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ISRI hands out industry honours at 2017 convention

ISRI hands out industry honours at 2017 convention

Herschel Cutler Honored for Leadership in Recycling; ISRI’s first executive director receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling IndustryTM, today recognized Dr. Herschel Cutler, the organization’s first executive director with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Cutler received the award for his commitment to his family, his community, and his many friends and colleagues in the recycling industry.

 “Herschel Cutler was more than just a leader, he was the heart and soul of ISRI and the entire recycling industry and a mentor for many of us on staff,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Herschel fought some of the biggest public policy battles this industry has ever faced, and in many regards saved recycling from regulatory destruction. Without Herschel, the industry would not be the economic driver and global leader it is today. On a personal note, I feel very lucky to have had Herschel as my teacher and friend for so many years. He taught me much of what I know about the industry, and for all that and much, much more, I will be forever grateful.”

 Before entering the world of recycling, Cutler received a PhD from Syracuse University. He spent two years in the Army as a general’s aide in Washington, DC before becoming a full-time faculty member at The American University and starting a private consulting practice. His first client was the Institute of Scrap Iron and Steel. In 1971, Cutler was selected as the organization’s new executive director. Immediately, Cutler began to address the industry’s biggest challenges of the 1970s, including discriminatory railroad freight rates burdening ferrous scrap, He also led a fight with parts of the steel industry over ferrous scrap export controls. Herschel’s efforts on the Hill, and in a series of field hearings around the country helped pass legislation and develop regulations that have protected the industry from export controls ever since.

 In 1987, the Institute of Scrap Iron and Steel and the National Association of Recycling Industries agreed to merge and to form ISRI. Herschel Cutler was designated as the executive director of the newly formed organization. His guidance and concern helped ISRI through its early growing pains to become the strong and powerful voice of the scrap recycling industry. Throughout the 1990s, Cutler fought for the Superfund Recycling Equity Act, which provides relief to recyclers from the Superfund legislation passed in 1980 that threatened the industry. Under his direction, the recycling industry was able to declare victory in 1999.

 “Whatever successes this award credits to me were made possible by the commitment of the members, an incredibly dedicated leadership corps and an amazing staff,” said Dr. Cutler.

 In 2001, Herschel retired from ISRI. He stays busy with his three children, and four grandchildren, along with consulting, teaching at Northwestern University, and volunteer activities in his local community. 

 The award was presented to Dr. Cutler during ISRI’s annual convention and exposition in New Orleans. It is the largest gathering of recyclers in the world. Also being presented with the award this year is Crawford Carpenter of Caraustar Industries.

Forrest Matheny Presented with ISRI’s Golden Wrench Award;Cohen Recycling employee exemplifies commitment to vehicle safety 

 Forrest Matheny of Cohen Recycling in Middletown, Ohio was presented with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Golden Wrench Award for exhibiting outstanding efforts, achievements, and contributions during a career in vehicle maintenance that spans more 25 years. 

 “Through a strong track record of safety, training background, and mentorship of others, Forrest Matheny exemplifies the meaning behind the Golden Wrench Award,” said Commodor Hall, transportation safety director for ISRI. “Not only does Forrest have the credentials that exceed the award’s requirements, but the strong testimonials from co-workers, customers, and vendors on his behalf show him to be quality, caring human being that takes safety to heart. It is with great pleasure that we honor him with this award.”

 Matheny has been an employee at Cohen Recycling since 1993. He serves as a shop supervisor with responsibilities that include all maintenance on the company’s fleet of equipment. In addition, Matheny purchases equipment and supervises a team of mechanics.

 “The ISRI Golden Wrench award to me, is more than being a great mechanic, it is about being a leader,” said Todd Will, transportation manager for Cohen Recycling. “Forrest leads by example with a strong work ethic, and for reinforcing core values of respect, appreciation, and dedication. Forrest’s safety record has been nearly perfect for his entire career. Forrest uses his experience and knowledge to mentor and to help train our company’s younger, less experienced mechanics, drivers, and managers. Forrest lives our mission every single day, and has quickly adopted ISRI’s Circle of Safety Excellence’s mantra, ‘Safely Or Not at All.’”

  The award was presented to Mr. Matheny at ISRI’s 2017 Convention and Exposition in New Orleans. In addition to travel to and lodging at the Convention, he received a crystal award and a personalized certificate

Gene Reed Presented with ISRI’s Safe Driver of the Year Award

OmniSource driver has logged more than 46 years of safe driving in the industry

At the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Annual Convention and Exposition, Gene Reed of OmniSource Corporation was presented today with ISRI’s Safe Driver of the Year Award for completing 46 verifiable years of safe driving without a single preventable accident. In addition to his safe driving record, Mr. Reed demonstrates what it means to hold safety as a core value, significantly contributes to the trucking industry, and continuously provides service to the community through extraordinary volunteer work.
“In my 30 years of transportation and safety I cannot recall a driver who has accomplished so much,” said Commodor Hall, transportation safety director for ISRI. “Gene has set the standard for others to follow, having given so much of himself and gone above and beyond on so many occasions. In the 1970s and early 80s truck drivers were often referred to as ‘Knights of the Road.’ I can honestly state that Gene Reed is one of those Knights of the Road.”

“Gene’s humble personality, commitment to safety, and attention to the ‘basics’ are some key fundamentals he exhibits as a Driver Trainer for OmniSource,” said Russell Rinn, president and COO of OmniSource Corporation. “Gene continues to serve his community tirelessly, not losing touch with his dedication and spirit, as he perseveres through the everyday challenges on our streets and highway as a professional truck driver.”

Mr. Reed’s other accolades include being inducted into the National Private Truck Council – Bridgestone Firestone Drive Hall of Fame in 2006. He is also credited with the heroic act of saving another driver’s life following an accident, and has a strong track record of community service.

Gene volunteers for the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, including having served as chairman of the Communications Committee, and served on the Emergency Services Committee. He also recently joined his local volunteer fire department.

Reed has also been a leader in the Northeastern Indiana Allen County Medical Response Team (MRT) Command Staff. He was selected as one of two drivers entrusted with MADE – 1 (Mobile Advanced Disaster Element One), a 45-foot van trailer which was converted into a mobile emergency room. Gene then developed a system to load the vehicle into a military C-5 aircraft for deployment. In addition to these responsibilities, Gene led the logistics units during field deployments mobilizing specialized equipment and supplies, and served as a strike team leader, team treasurer, and MRT Trainer.

Reed has also traveled to other regions of the country to assist in hurricane recovery. Following Hurricane Katrina, Gene devoted two weeks to help in re-establishing the communications infrastructure of New Orleans. He was also present in New Orleans when Hurricane Rita came ashore, and assisted in helping victims. Gene also assisted in recovery efforts following Hurricane Marilyn in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1995.

In addition to travel to and lodging at the Convention, Mr. Reed received an award, personalized certificate, ISRI Safe Driver leather jacket, congratulatory letter, and a $500 personal check.

The second-place winner was James Cody of Sims Metal Management in Sacramento, CA; and the third-place went to Mike O’Connor of Sadoff Iron and Metal in Fond du Lac, WI.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents more than 1,300 companies in 21 chapters in the U.S. and 35 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating more than $105 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides nearly half a million Americans with good jobs. For more information about ISRI, please visit

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