Our People

John Drew

John Drew | Chairman

John Drew left Willamette Industries and joined Far West Fibers at Beaverton, Oregon in early 1985. John attended high school in Pennsylvania and graduated from Mercersburg in 1963. He enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley and majored in chemical engineering for two years. John graduated with a degree in political science with an emphasis in law in 1967.

Between 1980 and 1995 John was active in community recycling and solid waste organizations and committees including ISRI, PSI, AOR, DEQ, Metro, and various SWAC’s. He was recognized as the AOR Recycler of the Year in 1992. For many years he has been a strong supporter of and involved in United Way and Young Audiences.

In 1988 John became the Chairman, President, CEO, CFO, and General Manager in charge of Operations. In 2005 he turned over most of his daily duties and responsibilities to Keith Ristau and Mike McCracken. He retired from active work at the end of 2010, but remains the Chairman of the Board.

Keith Ristau

Keith Ristau | President & CEO

Keith is a graduate of Corvallis High School and Southern Oregon State University. He joined Far West Recycling in the spring of 1993 and in the fall was promoted to Plant Manager of our Beaverton Plant. Keith became an owner and stockholder in the company in the fall of 1997 and in March of 1998, became a Vice President for our corporation. On October 1, 2004 Keith was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and then in May of 2005 became the company President. Keith is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Paper Stock Industries Chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

Since 1996, Keith has been committed to the success of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and their many community support agencies. He has co-directed the annual United Way Golf Tournament (with Stan Girard) and has worked on many United Way committees including their Vision Councils, their Dial 211 Help-line Project and their Campaign Cabinet. Keith was formerly a member of the United Way Board of Directors. Keith lives in Portland with his lovely wife Ann, and wonderful son Aaron.

Mike McCracken

Mike McCracken | Vice President & CFO

Mike McCracken began his career at Far West Recycling as a part-time warehouseman in the summer of 1989 to earn extra money for college. He was hired full-time in June of 1994 as a Broker Assistant. In 1997, he was promoted to Plant Manager at our Northeast plant. In 2005, Mike was promoted to CFO and in 2012 assumed the additional roll of Vice President.

Mike graduated from Sunset High School in 1987. He received his BS in General Science at the University of Oregon in 1994. He then went to night school for two years while working at Far West Recycling to obtain his BS in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he went back to school to the University of Portland to obtain his MBA in 2004.

As CFO, Mike executes the daily operations of our corporate and accounting departments. He directs all accounting, financial and treasury functions. He manages our entire IT infrastructure from network hardware to all software platforms. He utilizes financial analysis, modeling and planning to manage cost containment and profit management. He controls our debt and investment activities and negotiates bank financing. He also serves as our Secretary - Treasurer and is a key member of our senior management team.

Stan Girard

Stan Girard | COO

Stan “Rupe” Girard is the Chief Operating Officer for Far West Recycling. He moved to Oregon shortly after graduating from Vermillion High School in 1978. His employment with Far West Recycling began in 1981 as a warehouseman. He has been the General Manager for both our Hillsboro and NE Portland facilities. Stan has a degree in accounting. Since 1996, Stan has been committed to the success of the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and their many community support agencies. He has co-directed the United Way Golf Tournament (with Keith Ristau) and was a Loaned Executive for United Way during their 1999 campaign. Stan currently resides in Saint Helens and is very active with the High School Booster Club; his hobbies included camping and crosswords. Stan has two wonderful children and is supported by his High School sweetheart (Nancy).

Vinod Singh

Vinod Singh | Outreach Manager

Vinod Singh started working at Far West Recycling in 1990 as a part-time warehouse employee while going to school.  Over the years, he has worked at and managed multiple Far West Recycling locations, learning company operations from the ground up; as well as observing the industry and company from various perspectives.  He has used that experience to take on his current role as Outreach Manager to help represent the company to external parties ranging from new recyclers to industry and government groups.  Vinod holds a Bachelor of Science in Business with a General Management Certificate; and is familiar with RIOS/R2 management practices.  He serves on the Association of Oregon Recyclers Board of Directors as the Markets Chair   

As a supporter of the United Way and their dedication to the community, Vinod has helped coordinate company fundraising campaigns, is part of planning the annual Far West Recycling charity golf event, and served as a Loaned Executive helping the United Way to fundraise out in the community.  Vinod is a native Oregonian, whose first experiences with recycling and Far West Recycling was as a Boy Scout conducting newspaper drives; those experiences introduced and helped shape a career in the recycling industry.

Pete Middleton

Pete Middleton | NW Regional Sales Manager

Pete started his career in the paper and recycling business in 1970 while working at Star Paper Tube in So. Carolina. Returning to his home in the Northwest in 74’, he started with a wastepaper recycling business in Seattle, WA.  He has worked for two wastepaper recycling companies prior to his employment at Far West Recycling in December of 99’. He has experience in the operations arena holding various positions and has sourced and worked with hundreds of potential supply lines to the recycling stream. He has been involved in marketing while fibering most mills on the west coast holding positions as, Regional and West Coast Sales Manager.

Working with all types of customers and suppliers both domestic and abroad has brought enjoyment to his career.  Pete has grown strong relationships as well as friendships in his business and personal life during his many years in the business. There have been many changes in the recycling streams which have brought ample opportunities to get various commodities to a proper end-user. Pete is married to a wonderful wife, Lynette, for 32 years now and has two fantastic children. His position is Marketing Manager for Far West Recycling.

Joe Brewer

Joe Brewer | Operations Manager

Joe Brewer started his career at Far West Recycling in August of 2002, after being referred by a family member who works for a local refuge and recycling hauling company.  His first position, Day Shift Operator at the Hillsboro location.  He progressed from Operator to Shift Supervisor, then onto the first Operations Supervisor position within the company.  In January of 2011 Joe relocated to Beaverton as Operations Supervisor and furthered his training working closely with the COO, Stan Girard.  In April of 2011 Joe was promoted to Operations Manager at Beaverton and most recently returned to Hillsboro assuming the role of Operations Manager.    

Joe was raised in Washington County and currently lives in the rural Forest Grove area with his wife Jennifer, and two young daughters.  They are active in school and community sports teams, hunting and off shore fishing.

Steven Peery

Steven Peery | Operations Manager

Steven Peery is the Operations Manager of Far West Recycling’s NE Portland location. Steven started his career at Far West Recycling in 2009, prior to this assignment he was the Operations Supervisor of the NE Portland Plant. With over 20 years of supervisory experience in production and maintenance, Steve has trained in 5’s Lean Manufacturing Philosophies and Practice’s, Preventative Maintenance programs, Oregon/Federal OSHA safety codes and has been a member of safety committee’s for the last 15 years.

Jeff Steinfeld

Jeff Steinfeld | Operations Manager

Jeff Steinfeld is the Operations Manager at our Tualatin facility.  Jeff has been with Far West Recycling for 15 years and also oversees our metals division.