2023 Salaried Employee of the Year: Chris Waite

Porta Kleen Division Manager Chris Waite was honored and surprised to be named 2023 Salaried Employee of the year; however, he insists that the honor belongs not just to him, but to the entire Porta Kleen sanitation division, which had its best year ever.

“It was the best year numbers-wise and employee engagement-wise,” Waite said. “We excelled in pretty much everything we did. To me, that doesn’t happen if it’s not for every single person in the sanitation division.”

Waite said the honor is a 100% reflection upon everyone’s hard work last year, which included achieving contracts with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, and several data centers including the Intel site in New Albany—the biggest job the company’s ever done.

Waite said he grateful to Porta Kleen President Adam Black and the entire Black family for placing their trust in him. He began with Porta Kleen in sales and worked his way up to a branch manager, which led to becoming a regional manager and finally a division manager. Waite said it’s been a process of being given more and more responsibility, and as a result, more trust.

Waite said it’s been a “fun ride” to experience Porta Kleen’s progress during the 12 years he’s worked for the company.

Black was part of the hiring process when Waite joined Porta Kleen in 2012, and he’s appreciated watching Waite’s management progression and growth as Waite has challenged himself and his team year after year. “He loves what he does, and it shows in his work,” Black said.

Black describes Waite as determined, dedicated and a very hard worker who is extremely deserving of the Employee of the Year honor, adding that Waite’s leadership skills, combined with his talented and motivated Porta Kleen team, helped the company reach new heights in 2023.

“I could not be prouder of Chris and everyone who went above and beyond last year to work together and set a new standard for Porta Kleen,” Black said. “Congratulations, Chris!”

Human Resources Generalist Adam Boyden was not surprised Waite was named Employee of the Year. In fact, considering the level of success Waite and the entire Porta Kleen sanitation division experienced in 2023, he believes Waite is the perfect candidate for the honor. “I’ve known Chris now for five years,” Boyden said. “First and foremost, he’s committed to his family, and in that same vein, he’s 100% committed to the company.”

Boyden said Waite is a company man and team player who will do anything and everything to help somebody else, and he rejoices in other people’s successes, which is the sign of a good leader. Also, Waite tends to avoid the spotlight, which only makes the Employee of the Year award that much more meaningful. “He feels like the award is for everyone in the company, not just him,” Boyden said.

Boyden said Waite isn’t afraid to take risks and try new things, adding that Waite’s push and drive motivates the other division managers. Waite’s “good and healthy” competitive spirit illustrates the importance of leading by example. “Chris’ win is a big win for Porta Kleen as a company, too,” Boyden said.

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