At Heritage Environmental Services, we’re passionate about providing our employees with opportunities for development, learning, and growth. In fact, “Freedom to Learn and Grow” is one of the core values that the Heritage family operates under each day, encouraging each team member to seek out new learning opportunities and explore areas that excite them.
November was National Career Development Month, so we connected with a Heritage team member whose career path has allowed him to discover new interests and expand his skillset in areas he already enjoyed.
Mark Elia joined Heritage right out of college in 2016 working as a QA/QC Lab Tech at our Indianapolis facility. In his extra time, he would help out in different departments, wherever they needed him. “Rick O’Connor was my first boss, and he encouraged me to learn different roles and aspects within the plant, and helped identify some of those opportunities” Mark said.
After a couple years in this position, Mark was excited tap into other areas of interest. After discussing this with a member of our HR team, Recruiting Manager Sue Kieweg, he was put in contact with Perry Eyster, Assistant Director at the Heritage Research Group (HRG). Perry kept an eye out for positions opening up and invited Mark to apply when an Asphalt Lab Technician position became available. In this role, Mark worked with emulsions and emulsified asphalt products, assisting in the development of new products, and troubleshooting.
After developing his skills at HRG for two years, Mark said “I was looking for something more in line with the environmental chemistry I had pursued in my undergraduate education, so when a position on the environmental side opened up, and I jumped at the opportunity.” As an Environmental Research Chemist, Mark was working with HES customers, problem solving their toughest waste streams, and finding recycling, reuse, or onsite options to help them prioritize and achieve their goals.
In December 2021, a leadership position at the Indianapolis plant became available, and looking for a new challenge, Mark applied. His roles at HRG bolstered the solid foundation of knowledge he’d developed working at and learning various positions in his first role at the plant. In his current role as Operations Manager, he’s in charge of many of the supervisors at the plant, monitoring day to day operations, troubleshooting problems as they arise, scheduling bulk tanker loads, and managing intrapersonal issues. “My managers, Vice President Chris Patchon and Plant Manager Brian Cassano, helped me develop my leadership style, and recommended me for LEAD, which is a Heritage Group career development workshop focused on cultivating leadership skills.”
Now that he’s been in this role for a year now, he is excited toto help other Heritage team members the way his mentors have helped him. Mark said, “I try to identify people that have talent who are maybe in positions that don’t take advantage of their skills, keep an eye out for positions that open up, and encourage them to apply. Whether it’s on the job or in the breakroom, I listen to people and find out what they’re looking for in their careers.”
One example of this is a lab technician who was interested in moving over to HRG. Mark offered to connect him with the HRG team, and together they discussed what skills he would need to develop before applying. Mark said, “We truly have the freedom to learn and grow, and everyone is doing whatever they can to help you grow as an individual and in your career. They want to see you succeed.”
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