In memoriam: Brian Haney


Brian Haney, vice president of safety and compliance at Leadpoint Business Services, Phoenix, has died of cancer at 57 years old.

Haney is remembered for his numerous contributions to Leadpoint’s safety strategy. He created LiveSafe, a safety philosophy that helped Leadpoint associates understand safety both at work and at home, and “Start Safe, LiveSafe,” which established proper safety practices during the first 90 days Leadpoint was at any new site.

“None of this work would have been possible without his leadership and genuine commitment to safety. We are extremely grateful for the time Brian was here and what he accomplished for our company and the recycling industry,” Leadpoint President and CEO Frank Ramirez says.

Before joining Leadpoint, Haney worked in safety and compliance roles for a Fortune 500 waste and recycling company, a used oil and antifreeze recycler and an international chemical distributor. He also worked as an environmental, health and safety consultant.

Haney presented at waste industry events and, according to Leadpoint, “worked tirelessly to improve safety across the industry.”

Haney is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and son, Benjamin.

He was committed to Faith Comes by Hearing and Folds of Honor. His family suggests supporting these organizations as a tribute to his legacy.

Covanta appoints new chief sustainability officer


Covanta, a sustainable materials management and environmental solutions provider based in Morristown, New Jersey, has appointed Tequila Smith as chief sustainability officer. Smith succeeds Paul Gilman, who retired from Covanta in April after 14 years with the company. Smith will report to President and CEO Azeez Mohammed.

“We are very pleased to welcome Tequila to the Covanta team,” Mohammed says. “She is a dynamic leader whose expertise will be invaluable as we seek to advance our sustainability performance initiatives within our expanding suite of services. Tequila will serve as a guiding light for the company as we look to further anchor our strategies around innovation and social impact.”

According to a news release from Covanta, Smith joins the company after more than two decades of working in various roles with progressive scope and responsibility at Southern Co., Alabama Power Co. and Georgia Power Co. She has hands-on senior leadership experience in helping industrial companies engage on issues of sustainability at both a corporate and community level.

Most recently, Smith served as vice president of sustainability for Georgia Power Co., the largest subsidiary of Southern Co. There, she led the implementation of Southern Co.’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy.

Smith previously was vice president of charitable giving and president of the Alabama Power Foundation and director of energy services for Alabama Power Co. She also was general manager for renewable energy operations at Southern Power.

As Covanta’s chief sustainability officer, Smith will be responsible for the repositioning and execution of its sustainability strategy in accordance with the company’s recent acquisition by EQT. She will focus on amplifying Covanta’s sustainability achievements through the strategic coordination of programs and initiatives through the lens of ESG impacts, according to the company.

“I am proud to bring my experience to Covanta at such a pivotal time in the company’s history,” Smith says. “I look forward to working with its talented and dedicated team to provide sustainable, socially responsible and environmentally innovative materials management solutions to businesses and communities.”

Smith has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a master’s degree in communication studies, specifically focused on organizational leadership, from the University of Alabama.

She holds board seats with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Engineering, the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Stonehenge Capital Community Development and HudsonAlpha Foundation.

SWANA announces new hires and promotions

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, has announced four new appointments to its team.   

The new hires include  Natalie Garcia as technical division manager, Amanda Suntag as marketing and communications program manager, Kimberly Pittmon as database specialist and Monique Hyatte as membership services coordinator.   

SWANA also has announced Estela Martinez has been promoted to senior membership manager and Andre Owens has been promoted to membership manager.

Garcia previously worked as an environmental health specialist for the city of Garland, Texas. She will work closely with SWANA’s seven technical divisions, which keep track of trending topics, connect experts and shape the future of the solid waste industry. Members of the technical divisions use the groups to share experiences and knowledge in their respective areas and network with others across the United States and Canada. SWANA says Garcia’s background in communication and stakeholder engagement will be valuable as she assumes the role.

Suntag joins SWANA after six years of experience in marketing, communications, branding and events. She has worked for three associations and was most recently employed as a marketing and events specialist at the Center for Vein Restoration.

Pittmon has 19 years of experience maintaining database integrity, reporting key performance indicators, writing database queries and providing member service. She formerly worked at the National Ready Mix Concrete Association.

Hyatte has worked for multiple associations since 1992, accruing customer service and database experience, which is essential to her role. Recently, she served as membership and database manager for the National Club Association.

Martinez’s new responsibilities include management of SWANA’s Young Professionals (YP) program. She will continue to be the main point of contact with SWANA’s 47 Chapters.

Owens joined SWANA in 2018 as membership services coordinator. In his new role, he will manage MentorMatch and the new member welcome program and will be a staff liaison for the YP program.