Success Story

Local Government

The Opportunity

Central Virginia Waste Management Authority (CVWMA) was created in 1990 to assist member localities to satisfy Virginia’s recycling requirements. Their Board of Directors consists of representatives from the 13 member jurisdictions and provides governance for the services to reduce, recover and recycle waste in Central Virginia.

With 13 jurisdictions, CVWMA represents urban, suburban, rural and agricultural communities with very different service needs. The growing complexities and compliance requirements within the waste management industry requires careful planning and always with limited resources. The Executive Director and members of the Board of Directors determined that CVWMA would benefit greatly from the development of a strategic plan that would guide decision-making and allocation of resources.

Zelos was contracted to design and facilitate a strategic planning process that would:

  • Be inclusive
  • Produce a strategic plan that was clear, concise and easy to understand
  • Be completed on time, and within their budget
The Zelos Approach

Zelos staff met with CVWMA’s Executive Director and Chair of the Board to discuss the approach that would meet the requirements outlined above.

Be inclusive: Zelos took advantage of standing meetings where representatives from all 13 member jurisdictions and staff would be in attendance. These meeting dates were included in the project plan and ensured member jurisdictions were well represented in the development of the plan.

Clear, Concise, Easy-to-Understand Strategic Plan: The Zelos strategic planning process is grounded in a no-hype, no-fluff philosophy. CVWMA’s plan was regularly edited to remove unnecessary information, eliminate industry jargon and acronyms, ensuring that the final plan was clear, concise and easy to understand.

Be completed in a timely manner: Zelos used a step-by-step methodology that lends itself to the development of a detailed project plan with milestones and clear deliverables. The project plan contained all meeting dates and was approved by the client.

Work within budget: Zelos worked with the client to identify opportunities to manage the project within CVWMA’s budget without compromising quality. By using existing data, available information and simple surveys, we were able to minimize costs associated with an extensive environmental scan.

The plan literally puts the Executive Director and the Board of Directors on the same page and provides information to govern, make decisions and allocate resources. The prioritized initiatives and outcome measures help answer the questions of “what should we do?” and “is it working?”

CVWMA’s mission of fostering regional collaboration to provide planning, resources and education in order to reduce, reuse, recycle and manage solid waste for our 13 jurisdiction is complex and important, and CVWMA has a PLAN that it can share publicly to do that well.

Zelos and CVWMA developed a strategic plan on schedule and within budget. Capitalizing on standing meetings where jurisdictional leaders and staff were in attendance resulted in many voices and perspectives being represented in the final plan. The strategic plan can be viewed on CVWMA’s website at