Director of Trading and Human Resources at Pacific Metals Recycling International
Jacqueline Lotzkar is a fourth-generation member of her family to join Pacific Metals Recycling International, Vancouver, British Columbia. The company was started by her great-grandfather Leon Lotzkar in 1912 with a focus on scrap, hides and rags. However, the company’s focus shifted to scrap metals after World War II, and that remains its primary focus today.
While growing up, she frequently visited her father, Mark Lotzkar, at the family business and worked at the scrap yard in high school and college on weekends. Jacqueline studied international business at college, receiving a bachelor of commerce and a master of global business from the University of Victoria.
“My passion is international business,” she says. “The opportunity to be part of a global business [at Pacific Metals Recycling] was a huge draw after university. When I finished my master’s degree, I took an opportunity in our trading department and haven’t looked back since.”
“To be successful, you need to be agile and adapt to changes.”
Jacqueline also leads the company’s human resources department and has been instrumental in helping recruit and retain employees. During the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) 2019 Convention & Exposition in Los Angeles, she participated in a workforce panel discussion, sharing ways that Pacific Metals has had success with employee retention. Some of those ways include offering flexible work hours and hosting monthly company lunches.
Recycling Today (RT): Did you have an opportunity to work for other companies before you started to work for your family’s business? If so, what are lessons you learned at other companies?
Jacqueline Lotzkar (JL): I was fortunate in university to spend some time studying and working abroad. So, I worked in China [and] Hong Kong. I studied in Taiwan. I spent some time in Europe as well, working for a number of different industries. I think especially in Vancouver, we’re a very international city. Learning to work across cultures and language barriers is a huge asset in this industry.
RT: What is your current role at the company like?
JL: My official title is director of trading and human resources; however, like with many family businesses, I get to wear many hats. Every day is a little bit different, from managing the trading department to HR [and] I oversee our IT department. I help out with accounting and some operations and safety.
RT: What are lessons you’ve learned since you began working in the recycling industry?
JL: One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that the industry is always changing. To be successful, you need to be agile and adapt to changes. Another lesson is how important having mentors is. I’m very lucky to have my dad, who helped introduce me to the industry and show me the way, as well as many others in the company and outside who have helped me to grow.
RT: With your involvement in human resources, what advice would you offer to recyclers who might have a tough time hiring or retaining employees?
JL: I would recommend they consider looking at second-chance programs in their area. Also, as we’re looking to attract younger employees, I think the next generation really connects with purpose, so it’s important to share how the industry does good for the environment. And, really, trying to connect the purpose of what we’re doing to the job will attract all levels of employees.