September Staff Spotlight – Michael Wincovitch

Our September weekly interview series continues! We have been holding Q&A sessions with our office staff to learn about their time with Diamond K, and who they are outside of work. Our second spotlight features Mike Wincovitch, who currently holds the position of Director of Business Development for Diamond K Inc. Mike started with the company in August of 2015. You can connect with Mike on LinkedIn here.


Mike Wincovitch, Director of Business Development for Diamond K Inc.

Mike Wincovitch, Director of Business Development for Diamond K Inc.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would like to learn fly a plane. 

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
I would buy my own plane to fly around the US! I would take my kids to Disneyland and then my wife to Hawaii! 

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
I take a nap!! I have 2 girls, aged 8 and 4, so it doesn’t happen often that I have free time!

What is something you learned in the last year?
I have learned more about the paper industry as a whole. 

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Easy. Golf. 

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Folding clothes – I HATE it.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
Tiger Woods 

What three traits define you?
Organized. Thorough. Competitive. 

Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
I was working at a bank ten years ago, so I probably thought not much would change and that I would still be there. But I am happier than ever working at Diamond K, so I am so very glad I made the switch!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I would most likely still be working in finance. 

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Pay more attention and work harder in school!

How do you define success?
Being consistent and performing in a positive manner – always giving your best.

What is your position at Diamond K?
My official title is Director of Business Development, but my tasks can changes daily. I am responsible for maintaining our contacts and customers, and ensuring they are being handled properly. If any issues arise I am meeting with them face-to-face to guarantee everything is taken care of. I am also am in charge of finding new business, and to both buy and sell.

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Diamond K, whose job would you want?
None. I like mine the best! But if I had to choose I would pick Susann’s, due to my background in finance. 

What are 3 words to describe Diamond K?
Family-oriented. Generous. Understanding. 

What do you find the most challenging at Diamond K?
Making sure that every customer is happy. Each customer is different so it’s challenging to change my tactic with each one. I have to be able to read people quickly. Developing new business and retaining new clients anywhere is a challenge, but one I thoroughly enjoy. 

What do you like most about Diamond K? 
The people that work here—I have never worked for a company that is so family-oriented. I also enjoy meeting new customers and seeing how different operations work. I am so proud of how neat and organized our warehouse is. I love everything that we do here!

What have you gained from working at Diamond K?
This is a place that I feel comfortable, and I feel I have job security. I don’t want to work anywhere else. We all have a say in things and I feel appreciated and valued as an employee, which is rare. 

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Diamond K?
I want continue maintaining clients and finding new ones—I would love to expand our customer-base. I also want all of our current employees to stay here and continue working so well together. We really make a great team.

What is your proudest moment at Diamond K?
Adding new accounts for the company is always something that makes me proud. I am also extremely proud of the fact that we haven’t lost any accounts since I have been here. 

How do you feel about working for David Kirtland?
I had never worked for anyone that actually cared about me as a person and my family before working for David. The company and David are both very family-oriented, and David and Susann surprise me daily with their compassion and the positivity they bring to the company. David is a tremendous guy and boss, which makes me want to work hard and do a great job – not just for a paycheck but for him and the company. At Diamond K, we all work as a team and everyone’s success is each other’s. It’s a really great atmosphere and I am proud to be on David’s team.
 

August 2018 Employee of the Month

We are pleased to announce James Evans as our August 2018 Employee of the Month! James' enthusiasm and interest in the company have made a huge impact to our success. We recognize and appreciate his dedicated efforts and are grateful for his service! 

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September Staff Spotlight – Lori Harris

Today we’re kicking off a weekly interview series that will take place throughout the month of September. We’ll be holding Q&A sessions with our office staff to learn some fun personal tidbits, and about their time both inside and outside Diamond K. We’ll dive into what our employees have learned on the job, and what gets them excited to go to work each and every day.

First up is Lori Harris, who currently holds the position of Logistics Manager for Diamond K Inc. Lori started with the company in April 2017. You can connect with Lori on LinkedIn here
 


Lori Harris, Logistics Manager

Lori Harris, Logistics Manager

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Play an instrument. Any at all! 

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Pay off all my bills!  And then pay off all my kids’ tuition! I have 2 kids—James is 21 and Garret is 18. James will be a senior at Penn State, and is studying Electrical Engineering, and Garret is starting his first year at Keystone and will be studying IT.
 

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
I walk a lot! I am very into physical fitness.  

What is something you learned in the last year?
I have had to learn who I am as a person, with my kids both being adults. Sometimes it’s hard to identify yourself outside of being a mother, but I think I have learned how to do that!

We are also in a bowling league and that is new and fun for me, even though I am awful! I also learned I am bad at playing darts!! Haha! 

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Just being with my family. Nothing in particular, but I just enjoying spending time with those I love. My niece and goddaughter has 2 young boys and I love to spend time with her and the little ones! They boys call me Goonie and love to be outside - playing basketball, riding bikes and spending time in the park. 

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Cleaning the bathrooms!

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
I’m really not sure. Celebrities are an illusion, so I wouldn’t want to ruin my perception of someone famous by meeting them and finding out they aren’t actually nice!

What three traits define you?
Kind. Happy.  Non-judgmental. Mike calls me vitamin D! I very much believe in karma, so I never talk about anyone negatively and do my best not to cross anyone.  I am a very happy person and try to bring positivity everywhere I go.

Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
Ten years ago I was working as a part-time code enforcement officer in Clarks Summit—that’s when my career first started. I guess I pictured I would still be there—I don’t usually think too far ahead. But I am so happy with where I am at now even though I didn’t necessarily think I would be here working full time! 

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I would most likely still be in code enforcement. It’s totally different, but I brought my organizational skills and positive attitude here to Diamond K, and so far it has been great! I knew Sue before we were coworkers, and had always heard great stories here from her over the years, so I was thrilled to be able to come here and be part of such a family-oriented team. 

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Stay strong and independent. Work hard. 

How do you define success?
Being happy with where you are at in life. Making the most of your current situation no matter what. 

What is your position at Diamond k?
Whatever Sue needs me to do! Haha! The main things I am responsible for is keeping track of the e-log systems our trucks have to have, making sure all of our trucks are where they are supposed to be, and tracking  the trailers. I also backfill for anything else the team needs me to do! 

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Diamond K, whose job would you want?
No one’s!! I like mine!! 

What are 3 words to describe Diamond K?
I can do it with one - Family Oriented.  We are so close and all work so well together.  We are there for one another no matter what. We also treat our clients like family. 

What do you find the most challenging at Diamond K?
Being the new girl! I started in April and everyone else has been here so long. The hardest thing is trying to catch up to everyone with how much they know!  Most have decades of experience.

What do you like most about Diamond K?
Definitely my coworkers!!

What have you gained from working at Diamond K?
A family!!  

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Diamond K?
I just want to keep learning more, and I want to be able to help out. I was brought on as Susann’s assistant, and I want to continue to take on more of the work load – I love to stay busy! I love helping out my coworkers and want to continue helping them progress and watch the company grow. 

What is your proudest moment at Diamond K? 
My proudest moments come from documenting more for the company – at all of our company events and special occasions I make sure to take pictures and document the fun we have. Everyone always knows I am coming with a camera! I also took over handling our LinkedIn, and love making connections on there for our company. 

How do you feel about working for David Kirtland?
David loves this company and loves everyone here. He thinks of everyone as his family and is so appreciative of all of us. It is a true pleasure to work for him! He is so knowledgeable about both the industry, this company and all of his employees, and he is very good at what he does. I am incredibly lucky to know him, and to have him as a boss. He is simply the best!
 

September Staff Spotlight Series – A New Weekly Blog Feature

Our employees are what truly make Diamond K Inc. a unique and fulfilling place to work. We have such amazing and dedicated people with many different personalities working for us who have a real passion for what they do. What better way to highlight the remarkable Diamond K Inc. team than to have our own employees share their stories?

Tomorrow we’re kicking off a weekly interview series that will take place throughout the month of September. We’ll be holding Q&A sessions with our office staff to learn some fun personal tidbits, and about their time both inside and outside Diamond K. We’ll dive into what our employees have learned on the job, and what gets them excited to go to work each and every day. A new session will be posted each Saturday in September. 

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*POSITION FILLED*

Diamond K Incorporated is searching for an experienced, professional Forklift Operator with dedication and integrity. This position is located in the Greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area.

Job Description
The selected associate will be responsible for loading, unloading, moving and stacking product and material as well as general warehouse work in our Scranton, PA facility. This position requires operating a forklift with the utmost care to ensure efficiency and safety. 

Compensation
This position offers competitive wages and excellent benefits. 

Requirements
Forklift driving experience
Positive attitude and ability to be a team player

This is an outstanding opportunity to join a strong team of dedicated and knowledgeable employees. If interested, you can apply directly to diamond@dk-t.com

July 2018 Employee of the Month

Congratulations, Nate Davis, on being named our July Employee of the Month! The team work and support extended by you to Diamond K Inc. has been greatly appreciated. We are lucky to have you as a part of our team! Thank you for all you do. 

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May 2018 Employee of the Month

Congratulations to James Bernotsky, our May Employee of the Month! James is a valued member of our team, and we are thrilled to recognize him for his service. James, we thank you for your efforts and contribution to Diamond K! 

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President David L. Kirtland Honored at the Keystone College Donor and Trustee Recognition Reception

We are thrilled for our president and owner, David L. Kirtland, who received The Dr. David J. Gray ’50 Medallion on Friday, May 18th at the Keystone College Donor and Trustee Recognition Reception!

The Dr. David J. Gray ’50 Medallion is awarded annually to a member of the community who exemplifies commitment to higher education. We couldn't be more proud! To learn more about David and his wife Marijo's mission to empower higher education students, please visit https://kirtlandfoundationscholarship.org/.
 

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*POSITION FILLED*

Job Opening: Yard Jockey

Diamond K Incorporated is searching for an experienced, professional Yard Jockey with dedication and integrity. This position is located in the Greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area.

Job Description
The selected associate will be responsible for the effective daily coordination and movement of inbound containers and outbound trailers. Timely movements and thorough knowledge of on-site inventory and positioning will be expected. Other duties include fork lift driving and general warehouse work, as well as over-the-road account pickups. Hours are Monday through Friday, with some Saturdays. 

Compensation
This position offers competitive wages and excellent benefits. 

Requirements
Valid Class B or Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Fork lift driving experience
Positive attitude and ability to be a team player

This is an outstanding opportunity to join a strong team of dedicated and knowledgeable employees. If interested, you can apply directly to diamond@dk-t.com. 

April 2018 Employee of the Month

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We would like to publicly congratulate and thank Thomas Chesik, our April 2018 Employee of the Month! Thomas was recognized in April for his outstanding contribution to Diamond K Inc. We applaud his dedication and commitment to excellent work! Thank you for being a great assett to Diamond K Inc. 

Celebrating Nancy Bonavoglia

We would like to congratulate Nancy Bonavoglia, who works in Accounts Payable, on celebrating her 30th anniversary with Diamond K Inc. in February! Thank you, Nancy, for your commitment to Diamond K, and for all your hard work over these past thirty years! How time flies! We are lucky to have you.  

Honoring Bob Faraday

We would like to thank Bob Faraday for his 30+ years of service to Diamond K Inc.! Bob was an independent truck driver for us who recently retired. He is pictured here with his wife, Debbie, and our president and owner, David L. Kirtland, at our quarterly safety luncheon where he was honored. We were privileged to have had such a dedicated and hard-working employee working for us for so many years. Thank you, Bob!

March 2018 Employee of the Month

Congratulations, Robert Cullen, on being named our March 2018 Employee of the Month! Thank you for your positive attitude and for being so committed to Diamond K Inc. You are a great asset to the company and your hard work does not go unnoticed! Keep up the great work. 

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Job Opening: Truck Driver

Diamond K Incorporated is searching for an experienced, professional truck driver with dedication and integrity. This position is located in the Greater Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area.

Job Description
The selected associate will be responsible for local pickups and deliveries.

Compensation
This position offers competetive wages and full benefits. No overnight travel - candidate will be home every night.

Requirements
Valid Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Must have minimum 6 months experience

This is an outstanding opportunity to join a strong team of dedicated and knowledgeable employees with the opportunity for both professional and financial growth. You can apply directly to diamond@dk-t.com, or check out our listing on Facebook. 

February 2018 Employee of the Month

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Special thanks and congratulations to Robert Casey, our February Employee of the Month!

An Employee of the Month is someone who exemplifies our values, goes above and beyond to do great work each day, and sets a great example for other team members to follow. Bob does all of this and much more, and we couldn't be happier with his hard work and dedication to Diamond K Inc.!

Kirtland Foundation Scholarship

The David L. Kirtland and Marijo Kirtland Foundation Scholarship is a new scholarship for 2018 that provides academic scholarships for high school seniors, current undergraduate, graduate or professional business students residing in Lackawanna County. The mission of the foundation is to empower business students looking to reach their full potential, regardless of economic status.

A business student means a study in business, accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, public administration, tax, economics, management, labor relations or some other related major leading to a career in the business field.

The applicant must have resided in Lackawanna County for at least one year prior to graduating from high school and/or completing an application for the scholarship. Family income or qualifying applicants may not exceed amounts established by the Trustees.

The scholarship award may only be applied to the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies nor may it exceed these costs. Scholarship awards must be used in the academic year in which they are awarded.

Successful recipients may attend any accredited, public or private, two-year or four-year college, university, technical college or graduate school. The recipient must be full-time each semester and working toward a degree in business. The educational institution must be an educational organization that maintains a regular faculty, curriculum and a regularly enrolled student body of pupils/students who attend classes at the location where its educational activities take place.

All successful applicants (dependent and independent) must submit a complete formal written application and submit all required supplemental materials prior to midnight EST on May 15, 2018.

Please visit kirtlandfoundationscholarship.org for an application, supporting materials and additional information.

 
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January 2018 Employee of the Month

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In 2018 we will continue to celebrate an Employee of the Month. Our Employee of the Month award is designed to acknowledge members of our team who have shown superior performance and contribute to the mission of Diamond K Inc. This month marks two years since we implemented this program. 

Congratulations to Tyrone Baldoni, who is the first 2018 Employee of the Month! Thank you, Tyrone, for your commitment to Diamond K Inc. and the strong work ethic you continue to show! 

'National Sword' policy constricts U.S. recycling industry

The following article was originally published in The Times Tribune. 

BY JON O'CONNELL, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: JANUARY 12, 2018

Think twice before tossing that yogurt cup in the blue bin.

It’s recyclable, yes, but any goo left on the bottom is tainting a global industry.

Industry experts say single stream recycling, or mixing aluminum, glass, paper and plastic in a single bin, is contaminating huge chunks of valuable material.

“It’s singularly the worst thing that ever happened to the industry,” said David L. Kirtland, president of Diamond K Inc., a major paper recycler in Scranton. “Unequivocally, it’s a terrible move.”

Last spring, the Chinese government’s National Sword 2017 policy set tighter rules on what the world’s largest recyclable material importer will accept.

The policy also sets a high bar for material cleanliness in an industry already subject to dramatic price swings.

Kirtland said in the time period around June to December last year, the price for some paper products could rise and fall by $100 per ton in a month’s time.

“That’s not the norm, but it’s really a commodity business, and 49 percent supply and 51 percent demand sends the price up,” he said.

His company packs and ships 10,000 tons of paper and cardboard every month. His brokerage company, DK Trading Corporation Inc., buys and sells about 25,000 tons a month.

The problem comes down to cleanliness.

With single stream, unwashed yogurt cups and beer cans get stirred in with high quality white office paper, one of the most valuable of recyclables, and ruins it.

“Domestically, single stream, for all intents and purposes, is almost rendered useless because there are so many contaminants in the products,” Kirtland said.

Industry experts are at odds about whether the benefits of single stream outweigh its harms.

Advocates say it makes residential recycling easier because you need fewer containers, said Beth DeNardi, Luzerne County’s recycling coordinator. It costs less for towns, especially if they pay public works employees for curbside pickup, she said.

“There’s a flip side to that — contamination,” she said. “If the material that’s collected is being thrown out because it’s too contaminated, then it defeats the whole purpose of doing single stream.”

It’s hard to compare one county to another, she said. Each town has a different budget, population and requirements from the state.

Berit Case, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s regional recycling coordinator, said all towns in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties under a mandatory recycling rule are in compliance. No towns in the surrounding counties meet the 5,000-resident population threshold for mandatory recycling programs.

The 11 counties in the DEP’s Northeast region generated nearly 3 million tons of recyclable material in 2016, according to the most recent data from the DEP.

Brandon Wright, spokesman for the National Waste & Recycling Association, said his organization encourages single stream recycling because it increases participation. He also recognized that recyclers have a harder time selling it under China’s National Sword.

“Where some of our members have been able to find other markets in India and Indonesia, and even some domestically, you’re just not going to replace the consumption that was going to China,” Wright said. “They were just too big of a market for product to make it up elsewhere.”

In Diamond K’s 125,000-square-foot baling and packaging operation in Scranton’s Providence section, crews use skid steers to push shredded paper onto a heavy conveyor belt.

The shredded stuff rides up to a chute to the baler, which packs it into neat cubes weighing 3,000 pounds apiece.

He buys his waste material from publishers and factories, but much of it arrives from sources where it accumulates one slice of paper at a time. Those sources are more likely to deliver contaminated material than industrial sources. He’s told many of his vendors that he’s not interested in their scrap if they switch to single stream.

Barbara Giovagnoli, Lackawanna County’s recycling coordinator, encouraged companies to write their own good-steward policies, for example, separating paper from cans and plastic. She also recommends those in office settings to put trash cans in a central location and recycling bins at every desk.

“The bottom line is that it’s up to each one of us individually,” Giovagnoli said. “If we create that waste, it’s up to us to properly channel it to be recycled and renewed and made into new things.”

Contact the writer: joconnell@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9131; @jon_oc on Twitter

Start your own program

Companies or community leaders looking to strengthen their recycling programs can contact their county recycling coordinators:

Lackawanna County: Barbara Giovagnoli, 570-963-2017

Luzerne County: Beth DeNardi, 570-331-7048

Susquehanna County: Jen Hibbard, 570-278-3589

Wayne County: Randy Heller, 570-253-9727

Wyoming County: Michael Rogers, 570-836-0729

Recycling law

Towns with more than 5,000 residents, and the individual businesses that operate in them, are required to have recycling programs, according to Act 101 of 1988. Under the act, commercial and municipal establishments must at least recycle aluminum, high-grade office paper and corrugated cardboard, in addition to other materials chosen by the town. Mandated municipalities must collect at least three of a number of items, including glass, plastics, aluminum and newsprint. No towns in Susquehanna, Wayne or Wyoming counties meet the population threshold.

Who benefits

At the very least, recycling can cut down on waste disposal costs. This is true for households that pay per bag for garbage disposal and large corporations with dumpster service. Companies trade recyclable material in large volumes, but the amount produced by a small company or home may not produce any financial benefit. Large companies that produce a lot of, for example, high-grade office paper, can sell it.

 

Mandated communities

Lackawanna County

Archbald, Blakely, Carbondale, Clarks Summit, Dickson City, Dunmore, Moosic, Old Forge, Olyphant, South Abington Twp., Scott Twp., Scranton, Taylor.

Luzerne County

Dallas Twp., Exeter, Hanover Twp., Hazleton, Kingston, Kingston Twp., Nanticoke, Newport Twp., Pittston, Pittston Twp., Plains Twp., Plymouth, Swoyersville, Wilkes-Barre, Wright Twp.

December 2017 Employee of the Month

Congratulations and special thanks to Fran McDonnell, our final 2017 Employee of the Month! 

An Employee of the Month is someone who exemplifies Diamond K Inc.'s core values, performs to the best of their ability each day, and sets a great example for other team members to follow. Thank you, Fran, for always going above and beyond! We are thrilled with your hard work and dedication to Diamond K. Inc.!

As we close out 2017, we would like to thank all of our employees for a fantastic year. Special thanks to those 12 dedicated workers recognized as our Employee of the Month this year!

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