Held from April 16 – 18 this year, this premier event is celebrating its 10th anniversary and still going strong.
As an exclusive, premier annual event held at the Journey Golf Course at the Pechanga Casino Hotel and Resort in Temecula, CA, the Garbageman’s Invitational is celebrating its 10th year giving the waste industry a social platform for its attendees. Averaging a little more than 300 attendees, the event primarily hosts C-level executives, CEOs, owners, presidents and other important decision makers from public and private hauling companies. However, there are also guests from the National Waste & Recycling Association and Environmental Research and Educational Foundation (EREF). Attendees come from all over the country, including the Carolinas, Florida, the Midwest, Texas and more. Says Kerry Holmes, one of the founders of the Garbageman’s Invitational and the Vice President of Sales for Consolidated Fabricators, “This did start out being a west coast event, primarily California, even Nevada and Arizona, but over the 10 years, it has expanded to become a national event.”
Collaboration with EREF
The Garbageman’s Invitational was created in 2010 by Holmes, Mike Melideo, President and CEO of Consolidated Fabricators and Ray Burke, Vice President of Clean Energy, as a strictly social networking event and a thank you to their customers. However, soon after that, many of the attendees suggested that the Invitational should raise money for a charitable cause. “All three of us thought about what a good organization or charity would be to donate to and we thought EREF is a key part of the future of our industry, especially with what they are doing to help bring in new talent. It was an easy decision to make the choice to collaborate with EREF on being involved in the event and raising money for an annual scholarship,” says Holmes. “We are excited that we know for a fact that we are going to go well over the $100,000 mark for the amount of money that we have raised for EREF over the last several years.”
One hundred percent of any donations made to EREF through the Garbageman’s Invitational fund graduate students pursuing excellence in solid waste management research and education. Serena Pozza received the first ever Garbageman’s Invitational Master’s Scholarship in 2016. Her work, How Closed-loop Production Systems Can Reduce Waste, aimed to best understand what business and regulatory incentives—in the U.S. and globally—may drive companies to create closed-loop systems. Additionally, this research seeks to quantify the economic, societal and environmental benefits of these systems using a system boundary that is not limited just to the companies driving the closed-loop system effort, but also to other entities that may be partnering with the companies and helping them in their endeavor. Serena graduated in 2018 from Yale University and has been working as the Manager of Healthy Materials & Strategy at DSM-Niaga.
“It has been an honor to be the Garbageman’s Invitational charity of choice since 2011, and I have been excited to see this event grow, with donations more than doubling over the past eight years,” said EREF CEO and President, Bryan Staley. “Through the donations received from this event, EREF has funded the Garbageman’s Invitational Master’s Scholarship, with Serena being the first to receive this honor.”
Sponsors and Giveaways
Sponsors for the event have continued to enjoy the exclusivity of the Garbageman’s Invitational and it has become a hot spot to get a company’s marketing message out to a select group of professionals. This year, CPG Global was added as a support sponsor and CanDo Services moved from a support sponsor to a premier sponsor of the event. Says Steve Fenzl, CEO of CanDo Services, “This is our fifth year sponsoring the Garbageman’s Invitational—three years as a support sponsor and two years as a premier sponsor. One of the best things about the event is that the attendees that come are not bombarded by vendors. Ray, Kerry and Mike have gotten sponsors for each vendor category and there are no competing companies. When the event first started, there was another sponsor who did what CanDo Services specializes in and I sat on the sidelines watching this event develop. Finally, when there were some changes in the sponsorship and a spot opened up, Kerry was kind enough to let our company become a sponsor.”
Fenzl points out that the Garbageman’s Invitational has a completely different feel than any other event that the company participates in and it is mainly because of the setting and the philosophy of the three founders. “It is not a pressure event for customers. I can feel confident that if I invite clients to this event, that they are not going to get bothered by my competition or anyone else because all of the vendors are respectful to the attendees. We have a very good bond with most of the vendors that participate and we are very happy to refer clients to each other. There is a relaxation there that I don’t think any other event in the industry has and that’s why we feel it is the premier event.”
CanDo Services, in partnership with Travis Matthews, a fun, edgy clothing company based in California, will feature a party bus—a truck and trailer combination—at their golf hole. “We want to have a party atmosphere around our golf hole,” says Fenzl. “We are going to be on hole #10 this year and wanted to go big, so we are very excited about what we are going to be able to present and give the guys that are playing golf. Even the people that aren’t playing golf can come over and watch the guys play from the double decker bus and get a good vantage point of the golf course. We also have some fun with drones, make videos and post it to our social media page and make it a great weekend.”
This year, the Garbageman’s Invitational is also raffling off an all-inclusive trip for two with airfare to Tahiti/Bora Bora courtesy of Ao Nui Adventures. “We are really excited to have them as part of the Garbageman’s Invitational this year,” says Holmes. “It really is a special year because of our 10th anniversary and to have them become a special guest sponsor and offer a giveaway like that is phenomenal.”
The event will also feature sponsors giving away cash prizes and goodies at their own holes, including the other premier sponsor Amrep, that has been a sponsor since the event’s inception. They always have great prizes for hitting the green on their par 3 hole #7. Rush Refuse is giving out awards for the closest pin, longest putt, etc., and for the winners of the tournament—a Traeger Tailgater BBQ Grill.
Because of Ao Nui Adventures participation, a Tahitian/Polynesian theme year will tie in with the raffle prize, including an outdoor Luau at the Five Diamond Pechanga Resort and Casino’s pool area—The Cove. Pechanga completed a huge expansion, resulting in a hotel and pool area that is even more phenomenal. Many guests are welcome to bring their spouses and significant others with them. Not only does it give a chance for everyone to enjoy the event, but also for those that do not golf, there are plenty of things to do at the resort as well, such as the pool, spa services, gambling, etc.
“This year, as in the past, we are going to have a DJ for the opening party and I also want to thank owners Cole and Tracy Burr of Burrtec Waste. They have been with us for nine years of the event,” says Holmes. Nine years ago, Cole Burr attended the Garbageman’s Invitational, enjoyed it, and, ultimately, offered to host the opening night party at his ranch, which has been a staple at the event since that time.
“It brings a level of excitement to the event. To see Burr’s ranch and the cattle that he has onsite and the western-style theme that has brought to the Garbageman’s Invitational. It is an amazing facility,” says Fenzi. “He recreated a western town that includes a bar, candy shop, ice cream store, barbershop, dispensary and more. It is a perfect setting for the opening party.”
Still Going Strong
Says Holmes, “We couldn’t imagine where this thing has gone and how it has become such a national event with quality attendees. Our sponsors have been incredible; everybody wants to be a part of it. I get calls from many vendors around the country who want to be sponsors for this event. We want to keep it exclusive and have a nice event where are guests aren’t being aggressively pursued.”
“After being in this business for 44 years, it is so gratifying to have so many loyal customers and this event helps to keep our friendships strong,” comments Mike Melideo, Owner of Consolidated Fabricators and Co-Founder of the event. “This is a way to say ‘Thank you’ to all of the people that put their trust in us to perform on important projects. After 10 years, the Garbageman’s Invitational has become the most sought-after invitation in the industry and I am grateful to all our co-sponsors that make the Garbageman’s Invitational better every year,”
Ray Burke, Vice President of Clean Energy, agrees: “When we started the Garbageman’s Invitational 10 years ago, we had no idea it would turn out to still be going today and now it is considered by our customers the best in the industry.”
For more information, visit www.garbagemansinvitational.com or see them on Facebook, Twitter- @gminvitational Instagram- #garbagemansinvitational.