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Alumna Educates Students Regarding Long-Term Recycling Benefits

October 29, 2014

Northwood University students recently learned key recycling concepts from Patti Webster Hamilton, an alumna who will soon be honored as a Northwood University Distinguished Woman. Webster Hamilton, now serving as Vice President of Marketing/Communications for Southern Waste Systems (SWS) and its affiliate companies, Sun Recycling and All Star, hosted the group for a tour of Sun Recycling’s West Palm Beach facility, along with the Palm Beach Chapter of the US Green Building Council members.Soon to be recognized as a Northwood University Distinguished Woman, Webster Hamilton will be one of seven nationally known women at its 45th Annual Distinguished Women Awards Gala to be held at Eau Palm Beach Resort on Saturday, November 8th at 6:30pm. For additional information regarding the event and to make reservations, please contact Allison Tardonia, at (561) 478-5539 or .

“Our team at SWS takes our role in recycling education very seriously and it is a key component of our company core values.  We love giving students the opportunity to not only witness the great work our recycling team does, but to bring them together with local business professionals in our community. That hands-on experience and opportunity to meet and network with business leaders was one of the things that I always valued from my Northwood education. It was those experiences that helped me to earn my position with General Motors when I graduated,” said Webster Hamilton.

Drawn to Northwood’s Sustainability Management program because of their interest in developing innovative and strategic business practices which benefit the environment and people as well as provide for long-term profitability, the students got a first-hand tour of the massive facility. Webster Hamilton, in her leadership role with the company, shared the advantages of Florida’s largest independently owned recycler of construction and demolition material. Using state of the art technology and advanced processes that have been honed by the company over decades, Sun Recycling is able to recycle up to 90% of the materials it receives. These processes, along with record diversion percentages led SWS and Sun Recycling to be earn the distinction of National C&D Recycler of the Year in March of this year.

“This is a great example of how sustainability management can transform a business and provide benefits to our environment and communities.  Not only do the processes keep waste from entering our landfills, there is a reduced need for manufacturing new products from raw materials on the front end.  On the back-end, some of the organic wastes, like horticultural materials, are being used as biofuels in power plants, reducing the demand for fossil fuels.  All of these benefits are achieved while remaining highly profitable.”   “Northwood University sustainability management students are learning ways to incorporate these type of  ideas and management processes into all types of business enterprises,” notes Kevin Petrovsky, chair of the sustainability management program at Northwood University.

Southern Waste Systems/Sun Recycling is a full-service waste and recycling company with decades of experience in the solid waste collection, disposal, and recycling industry. The company services Palm Beach, Broward, Miami Dade, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. Sun Recycling, operates Construction and Demolition material recycling facilities in Pompano Beach, Dania Beach, West Palm Beach, Lantana, Deerfield Beach and Miami, in addition to a single stream recycling facility in Deerfield Beach and an MSW Recycling facility in Davie.  Sun recycles up to 90 percent of the construction and demolition material that it collects.  For more information log on to

Now contributing over 30-years of leadership, sales, and marketing experience towards her current position, Hamilton is a 1982 alumna of Northwood University Michigan and the institution’s first Florida Alumni Association President.   After graduating with a business degree, Hamilton launched her career with General Motors Corporation, and subsequently applied her experience and business acumen toward serving every marketing and sales management position in the automotive retail environment, including full operational responsibility as General Manager. Having joined SWS in 2008 as a member of its Executive team, she serves with a focus on marketing, employee leadership advancement and community outreach. Representing the organization regarding recycling issues at both the local and state levels, she is called on to participate in speaking engagements in and out of the state of Florida.  Hamilton is the recipient of a number of professional, civic and community awards including Northwood University’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 1992. Having led the founding of the Athena Awards Program in Palm Beach County in 1991, now an international recognition presented in 500 communities in 8 countries, she is a 2002 recipient of the honor. In addition, she was the 2013 recipient of the Gaeta Chairman’s Award, a recognition which honors those individuals and organizations that have provided the framework for the Northern Palm Beach County Community.

Having held leadership positions with a variety of professional and non-profit organizations over the past 23 years, she currently serves on the executive committee/board of the National Construction and Demolition Recycling Association.  In addition, she represents her partners at All Star Event Services as the board chair of the Florida Festivals and Events Association.  In the fall of 2011, she was appointed to the Florida Commission on the Status of Women by Florida CFO Jeff Atwater. She currently serves as a board member of Bella’s Angels, the South Florida Fair, the Jupiter Medical Center Corporate Board and the Jupiter Medical Center Foundation Board.   Established in 1970 by the Northwood University Board of Trustees under the inspiration of founders Dr. Arthur E. Turner and Dr. R. Gary Stauffer, the Northwood University Distinguished Women Awards were created to recognize the enormous contributions women make to communities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public and private sector services world-wide. The awards are presented annually and never in absentia. Each Distinguished Woman receives a medal that was originally designed by the late sculptor, Giulio Tamassy.

With Distinguished Women events providing the occasion to bring Northwood University to the attention of those who share a dedication to its principles of higher education, the University encourages honorees to become involved with its students and to participate in their growth. The honorees represent the values that Northwood espouses to its students: commitment to free enterprise, partnership of arts and business, and management in a global society. They serve as role models and mentors for students.   On Friday, November 7th, the day preceding the awards gala, Northwood University students will ask questions of the Distinguished Women at an afternoon forum held at Northwood University Florida from 2:00pm – 3:30pm. The forum provides the opportunity for honorees to share anecdotes relating to the obstacles and challenges they encountered while on their personal road to business success, as well as remedies relating to how they overcame them. For additional information please call (561) 478-5539. For a list of all of the honorees please visit this link. Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

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