Thursday, May 2, 2013

Virga out, Scozzafava in as USCC director

By Ken McEntee
Composting News
May 2, 2013

After exactly 19 months on the job, Michael Virga’s tenure as executive director of the U.S. Composting Council ended on April 19. The council announced on May 2 that Lori Scozzafava, former deputy executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), was hired as Virga’s replacement.

Lorrie Loder, president of the council, declined to say whether Virga or the board initiated the parting.

“It was a mutual agreement,” she said. “Mike indicated that he had some other career opportunities.”

When asked whether the vote by the council’s Board of Directors was a vote to terminate an employment agreement, or whether it was a vote to accept a resignation, Loder said it would not be appropriate to comment.

Loder, however, confirmed that Virga, through his consulting company, Green Solutions, has submitted a proposal to do contract work for the council – possibly in a fundraising capacity. She said the board has not made a decision about accepting the proposal. Virga could not be reached to comment.
Virga operated Green Solutions before he was hired as executive director of USCC in September 2011 and after he left his position as executive director of the American Forest and Paper Association.

Frank Franciosi, past president of USCC, said Virga’s strengths were soliciting sponsors and raising money for the council’s Research and Education Foundation. He also confirmed that Virga has submitted a proposal to do contract work for the council.

“The board may consider it,” Franciosi said. “He left on good terms.”

Loder said the board is “excited” to hire Scozzafava.

“We did a search and we are very pleased that Lori accepted our offer,” she said.

She declined to say how many candidates were interviewed.

“Lori happened to be available,” she said. “With the industry growing like it is it is a perfect fit.”

The council said Scozzafava is a highly experienced association executive who has been involved in solid waste management for more than 25 years. She left her position as deputy executive director of SWANA in 2012.

Franciosi said Scozzafava’s experience in dealing with municipalities through SWANA will be valuable in her new position.

Scozzafava joined SWANA in 1999 and was deputy executive director from 2004 to 2012. Before that she was the director of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Recycling Division, a consultant with Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc. and recycling coordinator for Morris County, N.J.

"Lori's extensive industry and association management experience will help the USCC and its membership reach their goals and rise to a new level," Loder said.

Scozzafava said this is a great opportunity to bring her association expertise and understanding of the industry to the council.

“The timing is perfect to position organics management into national prominence as a major contributor to achieving recycling goals and environmental sustainability,” she said.

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