her work helps companies decrease costs, increase employee satisfaction, and ensure high-quality services and products for customers.

“ISRI2022 is not only the world’s largest recycling event, but it also represents the first time in three years that we’ve met in-person for our annual convention and exposition,” Wiener says. “Our main stage speakers represent the best of the best in their respective professions, and our members will be benefit from the depth of their expertise.”






Hannah Carvalho

Hannah Carvalho

Hannah Carvalho is the Editorial Director at ReMA. She's interested in a wide range of topics in the recycled materials 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 Washington, DC with her husband.