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2007 HOF Inductees
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2007 Inductees

Dean Buntrock

Dean Buntrock began his waste industry career in 1956 at Ace Scavenger Service, his family’s business. In 1968, he combined his company to form Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) with annual revenues of $5 million. In 1971, with Buntrock as the Chairman and CEO, WMI went public with revenue at $10 million. By the 1980s, WMI’s revenue was $800 million and by the mid-1990s, revenue was over $10 billion and the company was operating in 21 countries. He was named Outstanding CEO in the Pollution Control Industry by Financial World Magazine and Wall Street Transcript. Buntrock retired in 1997. He is a founder of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), serving as its first President in the mid-1960s and remaining its Secretary/Treasurer and Director for nearly 20 years. Buntrock’s community service includes support of the arts on the Boards of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Terra Foundation, education serving as Chairman and a director for 20 years on the Board of St. Olaf College, and the environment through wetlands sponsorship at Ducks Unlimited and as a Director of the National Wildlife Association. Buntrock said, “I love business and found an industry where I couldn’t wait to go to work in the morning. Work is hard so you need to find a career where you can always enjoy your job and make best use of your talents. To be included in the Hall of Fame is very special and gratifying.”

Robert Rasmussen 

In 1959, Robert Rasmussen became a draftsman for an incinerator business. He began manufacturing containers and compactors 10 years later and in 1973 started his own company, Accurate Industries, which he sold to Wastequip in 1992. In 2001, Rasmussen became the President and CEO of Wastequip, which manufactures a wide variety of waste industry products. Since then, he has tripled sales, expanded operations to the West Coast, and increased company productivity by 50 percent. During his career, he was instrumental in developing intermodal containers to transport sludge and solid waste by rail. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) where he helped establish compactor ratings and safety standards. He was twice named CEO of the Year by Wastequip’s parent companies -- in 2003 by the CIVC Investment Group and in 2006 by the DLJ Private Equity Group. Rasmussen is a volunteer youth coach and supporter of safety films for children. Rasmussen said, “Developing people is the most important aspect of business success and, ultimately, personal success. You have to be humble because the whole team is what makes the difference.”

Fred Van Arsdale 

Fred Van Arsdale began working for Heil Environmental Industries in 1979 first as the Transfer Station Production Manager, then as the National Accounts Manager. In 1998, he moved on to work for McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing, Inc. as the Republic Services, Inc. National Accounts Representative, a job he held until his death in June 2006. At Heil, Van Arsdale expanded the sales focus from municipal customers to rapidly growing private companies -- USA Waste, Waste Management, and Allied Waste Industries. He helped develop the half-pack front- loader and engineer and bring to market a turnkey system for transfer stations. He was an innovator of safety features on trucks, a mentor to young colleagues just learning the ropes, always followed through with commitments, and was well-respected and widely recognized in the industry. Van Arsdale was a supporter of youth sports and a center serving disabled adults. Jim Johnson, President, Autocar, LLC, said, “Fred Van Arsdale sold his products the old fashioned way. While others were worried about building a book of business, Fred focused on building relations. He understood that a relationship built on honesty and trust was just as important as the quality of the equipment he sold.” Jerry Wickett, Vice President, Purchasing and Maintenance, Republic Services, Inc., noted, “One of Fred’s strongest attributes as a salesman was that he represented the customer well back at his company.” “My husband was loyal to a fault,” said Marilyn Van Arsdale. “He treated people in the same way that he wanted them to treat him. He never expected people to do more than they were capable, but he expected high things from everyone, including himself.”