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Introducing the Heritage Environmental Services Leadership Development Program

Posted: 9/9/22


Service Type(s): #Careers and Culture


This year we launched an exciting new opportunity for recent college graduates – a Leadership Development Program designed to accelerate their career over three 9 – 12-month rotational assignments. Candidates will develop experience, leadership, and strategic thinking skills by partnering with and learning from Heritage leaders and executives. Within one of the three tracks – Operations, Sales and Customer Experience, and Finance –candidates will gain a wide breadth of knowledge and experience, learning to develop solutions for some of our customers’ most challenging problems. As they explore the different rotations, they’ll work with not only with their manager, but also a mentor at the director level or above. Our inaugural class of candidates, who started three months ago, have already started working on some exciting projects. Let’s take a closer look at each track and learn more from our inaugural class of candidates!


In the Operations track, candidates are initiated into the core of our business – our transportation, treatment, and disposal facilities. The potential roles for a rotation include plant supervision, field project management, chemistry-based positions, and project/process based engineering positions at one of our facilities including but not limited to Indianapolis, IN, Albany, NY, East Liverpool, OH, or Lemont, IL.

Conner Poort, who works under Indy Plant Manager Brian Cassano, chose this program because he enjoyed previous leadership roles and the level of responsibility they offered. He saw this program as a great opportunity to further develop his leadership skills. Conner said, “I want to help as many people as I can, both those who I work with and those who work for me. Heritage offers a lot of potential to grow.”

As part of his role, Conner has participated in engineering meetings with Brian, his mentor Chief Operating Officer, Winde Hamrick, and Vice President Chris Patchon. “They’ve done a great job of teaching me about the plant and the company to be able to take on this role and have this level of responsibility. The attention Heritage puts into developing us in the program, I don’t think you would find this at other companies. They listen to my input, and trust me with the responsibility, and have enabled me to grow faster than I ever have,” he said. Conner is currently managing his first maintenance project and says that it’s taught him how to better prepare for projects ahead of time, facilitate communication with everyone involved, and deal with unexpected setbacks. “I can’t say enough good things about it.”

Sales and Customer Experience

As part of the Sales and Customer Experience track, candidates will dive into the front end of our business, learning how we generate and close opportunities, manage customer challenges, and communicate internally and externally with our proposal, marketing, customer experience, and/or commercial sales teams. Currently completing his first rotation in Customer Experience, Antonio Ybarra works under CX Manager Raven Shryock. Antonio said, “Raven picked up on the fact that I’m a quick learner and will let me take the lead and take ownership on my projects. She’s there for any questions I have.”

Last month he participated in one of our career development courses called Management Vitals, which is targeted towards existing or aspiring managers. “In addition to the course itself, I got to meet various managers throughout the company. It was great to network and have that exposure,” Antonio said.

His mentor, Senior Vice President Sheila Morris, recently brought him in on a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt project, working on improving efficiencies in the fuel grading at our facilities, which involved traveling to two of our facilities in Benton, AR and Kansas City, MO. Antonio said he picked this program because of the amount of development invested in the candidates, and for the opportunity to explore several different areas to see how his degree and interests apply in the real world. “I’m very excited with how much I’ve gotten to do so far, and where I’m going next in my rotation. It makes me want to give as much effort and investment as I’m getting.”


Finally, our Finance track allows candidates to explore resources, budgeting, and profit from both areas in the first two tracks, analyzing these elements at a facility, office, and business unit level. Brooks Telecky began his program in our Accounting Department, working under Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, while being mentored by Josh Owens, Director of Accounting. After starting off on some smaller projects to learn the various systems used at Heritage, Brooks has been able to take on a larger task involving queries to analyze AP logs and identify the best way to account for them. Brooks said, “I appreciate the availability of both Josh and Blain. I speak with both of them at least weekly and can go to them for any issues or advice.”

The integration and cohesion of the accounting team stood out to Brooks as well. “Everyone has taken the time, before they got into their own responsibilities, to introduce themselves. I got to meet everyone and understand what they do. They have a great general knowledge and now I know who to contact when I need help on certain projects.”

Your Opportunity to Learn and Grow

The coordinator for our leadership development program, Caitlin Hacker, is a former customer experience manager herself, and has loved working with our first round of candidates. “During the program, not only are the candidates getting real hands-on experience, they are getting a front row seat to many of our leadership and management trainings. We are really focusing on helping mold a well-rounded individual throughout their time in the program. I also want to make sure we are having fun! We will all participate in team dinners, panel discussions, team building activities, and networking events.” In the words of Caitlin Hacker, “come join the team, learn at an accelerated rate, have fun, and become the future of Heritage!”

If you’ll be graduating soon and are looking for an environment where you’ll be challenged, guided by senior leadership, and exposed to multiple areas of our company, consider applying for our Leadership Development Program. Learn more about it and our open positions here:

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