As we approach Labor Day and get ready to say farewell to summer, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSMWA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) are preparing for an active autumn schedule.

NSWMA and WASTEC meetings will help you keep abreast of the latest trends, meet important contacts, and influence policymakers who write regulations and pass legislation that impact your bottom line.

“Joining NSWMA is like having an insurance policy to protect your business,” says Peggy Macenas, NSWMA's Midwest regional manager. “Membership is only the cost of a truck tire and yet makes so many resources available.”

“Even with the economy being off, our elected and regulatory officials simply have not given us, or solid waste issues and concerns, a breather,” adds Steve Changaris, NSWMA's Northeast regional manager. “Solid waste companies need to be involved.”

NSWMA and WASTEC organize national and regional meetings that are open to all current and prospective members. One of the most popular membership benefits, association meetings provide the opportunity to network with peers, potential customers, equipment suppliers and service providers.

At these meetings, members have the opportunity to get involved with and influence important state and local policy matters that can greatly impact their businesses. Events often include opportunities for members to meet and interact with public officials and their staff, generally in one-on-one meetings or in public settings like a reception.

Smaller companies can wield big influence within NSWMA. Each NSWMA member company gets an equal vote in policy and funding discussions. “Membership is held with the company, no matter the size,” explains Macenas. “With chapter and legislative issues, it's one company, one vote. Quite often, larger company reps bring issues forward to the chapter, because they have the staff at the state capital. However, any member can bring issues to the chapter for discussion.”

Some meetings are shorter and focus on specific business, while other events include educational and social components. One topic addressed at a number of recent meetings was, “Does ‘going green' make cents?” “While business, legislation and education drive these meetings, the underlying purpose is networking, allowing business people to make contact with those of similar interests,” says Mike Huff, NSWMA's Sunbelt regional manager. “Each provides plenty of networking opportunities, social events and golf.”

Upcoming meetings include:

Sept. 15-16, 2009 - Southeast Annual Conference, Amelia Island, Fla.: The Georgia and Florida chapters host this conference. Both will hold their annual business meetings and will begin planning for the 2010 legislative sessions.

Sept. 22-23, 2009 - South Central Annual Conference, Lost Pines (Austin), Texas: The Texas chapter hosts this conference, which includes its annual business meeting and planning for 2010 regulatory/legislative issues.

Sept. 25, 2009 - Maryland-Delaware Annual Golf Tournament, Queenstown, Md.: Proceeds from the tournament go to chapter legislative and advocacy efforts, educational program, and to support the local community.

Sept. 28-29, 2009 - Heartland Annual Conference, Lone Wolf, Okla.: The Oklahoma chapter hosts this conference, comprised of its annual business meeting and planning for the 2010 legislative sessions.

Oct. 6-7, 2009 - Mid-Atlantic Annual Conference, Isle of Palms (Charleston), S.C.: The Virginia and Carolinas chapters host this conference. Both will hold their annual business meetings and strategize for the 2010 legislative sessions.

Oct. 12-15, 2009 - EIA Executive Roundtable Conference, Savannah, Ga.: All NSWMA and WASTEC members are encouraged to attend this event.

Nov. 4, 2009 - Arizona Chapter Annual Business Meeting and Golf Tournament, Scottsdale, Ariz.: The Arizona Chapter will hold its annual business meeting to plan for 2010 legislative efforts. The meeting will be followed by a golf tournament, which raises funds for the chapter's legislative fund.

Additional meetings will be held by other state chapters in coming months. Industry professionals who are not active NSWMA or WASTEC members should take advantage of this upcoming schedule of activities and join or renew their memberships today. Additionally, sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are still available for a number of these meetings. For the most up-to-date schedule of NSWMA and WASTEC events and registration and sponsorship information, visit www.environmentalistseveryday.com/calendar.


Thomas Metzger is director of communications and public affairs for the National Solid Wastes Management Association. Reach him at (202) 364-3751.

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