Chairman, Board of Managers
John Horton is a former financial executive at GE and Honeywell for various power and aircraft engine business units. He also has extensive private equity (PE) and venture capital experience as a PE backed portfolio company, a managing director for a NY based PE firm, and founding Operating Partner for a PE firm focused on energy services. John has led or materially participated in over 20 PE platforms with a demonstrated track record of success. His investments primarily target companies focused on environmentally impactful services or products, such as SMART Recycling’s organic recycling and compost operations.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Michael Gorton is an accomplished cardiothoracic surgeon and former Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center during the largest growth turn around in US History focusing on quality improvement and quality care. He comes from a farming background and knows first-hand the value of conservation and soil enrichment through addition of proper nutrients including compost. Michael’s motivation to lead SMART Recycling comes from his passion for betterment of the environment along with his recognition of SMART’S vision to divert harmful waste streams from the landfill into making nutrient rich compost.
Founder and Board Member
Gary Bilbro is the founder and previous CEO of SMART Recycling. He started the company to provide a service to the public for organics diversion from landfill. The business quickly grew to multiple cities in the southeast. In 2015, Gary sold the majority of the company, but has been an active member of the Board and a key advisor to the SMART Recycling team. His dedication to the composting and zero waste industry continues to this day.
Chief Financial Officer
Joann Horton is a former financial executive for numerous small to mid-sized businesses in the retail and service industries. She has contributed to the growth and success of national companies through financial leadership, analysis and strategic planning. Joann is very active in charitable organizations including National Charity League, where she is currently President of the Sonoran Sustainer Chapter. She has a passion for improving her community, through both service and environmentally impactful investing.
Aaron Heitzhaus is a former Manager from Rent a Center with 15 years of management and sales experience. He recently relocated to Charleston, SC to accept the General Manager position with SMART Recycling. Aaron has a passion for the industry and has worked for SMART Recycling in the past in Raleigh, NC. He is customer focused and will ensure that SMART Recycling provides excellent service for our partners.
Jason Yankus previously served in the United States Coast Guard and worked for many years as a route driver. He leads operations which includes drivers, routes and equipment. Jason enjoys the outdoors and is excited to be a part of a company that has a positive impact on our environment.
Meghan McGill is a Charleston, SC native and a former Office Manager with Accounts Payable experience. She earned her Associates Degree in Accounting from Trident Technical College. Meghan supports local farmers that use sustainable practices and enjoys working with like-minded professionals who are passionate about educating the community and providing sustainable resources.