Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities

2009 Volunteer of the Year


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Announcement by Richard P. Cooke

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, Mr. Chairman, good evening, itís great to be here!

I appreciate the opportunity to introduce to you tonight, the Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities "Volunteer of the Year for 2009".

But, before we recognize this yearís exceptional volunteer, I want to commemorate those individuals who have previously received the Associationís highest honor: They include: Allan Babcock, the late Frederick Clark, the late Roger King, Denver Enoch, Bud Weigle, Walter Swiger, the late Harry Reiter, John Tuckwiller, the late Sarah Douglas, Alice Hartman, Kurt Keesee, Willis Ridenour, Wayne Bennett and Howland Sharpe.

This year, the nominees for the Volunteer of the Year Award are, in alphabetical order: Melvin E. Egbert from Wirt County, Hayward G. Helmick from Monongalia County, Russell Glenn Kocher from Brooke County, Harold Taylor from Wood County, Tracey Westfall from Ritchie County, and Buck Whytsell from Harrison County. Letís give these folks a well deserved round of applause.

Being nominated by your peers for this prestigious award, is in and of itself, truly an honor. West Virginiaís county and regional solid waste authorities are fortunate to have so many worthy volunteers who serve with distinction.

Now I am going to single out that one, special person that is being recognized tonight for many years of achievements and accomplishments of volunteer service. This individual has been a member of a county solid waste authority since the early 1990s, and has served as the Chair of the solid waste authority for the past 14 years.

This special volunteer has provided the necessary vision and leadership for many worthwhile solid waste projects, such as the implementation of a countywide drop-off recycling program, waste tire collection program and many household hazardous waste collection events. This volunteer has been instrumental in the establishment of the countyís mandatory solid waste disposal plan and the authorityís safety policy and procedures manual.

Equally significant, this volunteer has been a key player in mobilizing schools and students to energetically participate in recycling activities. As a result, half of the county schools are now engaged in collection of recyclables.

This yearís award recipient has been persistent and dedicated to the proper management of solid waste through education and action.

However, no volunteer efforts are without obstacles. Through good leadership, this volunteer and his fellow board members, working closely with their county commission have overcome obstacles to continuously provide for recycling. The person we recognize tonight has also been overseeing the management of daily activities of the county recycling program since 2007.

These are only a few accomplishments of a fellow West Virginian, whose energy is so inspiring. Throughout his adult life he has served many different organizations in his community as a volunteer. Over the years, unless there was something major to keep him away, you have always seen him at this educational conference, every workshop and training session, and every planning committee meeting.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor to introduce to you tonight, the Volunteer of the Year for 2009, a member of this Associationís Board of Directorís and the Chairman of the Brooke County Solid Waste Authority, Mr. Glenn Kocher.