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Republic Services' Frey recognized for environmental stewardship; Wagner carries legacy forward
For the Reporter
On the eve of his retirement from Republic Services, Don Frey received the Lifetime Environmental Stewardship Award from the Washington Refuse and Recycling Association (WRRA) at a Dec. 1 banquet at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle.
"I am incredibly honored to be recognized for doing something I feel so passionate about, helping communities become better stewards of the environment," Frey said.
Frey will be replaced by Jeff Wagner, who brings a history of public service as well as financial planning and business management experience to his role as municipal relationship manager at Republic.
Frey has worked in the transportation and environmental services industries for more than three decades, forging community partnerships with a focus on local environmental stewardship. He joined Republic Services (then Allied Waste) eight years ago as a general manager and served more recently as a municipal relations manager in Bellevue and in South King County, always willing to go beyond the call of duty to ensure exceptional customer service. He received a letter of recommendation from the City of Bellevue for his work ethic and dedication to service in the community.
In the office and in the field, Don has made an exceptional partner," said Dennis Manes, general manager for the Kent division where Frey worked as a municipal relations manager with cities like Kent, SeaTac and Covington. "What strikes me most about Don is his dedication to the community and to the environment. Every day, he has worked tirelessly to build better communities through environmental excellence, helping to educate communities on how to reduce waste and recycle more."
Whether it was delivering an interactive (and often comedic) recycling presentation at an elementary school, coordinating a large-scale community cleanup or advising city officials on sensitive environmental issues, Frey was noted for his enthusiasm and commitment.
Over the course of his career, Frey developed an outstanding record of community and industry leadership. He is a past president of organizations such as the Washington Trucking Association, Kent Lions Club and served as vice president of General Freight for Puget Sound Truck Lines.
In addition to owning and operating his own trucking company, Frey has been an active member in various chambers of commerce and municipal organizations, including time as a legislative delegate for the Covington Chamber of Commerce. In these roles, Frey has been a passionate advocate on behalf of a cleaner, greener environment.
"The Washington Refuse & Recycling Association is proud to recognize Don's professional career achievements with this award," said Brad Lovas, president of the association. "Don's career is a roadmap on how to incorporate environmental stewardship into your daily work and professional ethic. His commitment and service to Washington communities is a prime example of the work provided by people in our state's solid waste industry every day. WRRA couldn't be happier to have someone of Don's character and integrity as a recipient of this or any award from our organization."
Frey is also a Rotarian and has been recognized for his dedication to and work with several local charities, food banks and scholarship programs. He has served as both Secretary and board member of the Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) where his integrity and years of experience have earned him the respect and admiration of the industry.
Helped to develop employees
One of many accomplishments, Frey started an internship program that developed full-time employees like Lynnyetta Keller, now a recycling program coordinator with Republic's Kent division.
When asked about the future of recycling, Frey is optimistic. "There is a heightened curiosity these days about what happens to material 'after the curb,'" he said. "It's good that there is a captive audience that is willing to do even more for the environment."
He pointed to the implementation of state of the art technology at Republic's recycling facility in Seattle as a testament to the level of local support for environmental excellence.
"By embracing recycling technology to the full extent, we help communities succeed in becoming healthier, cleaner, greener places to live, work and play. People are capable of recycling more ... raise the bar, always."
An avid outdoorsman, Frey and his family look forward to enjoying a second home in the mountains surrounded by "the best snowmobiling in the state."
Wagner carries legacy forward
Wagner, pictured left, succeeds Frey.
"I am comfortable retiring knowing that I am passing the torch to Jeff," Frey said. "An exceptionally capable person with a passion for public service, Jeff will continue to build our community partnerships. He embodies the characteristics needed to excel in this position, in this market."
Wagner is currently mayor pro tem of the City of Covington. He previously worked as a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial and Waddell & Reed.
"Jeff's years in public office and his experience as a financial planner will be put to good use at Republic," Manes said. "Don leaves a remarkable legacy at this company, one that Jeff will carry on."
Like his predecessor, Wagner's roots run deep in the local community. He was recognized as Covington's Citizen of the Year in 2012. He currently serves as co-chair of Covington's Economic Development Council and is an ambassador to the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce.
Wagner is a founding member of the Covington Chamber of Commerce and has been a member of many local organizations from chambers of commerce to the Kiwanis Club. He once also served as president of the popular Covington Days event.
"Our environmental partners – our communities and constituents – expect excellent, dependable service and strong corporate citizenship from Republic," Manes added. "We are excited to see Jeff step in to lead these efforts and are confident he will represent the company and our local communities well."
For more information, visit www.republicservices.com.