In light of our special tribute to recently retired Environmental Industry Associations CEO Bruce Parker, I felt it appropriate to cede the floor to Penton Waste Industry Group Managing Director Rita Ugianskis- Fishman, who worked closely with Parker for a decade and a half. We’ve collected many more tributes in our feature, “Parting Words.” Please enjoy, and thanks for everything, Bruce! – Steven Averett, Editor
To my partner and friend,
Little did I know when I joined this industry 14 years ago that this amazing ride would include a relationship with someone like you. You are truly one-of-a-kind and as I write this and reminisce back over the years, I just sit here and smile and laugh out loud — yes, alone in my offi ce. Anyone walking by must surely conclude that I am becoming the crazy lady on the verge of “dropping her basket.” I suppose I could blame this on working side-by-side with you for 14 years. But that would not be true because, without a doubt, I am a better person for the privilege of knowing you, working with you and having you as a friend, mentor and partner. And this industry is better because you have been our association’s CEO.
From afar, Bruce, you are a pro. Always prepared. Well spoken. Knowledgeable. Committed. Genuinely interested in people, their companies, their communities — what they do and who they are. OK, yes, sometimes you asked nosey personal questions, but that was part of your charm. (And part of the fun was dodging them!) That is why we will always love you. And since I have had the privilege of knowing you “up close, ” the Bruce Parker I most admired was real. You never pretended to be anything or anyone. You were just you – multifaceted, multi-dimensional, but always real. Goodness knows we have laughed so hard together we have cried and fought so hard that we have hung up the phone on each other and everything in between. But it was always real.
For 14 years, EIA and Penton Media have been partners, and it is my sincere belief that this partnership has served this industry very well. I share with all Waste Age readers without a doubt that it was always your intention to serve this industry well, and I for one know you have, both as CEO of the EIA and as partners with Penton. I am proud of the work we have done and cherish the friendship we have. I am proud of you and for knowing you. I consider it is a blessing that I have been part of this industry while you have been the CEO of our association. Thank you for all you have given me and us!
We never got those tattoos… but your place in my heart is permanent.
Managing Director, Waste Industry Group, Penton Media