NWRA Future Industry Leaders Alliance (FILA) and Women’s Council collaborated to bring their members a unique opportunity to build their mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and leadership skills through an MBA-style case study and competition facilitated by Michael E. Hoffman and John McNamara from Stifel.

For the Deal Me In: Understanding Mergers and Acquisitions in the Environmental Services Industry case study and competition, more than 30 FILA and Women’s Council members were divided up into five teams composed of buyers and sellers. The teams were then given six weeks to work together to come up with what they believed was the best deal for the case study.

On Thursday, March 24, the teams then presented their deals to a panel of judges, including Joe Cassin of WM, Mike Weigley of Republic Services, Jeff Draper of Waste Connections, Marc Fitzsimmons of Casella Waste Systems, Craig Orenstein of GFL Environmental and Dan Mayo of WIN Waste Innovations, at Stifel’s Baltimore office.

Following the presentations, the judges deliberated and selected the following winning teams, whose scores were extremely close:

First Place
Team 1
Trevor Black, Coastal Waste & Recycling Inc.
Michael Cusick, Northeast Industrial Manufacturing, Inc.
Rob Eck, Sierra Container Group
Adam Gooderham, Waste Connections
Kenzo Kawasaki, Hydrolec, Inc.
Caitlin McGovern, WIN Waste Innovations

Second Place
Team 5
Jaclyn Carrigan, Breakaway Communications
Savannah Chandler, Environmental Solutions Group (ESG)
Jocelynn Clindaniel, Municipal Equipment, Inc.
Tammy Holtzman, Waste Connections
Chris Lucarelle, WM
Taylor Williamson, West Central Sanitation

Third Place
Team 3
Brittany Anderson, Machinex Technologies, Inc.
Abel Cota, Troiano Waste Services, Inc.
Jennifer Dudley, Texas Disposal Systems
Brad Gust, 3rd Eye, A Dover Company
Brishen McGuire, Republic Services
Brittany Money, Comerica Bank
Michael Young, WM

“I was brought up to believe we should seek to leave the setting we live in better than we found it,” said Hoffman. “Over the past six weeks, I watched the members of NWRA’s FILA and Women’s Council put on their negotiation hats and grow their M&A skills through our case study. Each participant made great strides in the process, and I look forward to helping them take their skillsets to the next level in the future.”

“It was a privilege to partner with NWRA’s FILA and Women’s Council to host this inaugural event,” said McNamara. “I was very impressed by the effort put forth by the contestants and the judges to unpack a challenging M&A case study. I am a proud FILA member, and I look forward to upping the ante at next year’s Deal Me In.”

The winners received contributions for charities of their choice as well as cash prizes. The first place team was awarded $5,000, which will be presented to the Environmental Research & Education Foundation. The second place team was awarded $2,500, which will be presented to Team Rubicon. And the third place team was awarded $1,000, which will be divided equally and presented to both Freedom Alliance and Winters Center for Autism.

“This workshop, hosted by Stifel in collaboration with NWRA’s FILA and Women’s Council, was a great opportunity for members to challenge themselves and put their M&A skills to the test,” said Darrell Smith, president and CEO of NWRA. “All the teams put together some impressive deals, and they should all be proud of the work they have put in over the past six weeks.”

The Deal Me In case study and competition was sponsored by host and title sponsor Stifel as well as WIN Waste Innovations, Clairvest, Summer Street Capital Partners and Comerica Bank. “Our members seek professional development opportunities to help advance both their skillsets and careers. This case study challenged their leadership, communication and collaboration skills as well as provided a platform to learn about an important growth lever for the industry, M&A,” said Liza Casella and Sean Mason, co-chairs of FILA. “We look forward to hosting this event again next year and getting members back into the ring!”

“In the spirit of the collaboration between FILA and Women’s Council, we see how meaningful this educational opportunity was to our members and look forward to seeing this event grow next year,” commented Pam Caron, president of Women’s Council.

For more information, visit www.wasterecycling.org.