Enviri Women: Susanne Verch

Women of Enviri: Susanne Verch

Our Enviri Women employee resource group fosters a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with our organizational mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives. 

We proudly feature Susanne Verch, a tremendous asset to Clean Earth who authentically reflects our “be-inclusive” value. This value demonstrates creating a diverse, collaborative, and inclusive workplace.

How did your career start, and what has your work experience been?

I arrived in the environmental industry by needing to reinvent my career. My 13-year career in telecom ended due to the company going bankrupt, and I had to figure out a new path. Research led me to the environmental industry, and now, 15+ years later, here I am. I have held various roles, from Government Account Manager to Program Manager, Quality Manager, and Continuous Improvement Manager. On the way, I returned to get a couple of certifications to help me with my job, specifically, Project Management & a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. It was my best decision because these two philosophies intersect and apply to every business area.

Will you talk about your current role at Clean Earth? 

In my current role as Director of Quality and Process Improvement, I have the opportunity to work with many different teams and departments within our organization. Specifically, we focus on impacting the business through continuous improvement. After recently launching several internal programs related to transportation and operations, we will utilize checks and balances to measure success, evaluate, and adjust accordingly. However, the best part of my role is the people. At Enviri, we have a set of core values. These are not just words or statements; they are applied in daily operations.

Are there any misconceptions people may have about your position? 

There is a common misconception about my role – change. Change is difficult for some people, especially when the current way of doing things seems to work just fine. In my role, I deep dive into processes and people. I analyze data, measure goals, and gather information to understand. But that’s not all – I spend time with the people who perform the tasks, listening to their insights. Sometimes, when I suggest an alternate approach based on this combined knowledge, it might seem like it’s just my idea. Still, the reality is that it results from collaboration and discovery. Change isn’t about fixing something broken; it’s about evolving and improving, and that’s what I try to achieve.

Let’s talk about some of the highlights of your career. What has been the most rewarding or meaningful part of your work experience thus far?

Without a doubt, my promotion last year to my current role was a highlight. What truly made this experience meaningful and rewarding was the confidence that the leadership team placed in me. When I proposed the direction and goals for our team, it was incredibly gratifying to have their support and trust in the vision. Since taking on this increased responsibility, I’ve had the opportunity to build and lead a team that has made a tangible difference in our projects. The most rewarding part of this journey is witnessing how these improvements have positively impacted our operations and processes.

How do you enjoy your time outside of work? 

Family and friends, photography, and traveling. My husband and I have two children each, four total; making time can be challenging with everyone’s schedules. However, we seek opportunities that usually involve an excellent destination to explore with beautiful sunsets because making memories is the most important thing.

How do you empower other women in our industry? What advice do you want to share? 

I empower other women by being supportive and providing an inclusive environment where they know their voices are heard and contributions are celebrated. Fostering a collaborative spirit encourages growth opportunities (both growth in skill and growth towards goals set). As for advice, find a mentor, challenge yourself, and be humble.

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the start of your career? 

Embrace every challenge as an opportunity to learn. Be bold and ask questions, seek mentorship, and always appreciate the value of perseverance. The effort and passion will reward you. But remember that success is not just about reaching the goal; it is about the path you traveled and the lessons you learned along the way.

How should we encourage the younger generation of women to join the waste industry?  

I would ask, “Are you a champion of change?”  The waste industry is evolving and inspirational, as each piece of waste holds the potential for transformation. Through innovative approaches, we reimagine waste as an opportunity for sustainability, seeking creative ways to repurpose what was once discarded. By embracing a career in waste management, young women become drivers of a greener, more sustainable future, where their passion and ingenuity can play a pivotal role in effecting positive change.

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