Every even-numbered year, ISRI ushers in a new slate of national officers for the positions of chair, chair-elect, vice chair, and secretary/treasurer. By tradition, ISRI board members vote the current officers in those posts on to the next rung on the leadership ladder, with the chair assuming the role of immediate past chair for a two-year term. That process leaves the secretary/treasurer position open. To fill that slot, ISRI usually holds a contested election during a board of directors meeting on the final day of its annual convention. Two to four candidates customarily vie for the position, but this year ISRI’s Leadership Committee nominated only one: Colin Kelly, who works from Everett, Mass., for Schnitzer Steel Industries (Portland, Ore.). (The nomination process remains open until the day of the election—April 19 this year—allowing other nominations from the floor.)
Scrap customarily profiles the secretary/treasurer candidates prior to the election to help readers learn about their association service and their perspectives on industry and association issues. On the next page is our Q&A with Kelly, an 11-year scrap industry executive, ISRI volunteer leader, and unabashed ISRI advocate. “I really am a big supporter of the trade association, so I’m very excited and proud about this nomination,” he says. With that background—and without further ado—meet Colin Kelly, the nominee for ISRI secretary/treasurer for the 2018–2020 term.
Director of Public Affairs, Schnitzer Steel Industries (Everett, Mass.)
ISRI leadership positions (highlights): Currently chair of the Government Relations Committee, member of the Planning Committee, and director-at-large on the board of directors. Previously president of the New England Chapter (2014–2016).
In my view, the biggest challenge facing U.S. scrap recycling companies is … China’s changes to its acceptance policies regarding some imported scrap materials, but tomorrow it will be another new challenge. That’s why ISRI needs to be vigilant in monitoring and responding to these and other issues.
In the next two years, ISRI must focus on … building its membership and keeping up with new laws and regulations that could threaten our industry. On the membership front, ISRI must listen to the needs of member companies and provide tangible membership value to each one. Additionally, ISRI must demonstrate the value of membership to those companies that currently are not members. That’s a big challenge.
ISRI’s greatest benefits to members include … its wide variety of programs and services. I have come to realize that every member has a different level of interest and need regarding its ISRI membership. It’s ISRI’s task to understand those different interests and needs, then focus its efforts on addressing them.
I personally value ISRI for … networking and the legislative resources and support. We’re fortunate to have an extremely professional staff at ISRI representing our interests so competently every day.
If elected ISRI secretary/treasurer, I’d like to help ISRI … grow its membership and identify programs and services that members want and need. At the end of the day, there are companies that need ABC and companies that need XYZ, and we need to offer the best possible package to serve each type of member. As part of this effort, we need to examine ISRI’s programs and services to find out why members use some and not others. For example, ISRI’s program that offers SREA [Superfund Recycling Equity Act] due-diligence reports is underused, so how do we make that better? ISRI could consider more extensive outreach to members that don’t use the program, with a focus on communicating the reasons why they need the SREA reports. There are other areas in which we see less-than-stellar participation. Members know the program or service is there; they just aren’t using them, and we need to understand why.
My strength as a leader is … relationship-building. I’ve found that when you sit down with people, you usually discover you have more in common than opposed. And in my experience, a coalition of people is more powerful and effective than one person. I’m also good at recognizing my colleagues’ accomplishments and showing appreciation for a job well done.
My greatest personal achievement has been … my family. I couldn’t go to work every day if not for my supportive wife and my two children. Their strength and support allow me to go out and accomplish things every day.
My greatest professional achievement has been … being elected to the city council in Everett, Mass., in 1989.
If I ran the world, I would … not tweet.
I’d like to improve my … diet.
In my free time, I like to … travel and relax. We live in a world of instant and constant contact—be it our phones, tablets, or computers—and I truly value the times I just get to appreciate the things that are important.
ISRI’s board will elect new national officers in April. Secretary/treasurer candidate Colin Kelly, running unopposed as of press time, potentially brings some new perspectives to the leadership team.