American entrepreneur Brandi Harleaux isn’t exactly the typical recycler; nor is she a typical CEO. She has two degrees in psychology and worked at Disney before taking over the family business, South Post Oak Recycling Center, in 2020. She looks forward to leaving her own mark in the industry.
First of all, congratulations on being part of Recycling International’s Top 100 this year!
‘Thank you, it’s such an honor to be included in the Top 100. I didn’t expect it but it’s very exciting. I’m also in great company and have the greatest respect for people like John Sacco and Robin Wiener.
It’s been a tough few years. How did your company handle this?
“Overall business has been good even though we saw a 40% drop in revenue in the first year of Covid. I’m proud to say that we ended 2021 with over 65% of our projected goals, the highest revenue we’ve had since starting the business in 1994.
Big plans for the future?
“I want to grow our geographic footprint outside of the United States over the next five years. I am particularly interested in pursuing prospects in the Caribbean and South Africa. It’s still at an early stage, but I know there’s so much more to the scrap metal scene than just our home market. I want South Post Oak to be part of the global recycling community.
How do you use your unique know-how in the recycling sector?
“I was in charge of global leadership and organizational development at Disney – there’s no clear link to scrap, I know that.” On the positive side, my career has endowed me with creativity and curiosity to pursue new opportunities in recycling. Ultimately, I want South Post Oak to be the Disney of the scrapbook scene.
It doesn’t have to be a messy, disorganized junkyard, as is often the case. Or having people come into your office whenever they feel like it, yelling at you that they need this or that. I seek excellence and transparency. This means a clean and tidy job site, scheduled appointments, an organized fleet and a professional atmosphere.
What interests you in psychology?
I like the idea of mixing people and business. What interests me the most is what motivates people, how to design and develop organizations and how to accompany people through organizational change.
Read the full interview in our next issue >>
Would you like to share with us any interesting developments or story ideas? Do not hesitate to contact us.