How did you enter the recycling business? In 1983 I applied for a receptionist/secretary position in Morristown, N.J. The firm was a small nonferrous brokerage. The owner’s father had a yard in Newark, N.J. I learned [the business], mostly from the Newark facility, and I moved up in the brokerage through accounting and logistics before I started trading. I was fortunate to have a mentor from another firm who really helped me in the early years. We are still close friends. I’ve been with Intrametco since 2002, and it has been such a great firm to work for. We have a group of seven traders trading nonferrous and ferrous materials worldwide.
Did you ever consider doing anything else for a career? I always wanted to be an attorney, ever since I was very young. Actually, my dream job has always been to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
What do you like most about the recycling industry? That’s an easy question—the people. The people you interact with come from all walks of life all over the world. The relationships you form with them become lifelong friendships. It’s a fascinating career when you can work with people whom you really enjoy and who become an extension of your social and family circles.
What do you like least about the industry? The preconception of our industry and the people in it. When you say scrap metal, most people think it’s waste or junk. They do not realize that scrap is a traded commodity, and that our industry is essential, not only to the economy, but to the environment.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your company? Losing credit insurance on long-term customers. Credit insurance companies dictate to whom we can sell and for how much. This can be very disruptive when credit lines are reduced or canceled, especially on long-term formula contracts.
How would you sum up your business philosophy? Simply treat everyone fairly and with respect. I have a favorite quote—it’s hanging in my office—from the book A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz that says, “It is how we treat the humblest among us that surely determines the fate of our souls.”
What are the keys to success in the recycling industry? Success in this industry—or any industry, for that matter—can be achieved by hard work, honesty, and integrity—just doing the right thing.
What lessons have you learned about business in your career? Remember where you came from, and know where you are going. There’s an old saying: Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered. In other words, don’t be greedy. Also, know your markets. Know what you’re doing before you pick up the phone. Do your homework, read Joe Pickard [the ISRI Weekly Market Report] every week. ISRI offers it for free.
What’s the strangest or funniest experience you’ve had in your career? I once had an imported load of cans rejected. The container, which had come from Eastern Europe, was diverted to New Jersey, and I went to inspect the material. When the doors of the container were opened, it was the worst load of metal I had ever seen. It actually had animal parts in the bales, and the smell was overpowering.
It was so bad that I got sick on the loading platform. That is something I don’t think I will ever forget.
How do you personally gauge success? By knowing that at the end of the day you worked your hardest and that the people you care for are happy and healthy.
What are some of your greatest personal achievements? My family. I’ve been blessed with my family, from being raised by the best parents ever; to my husband, Glenn (married 36 years in October); to our children—our daughter, Alyssa; our son, Aaron, and his wife, Adriana—and my granddaughter, Mia.
Which of your traits do you like the most?
I think it would be my ability to see every side of a topic and not form an opinion until after reviewing all the facts.
Is there anything about yourself you’d like to improve? I would really like to be able to speak before a group of people. I regret not taking a public speaking course in school.
You’ve been a great supporter of and participant in ISRI over the years. Why do you think that’s important? Intrametco values ISRI. Our company has served both nationally and on a chapter basis for years. There have been three Indiana Chapter presidents from Intrametco.
ISRI is an organization that relies on member participation, so it is important to be involved, and I am grateful for the support from my employers to do so. Not only has Intrametco benefited from this involvement, but I have been enriched by the many wonderful people I have met through ISRI.
What are your favorite movies?
The Godfather parts 1 and 2, A Bronx Tale, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, and anything else with Cary Grant.
Favorite foods? Chocolate, authentic Italian food, and baked goods—my father was a pastry chef.
Favorite drink? Diet Coke.
Favorite places in the world? Wherever my family is. Right now that’s Texas—that’s where my son and his family live. But I will always love New Jersey and the Jersey shore.
Favorite TV shows? This Is Us, A Million Little Things, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, New York City, Beverly Hills, and Orange County.
Favorite musical artists? Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Perry Como.
What are your hobbies? I like spending time with my family. We enjoy the outdoors, visiting different places, and exploring new areas when the time permits.
What’s your passion? As corny as it sounds, this industry is my passion. With all the ups, downs, and in-betweens, this is the most fascinating, exciting, and challenging career ever. Working with incredibly talented individuals, interacting with a vast array of personalities, no two days are alike. Add to that the privilege of being able to give back through ISRI.
What’s your guilty pleasure? A quiet night in with a big bowl of popcorn, Diet Coke, and a lot of Bravo TV.
What makes you mad? Injustice. I like things to be fair.
Is there anything you still want to accomplish in your career, or have you achieved your goals? There are so many things I want to accomplish—I’m not even close to being done! I’d like to see Intrametco grow as we move into a whole new generation of traders. I’m so fortunate to be a part of this company. I would also like to help make ISRI become even stronger, with a vastly larger membership base and much more membership participation.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the next scrap generation? Always be true and honest. Keep your word. Treat everyone with respect. Become involved with ISRI and other industry associations—learn what they have to offer and make the most of your membership.