Auburn’s Marklus Henley, an Air Force veteran, excels with his new team, Waste Management. COURTESY PHOTO

Auburn’s Marklus Henley, an Air Force veteran, excels with his new team, Waste Management. COURTESY PHOTO

Veterans continue to serve us every day | Metzler

  • Friday, November 10, 2017 9:25am
  • Opinion

Marklus Henley learned a thing or two about safety, logistics and teamwork in nearly two decades serving in the U.S. Air Force. He puts those skills to work each day in Auburn, arriving before dawn to make certain your garbage and recycling get picked up.

In the Air Force, the success of each mission he supported depended on his team. The pilots and the planes are the visible stars of the Air Force, but people like Marklus, who handled the logistics behind getting planes airborne and safely back home, are the backbone of its success. His team, whether serving in Turkey or the United States, made sure planes got the right type of fuel, the right amount, that it was tested, stored correctly and moved about the base safely.

Marklus brings the same unwavering commitment to safety and teamwork from his military service to his job as a route manager for Waste Management in Auburn.

“From the military, I know a commitment to safety can save lives,” said Marklus. “That is why I’m so glad safety is a core value at Waste Management.”

Marklus starts each day with a series of team meetings, focusing on solving challenges and reviewing plans and safety procedures. His job is to help his team of drivers perform their jobs safely and efficiently as they go out into the community.

Every day presents new challenges and problems to solve, and Marklus’ team members are always at the top of his mind.

“A large part of the job is relaying to drivers that you care about them,” Marklus said. “I really do care about each person I manage, and I know the company does as well.”

After his years of support to the pilots who flew missions overseas this level of care for the safety of his drivers and their community comes naturally.

In 2013, he had to make a difficult decision. While his younger sister was battling cancer, Marklus chose to leave the Air Force and return home. He needed to support his sister, but also knew he wanted to support his family in civilian life. The opportunity at WM seemed like a natural fit.

“The jobs seemed similar, given both involved managing drivers who were traveling from location to location,” said Marklus. “What impressed me was how much the company cares about their people and is committed to making the community safe and clean.”

“In the military, it was all about the people,” Marklus said. “Waste Management is the exact same way.”

Marc Davis directs WM’s operations serving South Puget Sound communities from our facility in Auburn. Marc says Marklus’ military background is an asset for WM and the community he serves.

“Marklus is all about getting the job done safely and making sure the customer gets great service.” Davis continues, “He knows it takes a team to get the job done. As we celebrate Veterans Day, lets also remember the value veterans add to our community and our businesses. And let’s make sure to say a grateful ‘thank you’ to all who served our country.”

Michelle Metzler is Waste Management’s recycling education and outreach manager. Learn more at sustainability.wm.com.

More in Opinion

Inslee for president? | Shiers

Governor hasn’t officially said anything amid the rumors

Dear Hannah: answers to your holiday recycling conundrums | WM

There’s no time like the holidays for pushing our homes to the… Continue reading

Good economic news sprinkled with caution | Brunell

The good news is Washington’s revenues continue to grow and projections for… Continue reading

From early indications, Gov. Jay Inslee may be making a run at the presidency in 2020. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Is Inslee about to prep for presidential run?

Can a little known Thoroughbred from the Pacific Northwest capture the 2020… Continue reading

Cost, availability of health care poses a primary concern | Brunell

When Congress convenes next year, lawmakers must focus on the cost and… Continue reading

Tribes release habitat recovery strategy

“As the salmon disappear, so do our cultures and treaty rights. We… Continue reading

Costs matter in hiring | Brunell

While both sides argue the merits of Seattle’s escalating minimum wage, there… Continue reading

Trump helped erase voter complacency

Young voters turned out in massive numbers

Veterans bring safety to our country and the Auburn community

By Hannah Scholes/For the Auburn Reporter In honor of Veterans Day, we… Continue reading

Military also adjusting to worker shortages | Brunell

When our military is viewed as an employer, it has the same… Continue reading

From guns to climate, declaring election’s winners and losers

A surge in voter interest, a swelling in the ranks of Democratic… Continue reading

Cam-pains: Enough is enough

Don’t forget to vote by Tuesday, Nov. 6