Nancy Macy Celebrated and Dave Wright Takes the Helm
July 1st was a great day for a party, and the VWC knows how to celebrate! Recycling Director, Nancy Macy, was honored at a retirement party at the Highlands Park Senior Center with kind words, great food, a trip down memory lane, a beautiful song, honors from our local government representatives, a bagpipe-led procession, and a bench placed at Highlands Park in her honor. Everything had a recycling theme – delightful decorations were made from recycled materials and the bench is made from recycled plastic “wood.” VWC Treasurer, Sheila DeLany, with Recycling Manager, Danya Leopold, and the support of the VWC Board and many others, brought together the unique celebration.
“I’m still floating two months later,” Nancy related. “It was so amazing and wonderful. People I hadn’t seen in years came! So many memories, and the kind and affectionate comments were deeply moving. What an incredible experience. I cannot express how honored and fantastic I feel.”
Among those sharing memories were former County recycling coordinator, Dan DeGrassi, who was working with Ecology Action in 1978 when the VWC started the first recycling opportunity in the SLV (once a month in Boulder Creek), reminded everyone of the early days and how things have changed in more than 30 years under Nancy’s leadership. Also speaking was Matt Harris, Site Manager of the Ben Lomond Transfer Station recycling center. Matt’s heartfelt comments demonstrated his respect and depth of feeling for Nancy after working 15 years with her. Along with co-workers, good friends came up to speak, like Connie DeNault who remembered Nancy as a young mother and their shared love of dance.
Representatives from Congress Member, Anna Eshoo, State Senator Joe Simitian and Assembly Member Bill Monning brought thoughtful proclamations honoring Nancy, mentioning her years of commitment, her leadership (starting with her role as founding President of the VWC), and the legacy of a successful recycling program. Then, 5th District Supervisor, Mark Stone, presented Nancy with a proclamation declaring July 1st as “Nancy Macy Day” in the County of Santa Cruz!
Michal Lauren, talented local singer and songwriter, had written a song in Nancy’s honor, speaking of angels, and she performed it to the delight of everyone.
Then Sheila invited everyone outside where bagpiper, Jay Salter, led a joyful procession out to the main lawn by the big house at Highlands, where the great surprise of a bench in Nancy’s honor was revealed! The plaque reads, “The Valley Women’s Club honors environmentalist Nancy Macy. “It’s just one big garden we all should be tending.”
After kind words by Mary Hammer, the procession returned, amid laughter and piping, back to the Senior Center where a beautiful cake from Dessert First (Boulder Creek) was shared and the piping and celebration continued.
For the next two weeks, new Recycling Managing Director, Dave Wright, worked with Nancy and Danya to get a too-fast introduction to the operations and began his leadership role. Since then, Dave and Danya, working from the new modular office at the Felton recycling center site, are tackling the pressing tasks. This is where Dave’s skills in using the new computers and his ideas for new procedures are beginning to shape and improve things.
Big issues of a tight budget and the importance of providing good wages and benefits to SLV RR employees, while improving income and maintaining the high standards of community service, will challenge Dave and his team as they work together to meet the mission and goals of the centers. With the support and counsel of the expanded Recycling Advisory Committee, made up of six VWC Board Members (Nancy Gerdt, Michele Mosher, Sheila DeLany, Donna Ziel, Jim Coffis and Lynn McKibben), the recycling centers should be even more successful in the future.