Two-day Retreat

This retreat would be located at the SWANA HQ office in Silver Spring, MD. Participants will learn from SWANA program instructors and invited speakers. At the conclusion, a cohort project will then be introduced for participants to work on throughout the program. Possible topics include:

  • Defining Leadership
  • Leading Change
  • Exploring Ethics
  • Proactive Thinking
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Presentation Pointers
  • Time Management
  • Media Relations
  • Team Building Activity
  • Industry Challenges

Monthly Calls and Assignments

Participants will have the chance to explore relevant industry topics through individual and group assignments including case study reviews, reading assignments, and homework. Then will come together for monthly one-hour conference calls to discuss with instructors and peers. Example topics include:

  • Collaboration and Team Building
  • Disaster Response
  • Advocacy
  • Professional Development Plan
  • Marketing, Online Presence and LinkedIn Profile
  • Interviewing
  • SWANA: Insights into SWANA Structure and ways to get involved; SWANA Technical Divisions and Leadership Spotlight

Common FAQ

Candidates must be:

  • A YP (35 years or younger) at start of the program and interested in advancing his/her career within the solid waste industry.
  • Individuals who have been working in the solid waste industry for more than three years.
  • Committed to full participation in all assignments and activities, with the full support of their employer.
  • Participation on monthly conference calls
  • Timely submission of program-related homework assignments
  • Attendance at the two-day retreat and graduation events
  • Completion of class project
  • Applicants are required to attend the two-day retreat and graduation events. If selected for the program, SWANA will pay for all approved Leaders Academy related expenses EXCEPT for travel and lodging costs associated with attendance at two-day retreat and graduation events.
  • If selected for the program, Applicant must become a SWANA member (if not already) by the project initiation meeting.
  • January 7, 2023 - Program and Travel Grant Applications due
  • January, 2023 - Selected applicants will be notified
  • February, 2023 - First conference call
  • March 16-17, 2023 - Two-day Retreat in Washington DC Metro Area
  • April – November, 2023 - Monthly Conference Calls
  • September 27-29, 2023 - WASTECON and graduation in Boston, MA

* Note dates are subject to change

A completed program application includes six components:

  • A letter of interest (LOI) with three-page limit. The LOI must answer these questions:
    1. Briefly describe your professional experience.
    2. Briefly describe your SWANA and/or solid waste industry participation, if any.
    3. Briefly describe any volunteer or community activities you are currently engaged in.
    4. Why should you be selected for this program?
    5. What is your Leadership Philosophy, and how you exemplify this philosophy in your work, community, etc. (with specific examples)?
    6. How will you contribute to the program? What personal and professional strengths can you offer to the other participants?
  • A completed application form or online process
  • Current resume with page limit of two pages.
  • A letter of recommendation from a professional in the solid waste industry with over 10-years of work experience.
  • A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s immediate supervisor (or similar).
  • A letter of support from the employer. The letter must acknowledge time and financial commitments detailed in this application.

If applicant is self-employed or in a rare situation applicant is unable to receive this letter of support, SWANA may still consider the applicant, provided that the applicant provides a written justification and acknowledges time and financial commitments detailed in this application.

You can contact any member of the Academy Taskforce below:

Or reach out to the SWANA YP Staff Liaison: