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Young Professionals Program
YP Events over the  years

USCC's Young Professionals


Young Ps: The Compost Leaders of the Future

The USCC Young Professionals Group began in October 2013 as a group for people age 18 to 40 to connect with each other and industry leaders. Young Professionals are either under 40 or have less than 5 years’ experience in the industry.

The Young Professionals are passionate about sustainability and are committed to expanding the compost industry nationwide. The group sponsors networking and volunteer events and provides opportunities to learn and interact with the leaders of the compost industry.

Young Professionals Programs


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Get Involved In Our Committees!

This is how we get the work done. Our Standing Committees are: Steering Committee, Emerging Composter Committee, Conference Volunteer Committee, Mentoring Committee, and Webinar Committee. Scroll down to see our leaders and descriptions of all of the committees.

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Steering Committee

(Kristine Ellsworth, NY DEC, Chair)

As the USCC Young Professionals (YP) begin to support themselves within the greater USCC organization, the main goals of the 2019/2020 steering committee will be to solidify the USCC YP framework.

Tasks for this committee will include but are not limited to:

  • Drafting the vision and mission of the USCC Young Professionals
  • Formalizing the benefits of joining as a Young Professional
  • Attending bi-monthly steering committee calls
  • Hosting quarterly calls with all YPs and committees for report outs
  • Working with the engagement committee to increase membership
  • Overseeing the progress of the contest, volunteer, webinar and engagement committees
  • Assisting the contest, volunteer, webinar and engagement committee, as needed

To volunteer, contact Kristine Ellsworth.

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Emerging Composter Committee

(Isaac Bearg, NJ Composting Committee and Consultant, Chair)

This committee has put on the EC Venture Competition the last two years and will give you the opportunity to choose the format of a challenge/competition to take place at COMPOST2020 in Charleston, SC. You do not have to be going to the conference to be of service to this committee. Take a look at some of the tasks we could use your help and expertise with:   

  • Sponsor outreach
  • Decide on format and rules
  • Put together application
  • Put together scoring rubric
  • Promote application to potential applicants (webinar to explain the competition, update website, email blasts, social media, reach entrepreneurs including outreach to universities, incubators, etc.)
  • Review applications for fit with rules
  • Hand over applications for scoring to judges (or if we determine a different method)
  • Invite the final three participants and provide instructions for final competition
  • Communication with judges on final rules
  • Prepare post event survey for participants and judges
  • Communication with event staff for onsite A/V and other needs
  • Print the scorecards and presentations for judges
  • Final meeting with the participants
  • Round up judges to make sure they're in the right place
  • Tally scores and award the winner

This committee is busiest from fall through February 2020. 

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Volunteer Project Committee

(Shelby Hoglund, Grad Student, University of Arizona, Chair)

The Volunteer Committee works to:

  • Seek out a project related to compost in the Charleston area
  • Promote participations of YPs (and their mentors and others interested)
  • Organize day-of transportation
  • If able, participate in the volunteer project

To help, contact Shelby Hoglund.

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Webinar Committee

(Felipe Pedrazzi, Chair)

This committee will be organizing a series of quarterly webinars in 2020 on topics such as vermicomposting, STA, weather/geographic impacts on composting, how to get a job in composting, etc.!

If you’re good at recruiting speakers, marketing webinars, writing descriptions or helping put on a webinar, contact Felipe.

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Outreach Committee

(Leslie Rodgers, Chair)

Outreach Committee goals include:

  • Keeping YPs in the know with industry-related events and happenings
  • Creating and managing monthly opportunities to connect as a group
  • Increasing UP member negagement and sense of community
  • Social media communications

To volunteer, contact Leslie Rodgers.

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Mentoring Committee

2019 Chair: Heather Wasilewski

(closed for 2019)

This committee reviews the mentoring applications in May/June 2020 and matches mentors/mentees, and helps with the mentor/mentee check-in in the fall. A chair is needed for this committee.

A chair is needed for spring 2020!

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YP Social Media Coordinator

Natasha Dyer

Every year USCC taps a YP to be social media coordinator for various programs. This year's coordinator is Natasha who also works in the City of Atlanta as the senior recycling program coordinator.

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What Does YP Volunteering Look Like?


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It Fits In YOUR Schedule

Most of the volunteering is done by phone call, planning in Zoom or other conferencing. Members of committees take on tasks that involve email, social media and phone outreach, which can be done from your office/home.

We also need help at the conference each year, which can be traded for a conference registration if openings are available!

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2019 Webinar

There is a groundswell of young entrepreneurs tackling the collection and recycling of food scraps. In this two part webinar series from spring 2019 planned and carried out by the USCC Young Professionals Webinar Committee (chair Gowri Sundaram), hear from Susan Thoman (Compost Manufacturers Alliance) and Gary Nihart (Atlas Organics) on part one; and Peter Moon (o2 Compost) and Ron Alexander (Alexander and Associates), for advice and lessons to starting a business and how to find your place in the market for success.

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Career Development

There are a number of ways you can build your career in the compost industry. We need policy people, compost producers, compost sellers, hauling companies, and people working in companies that do all of the above! Join our Linkedin group; monitor the USCC's Career Center, or watch each spring for the Mentoring Program application process.

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Stay in touch!

Do you want to be sure you get the latest news for Young Professionals? Sign up for our list here.

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