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DE&I Training Series

NERC and partners offer a national – virtual – training series on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) for those working in recycling and solid waste industries. 

DE&I Training Partners

  • Dan Schoonmaker & Isabel Soberal, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
  • Cherish Miller, Revolution
  • Steve Changaris, National Waste & Recycling Association
  • Stef Murray, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
  • Nidhi Turakhia, Allied Alloys
  • Renee Panetta, City of Troy & NYSAR3’s DEI Committee
  • Willie Johnson, Willie Johnson Communications

The Training is a four-part series that includes presentations, discussions, and sharing of resources about:

  • Making the Case for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • The Role of Government in Building Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Recognizing & Addressing Unconscious Bias
  • Engaging with Diverse Communities

Training 1 - Making the Case for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – The first Training in the DE&I Series is about building the foundation for DE&I in the workplace.

Date & Time:  December 9, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. eastern

Registration Link: 
Thank you to West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum for hosting the Training.


  • Tamara Lundgren and Stef Murray, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.– will present the direction their company has taken in making the business case for DE&I, including data and other resources used.
  • Cheryl Coleman, ISRI – will focus on how to make diversity, equity and inclusion part of sustainability goals and workplace culture by prioritizing it in everyday practices. 

Tamara Lundgren Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.—an auto and metals recycling businessTamara Lundgren photo

Ms. Lundgren joined the Company in September 2005 as Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. She was elected President and CEO in 2008 and Chairman in 2020. Prior to joining Schnitzer, Tamara was an investment banker and lawyer with 25 years of experience in the U.S. and Europe, including as a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank in London and New York and a partner in the Washington, DC law firm of Hogan Lovells. Ms. Lundgren is a member of the Board of Directors of Ryder System, Inc., the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations since 2016, and is a member of the Business Roundtable and the President's Advisory Council of Wellesley College. Tamara earned a B.A. degree from Wellesley College and a J.D. degree from the Northwestern University School of Law.

Stef Murray (She/Her/Hers) Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Vice President, Human Resources Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.Stef Murray photo

Ms. Murray joined Schnitzer Steel in 2012 as the Director of Human Resources for the Metals Recycling Business. She has over 33 years of professional experience including 27 years of people leadership, 23 years of Human Resources and 10 years of Operations/P&L management. Stef is a graduate from Northwestern University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and began her career as a Manufacturing Supervisor at Procter & Gamble. Ms. Murray currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross and co-leads their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Cheryl Coleman Vice President of Sustainability for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)Cheryl Coleman photo

Previous to joining ISRI in 2020, Ms. Coleman served as the Director for the Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division (RCSD) at USEPA.  Prior to her tenure at USEPA, she was a Director at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.  Cheryl has over 30 years of experience with materials and waste management.

Training 2: Recognizing & Addressing Unconscious Bias on February 2, 1:30 – 3:00 eastern. The Training offers a practical approach to identifying and addressing unconscious bias and it’s negative impact in the workplace; as well as providing strategies that promote inclusion.

Date & Time:  Feb 2, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. eastern

Registration Link:


  • Nidhi Turakhia, Executive Vice President of Allied Alloys
  • Willie Johnson, CEO of Willie Johnson Communications

The presenters will lay the groundwork for the Training by defining unconscious bias,  helping us to recognize our personal identity and its influence on our biases, raising our awareness about the impact our biases have on our and our co-workers' work performances, and developing strategies for inclusion and implementing a DE&I program in the workplace and in our personal lives.  

Nidhi Turakhia Executive Vice President of Allied AlloysNidhi Turakhia Photo

Ms. Turakhia has worked with Allied Alloys since graduating college.  She has served on numerous boards including the Association of Women in the Metals Industries, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Gulf Coast Chapter, and now as a co-chair of the Women in Recycling Council.

Nidhi also serves as the youth committee chair of a non-profit organization, Veerayatan, that promotes social development, education, and spirituality for under privileged children in third world countries.

She has a double B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin.

Willie Johnson CEO of Willie Johnson Communications Willie Johnson photo
Willie Johnson Communications, which is a Training and Consulting company that works with organizations and individuals who want to excel at results driven customer care, leadership, diversity and developing human potential.

Mr. Johnson is an active member of the esteemed National Speakers Association of North Texas, The Black Speakers Network, and NOARK, where he currently sits as the Diversity Chair.   Willie is also an active member of Toastmaster’s International and has earned Toastmaster’s International highest speaker level; Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM).

He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Park University.

Training 3 Topic: Building Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Government Workers 

Training 4 Topic: Engaging with Diverse Communities

A special thanks to the sponsors for the DE&I Training and NERC’s work on DE&I:


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