When Jacqueline Lotzkar learned she was this year’s recipient of ISRI’s Young Executive of the Year Award, she was delighted and especially honored to be recognized by her peers in this way. “To be seen for my work is delightfully unexpected and I want to thank all of those involved in recognizing me as a leader in the industry,” she says.
As a fourth-generation recycler, Lotzkar was introduced to the industry by her father, Mark Lotzkar, and grandfather, Joe Lotzkar. Her great grandfather, Leon Lotzkar, was the founder of the family business, Pacific Metals Recycling International, in 1912. As a child, she often visited her father at the recycling yard and her family traveled regularly to visit customers around the world. “I was introduced to the global impact of our industry at a young age and was exposed to the essential role we play to the global economy,” she says. “I am proud that our family recognized the importance of this work and have been leaders in the industry for the last 110 years.”
Lotzkar is committed to carrying on her family’s legacy while bringing new ideas and innovation into the next generation. “I’m fortunate to have that history, it’s in my DNA,” she explains. “I am passionate about being a leader in business and environmental stewardship.”
Lotzkar found her way to ISRI through her father as well. She attended her first ISRI convention and exposition in San Antonio, Texas in the late 1990s. “Some of my fondest memories have been the experiences with industry friends at ISRI board meetings, hosting the Western Regional in Bend, Oregon and Coeur D’Alene, Idaho with the PNW [Pacific Northwest] Chapter, and attending the ISRI convention each year,” she says. “The multi-generational relationships and experiences are so special to this industry.”
After achieving a Bachelor of Commerce in international business in 2012 and a master’s degree in global business in 2014 through the University of Victoria, she was offered the opportunity to be a Trader for the family business and continue gaining experience in global trade. As the vice president of Vancouver-based Pacific Metals Recycling International, Lotzkar reports directly to the president of the organization and is responsible for ensuring the growth and smooth management of the day-to-day operations.
As she reaches up and outward in her career, Lotzkar remains aware of and grateful for her roots. She wants to acknowledge the opportunities her father entrusted her with and is grateful for his influence in developing her as a leader. Specifically, she appreciates her father’s thoughtful mentorship and how generously he shared his experiences with others. “As I have developed as a leader, I am particularly appreciative of the support and encouragement I received as I have grown over the years in the industry,” she says.
Outside of her company, Lotzkar is heavily involved in the industry through her work at ISRI. Not only does she serve as the Pacific Northwest chapter’s vice president (and will ascend to chapter president in March), but she’s also a director-at-large, the Trade Committee chair, co-chair of the Young Executives Council (YEC), and serves on several other committees.
Over the last four years, she and the other YEC leaders worked to build up the council by creating a variety of educational content for future leaders. She’s excited that the Pacific Northwest chapter will host the Best Young and Brightest conference in Tacoma, Wash., July 27-28, 2022, which is in its fifth year. “It continues to be one of the most popular young executive events of the year,” she says. “I’m proud of what we’ve created with the council over the last four years for young executives.”
Lotzkar believes providing a space for the next generation of recyclers is vital for the future of the industry. “Ultimately, young executives are the future of the industry, so providing opportunities for mentorship, professional development, and growth will ensure the future of our industry and trade association.”
She notes the important elements that the next generation of leaders bring to the table including fresh perspectives and experiences. “As the industry changes and technology evolves, having the opportunity to hear from young executives is crucial. We need to nurture that next generation and have a pipeline of future leaders that will ensure the strength of the industry.”
Lotzkar advises the next generation to observe the exemplary leaders in the industry and get involved with the trade association. “Growth is not comfortable,” she says. “It has not always been comfortable for me, and I am thankful for the senior executives in the industry who saw something in me when opportunities arose.” She’s also proud of having the courage to lean into the challenges. “My advice is to have courage and say yes.”
Looking forward, Lotzkar is excited by the talent of people, expertise, and experience the industry is currently attracting, as gaining more creative voices will bring out even more creative solutions.
As she aspires to continue making a global impact, she is excited to continue her company’s work to make the world more sustainable. “It is a privilege to work in the recycling industry and be able to contribute to the solutions,” she says. “I am excited about what adventures are around the corner.”