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Contact: Lynn Rubinstein,, 802-254-3636
Date: September 12, 2017

New Leadership Elected for the Northeast Recycling Council & Ex Officio Board Members Appointed

Leadership Elected

The Board of Directors of the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) has elected its fiscal year 2017 leadership team. Representatives from Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware were chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the organization and to environmental sustainability throughout the 11-state region.

Leadership Team: Robert Isner, Connecticut DEEP has been re-elected as President, Kaley Laleker, Maryland Department of the Environment has been elected as the Vice President, and Rick Watson, Delaware Solid Waste Authority has been elected as the Treasurer. Both Isner and Watson have served as NERC officers in past years, but this is the first time for Ms. Laleker.

Robert Isner has been with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) for over 24 years, the past 18 years as the solid waste and hazardous wasteRobert Isner program manager. His responsibilities as director of waste engineering and enforcement division include management of enforcement, permitting and compliance assistance activities for the recycling, pesticide, solid waste and hazardous waste programs. Prior to joining CT DEEP, Isner worked for over eight years as a municipal land use planner for two municipalities in Connecticut. He holds a Bachelor of Science from UConn and a Master of Science from Central Connecticut State University.

He is currently on the board of directors for the:

  • Connecticut Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association,
  • Northeast Recycling Council, and
  • Connecticut Recyclers Coalition.

Kaley Laleker of the Maryland DepartLaley Lalekerment of the Environment (the Department) has been elected as the NERC Vice President of the Board for fiscal year 2017. Kaley is the Deputy Director of the Land Management Administration at the Department. The Land Management Administration includes the Solid Waste, Resource Management, Oil Control, Lead Poisoning Prevention, Mining, and Land Restoration Programs. Ms. Laleker formerly worked in the Resource Management Program, primarily on composting and other recycling issues, and in the Director’s Office on regulations, legislation, and other issues affecting the Land Management Administration's work. She has a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and has been with the Department for 5 years.

Richard (Rick) Watson, Treasurer

Richard P. Watson P.E., BCEE, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA). He leads the organization which is responsible for managing all Rick Watsonmunicipal solid waste, recycling, household hazardous waste, electronic waste and other special waste programs for the entire State of Delaware. He joined DSWA in 1981 as a project engineer for Delaware’s first double lined sanitary landfill. Through the next 35 years he has overseen design, construction, and operation of solid waste projects, including landfills, transfer stations, landfill gas control systems, and various recycling projects.

Mr. Watson has a B.S. Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University and a M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware. He has been a Professional Engineer in Delaware since 1983 and received his BCEE certification in 1996 from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists. He has been a member of several professional organizations including SWANA, ISWA, AAEES, ASCE, NSPE, WEF and NERC. He has served as Vice President and President of NERC in the recent past.

Ex Officio Board Members Re-Appointed

Ex Officio Board Members, Chaz Miller and Chip Foley, have been re-elected to one year terms on the NERC Board. This will be their third year of serving on the Board.

Chip FoleyWalter J. “Chip” Foley, a graduate of Penn State, started his career with the Federal Election Commission in 1976. He got his true start in public policy by serving over 7 years on the personal staff of Pa Governor Dick Thornburgh’s Washington office working on agriculture, military, insurance and environmental issues. In 1988 he became the first director of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors’ Source Reduction Council. That position led to his recruitment by the steel industry to open a Washington D.C. office for the Steel Can Recycling Institute (eventually becoming the Steel Recycling Institute). Chip continued in that position as Vice President - promoting the recyclability and recycled content of steel to decision makers. In addition, he held the position of Director of Public Policy for the American Iron and Steel Institute’s Steel Market Development Institute. He was an advisory member of the Northeast Recycling Council, past Chair of the industry sector of the National Lt. Governors Association, and Vice President for public policy on the Board for the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships. Mr. Foley retired from the steel industry in May, 2014. He continues to be a contributor to the on-going work of the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse and the Northeast Recycling Council. Mr. Foley is also a member of the Titanic Historical Society.

Chaz MillerChaz Miller worked for EPA’s solid waste office doing recycling and other waste-related work. After a stint at the Glass Packaging Institute, he came to NSWMA in 1991. He has worked on a variety of issues facing recycling waste management including market development, state recycling legislation, extended producer responsibility, flow control, interstate and international waste shipments, truck safety, transfer station siting and organics management. He has testified at state and Congressional hearings. Mr. Miller has been a keynoter and speaker at recycling and solid waste conferences in the United States, Canada, Japan and China. He writes “The Circular File”, an award-winning column for Waste 360.