I try to avoid writing newsletters in the first person, but this is one of those moments that will be the exception to that rule. When I began at RIOS™ nearly three years ago, one of the first calls that I took was from RIOS™Chairman Rike Sandlin. After a few minutes of introductions and formalities, we jumped right into business. It was clear to me from that point on that I was working with a passionate group of people that believed in the mission of RIOS™.

   Rike Sandlin

Since that day, Rike and I have spoken regularly over the phone, met at industry events all over the country, and sought ways to improve RIOS™ for each and every facility that has made the investment in the program. 

Nearly six years after first taking the reins of the organization, Rike has now come to the end of his eligibility as a board member. While he is looking forward to having several hours of his week back, I firmly believe that his passion for this program has not waned even a bit. After all, Rike has led this program from its infancy to where it is today. Now with two full-time employees, an international membership, and growing interest

from outside the recycling community, the program is financially independent and has long-term sustainability. While we as staff carry out the day-to-day operations of RIOS™, it was Rike’s leadership that has set the program up for the growth and success it is currently experiencing—despite tough market conditions. 

Though Rike’s official responsibilities are done, I have no doubt that he will be a source of expertise and leadership for the board and staff well into the future. In the meantime, we will have a very exciting announcement regarding the next chairman of the RIOS™ Board of Directors at the convention. RIOS™ will seek under its new chairman, along with the guidance of its amazingly talented board, to continue the growth that Rike helped foster for the past six years.  Once again, thank you, Rike, for your very dedicated service to RIOS™.