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Women of Waste Pro: Samantha Barreiro


Women of Waste Pro

Samantha Barreiro
Regional Human Resources Manager
Central Florida

Working in waste is all Samantha Barreiro has known.

At just 18 years old, Samantha began working for the Fort Myers, FL Division during her freshman year at Florida Gulf Coast University, where she earned a BS in Business Management.

“I realized tuition, books and the cost of housing was expensive…so I started at Waste Pro one month into my college career and have been loving it ever since,” she said.

That was over a decade ago, in 2010. Since then, Samantha has worked her way up by getting involved in all aspects of the business, including personnel management, employee engagement, operations, customer service, and of course, human resources. Since joining the HR team, she has distinguished herself by obtaining her Professional in Human Resources accreditation and being promoted to the Regional HR Manager of the largest region in the company.

“No two days are the same,” she said. “Whether I’m working with managers on the best way to find candidates and streamline the hiring process or brainstorming employee engagement initiatives, every day I strive to be a more human resource.”

In 2018, Waste Pro Founder and Executive Board Chairman John Jennings selected Samantha to be part of the company’s Leadership Initiative, which is a mentorship program designed to train the next generation of the company’s young leaders. For Samantha, being selected by Mr. Jennings was one of the highest points of her career.

“Every day I get to work side-by-side with the most outstanding group of people,” she said. “Working in HR at Waste Pro, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing our team’s culture, hearing their incredible stories, and helping our team members reach their fullest potential.”

Of course, she’s met challenges along the way – especially once the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and the significant nationwide labor shortage that followed and is still being felt across the country. She was only one month into her new role as Regional HR Manager at the onset of the pandemic. But, she says, by building relationships and working as a team, they’ve been able to navigate through the unprecedented times together.

“We’ve been forced to think outside of the box and get creative with how we attract and retain talent, which has made me a better HR professional and a better leader,” she said.

Being a young woman in what is typically a male-dominated industry, Samantha says she has challenged herself to work harder, think faster, and earn a seat at the table – but her mentors and fellow leaders recognized her dedication along her journey and not only made room for her at the table, but wholeheartedly welcomed her. And the same, she said, can be true for other women.

“There is a place for you here – any job that you see here, you can do it and you can do it well,” she said. “There is a place for everyone in the waste industry where you can have a successful and rewarding career.”