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John Jennings

John J. Jennings is the founder and visionary behind Waste Pro USA. His father, Michael Jennings, was an Irish immigrant who worked as a garbage man in Long Island, New York and taught his son the importance of a diligent work ethic. The lessons he learned from his father translated into what is now Waste Pro’s mission: to create more sustainable, cost-effective waste and recycling solutions.

Jennings attended Holy Cross High School in Queens, New York, and was elected into the school’s Hall of Fame for his business accomplishments and philanthropy in supporting the school. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and M.B.A. degree in Finance from St. John’s University and a Chartered Investment Analysis degree from New York Institute of Finance.

After moving to Florida, started in the industry at the bottom and worked his way up. In the beginning, he went out early in the morning on the trucks with the drivers to see things firsthand. Eventually, he improved the business and transformed the company into Jennings Environmental Services, which became the largest privately-owned waste disposal company in central Florida. Upon merging with USA Waste Services, Inc. in 1996, Jennings Environmental Services became a subsidiary and Jennings was named Regional Vice President for Florida and the Caribbean. USA acquired what is today Waste Management. When Jennings left the firm many of the company’s leaders said, “what are we going to do next” and Waste Pro was created in 2001.

As Waste Pro Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Jennings has transformed the firm to become one of the fastest-growing solid waste companies in the United States. In the first month of business Waste Pro earned just $800 in revenue. In 2019, Waste Pro’s revenue exceeded $733 million. Today Waste Pro operates in 11 Southeastern states with a team of more than 3,800.

Throughout his time as CEO, Jennings made safety a top priority. All trucks are equipped with technology to assist drivers and increase their productivity, and approximately $5 million has been rewarded since 2004 to drivers who practice safe habits.

Going ‘green’ has been another key part of Jennings’ leadership. In 2011, Waste Pro invested $100 million in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered trucks and have since opened nine CNG fueling stations.

In 2020, John Jennings passed the torch to his son, Sean, to become President & CEO. He remains Executive Board Chairman with Waste Pro.

Jennings has been recognized as one of Florida Trend’s 500 most influential business leaders in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Also in 2020, Jennings was honored with a Legacy Award by MSW Management, the official journal of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and was a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the annual Marquis “Who’s Who”. In 2011, he was unanimously elected to the National Solid Waste Management Association Hall of Fame and was the honorary keynote speaker of the 2011 Executive Roundtable for America’s Solid Waste Leaders.