Oversaw steady growth in 19 years of leadership
Methow Recycles Executive Director Betsy Cushman is retiring after 19 years of heading the nonprofit recycling center in Twisp.
Cushman’s departure was announced in a press release this week. She will officially retire in spring 2021. A search for her successor has begun.
“It’s been an incredibly interesting, challenging and rewarding experience,” Cushman said in the release. “Coming from the corporate world I wasn’t used to hearing ‘thank you’ so much as I’ve heard it here during this, my second career.”
Cushman has been executive director since 2001. She had been a volunteer with the Methow Conservancy, helping on the project to build a recycling center, and was asked if she would consider heading the operation. She’s been there since.
Under Cushman’s leadership, Methow Recycles has grown to an organization with a $350,000 annual operating budget, five employees, an 11-member board of directors, and more than 40 volunteers.
Since its founding, the volume of materials handled by Methow Recycles has grown by nearly 400%, according to the release. The organization has integrated curbside recycling collected by WasteWise, conducted 10 metal drives, and adapted to changing conditions in the worldwide recycling market.
“When people think of Methow Recycles, they think of Betsy, and for good reason,” said Methow Recycles board president Missy LeDuc, in the press release. “I really can’t overstate her contribution in creating this community resource and, perhaps even more importantly, in making waste reduction central to the community’s ethos and mindset. Thanks to Betsy, the Methow Valley is an example of how we can take care of the environment and reduce our impact on it.”
“While finding a new executive director will be a challenge, we’ve been actively preparing for this transition for most of this year,” said Don Linnertz, Methow Recycles board member. “The executive committee has worked collaboratively with Betsy to create a succession plan. We’ve established a hiring committee and identified the skills, experience, and temperament that will be required for our next executive director.”
Cushman said Methow Recycles’ role in the community continues to evolve.
“Although recycling is very beneficial to our efforts to combat climate change, I hope to see our community begin to question the apparent inevitability of waste,” Cushman said. “Reducing our consumption and its accompanying waste does so much to ensure the sustainability of our community and the planet.”
“Nobody has to recycle with us,” Cushman added. “We want people to want to come to us. To ensure that, we place a high value on our staff and volunteers delivering great customer service — being friendly and helpful, creating a reliable and consistent experience, and making Methow Recycles a fun place to visit.”
To learn more, visit the Methow Recycles website, http://www.methowrecycles.org.