Neil Beranbaum ’86 Comes Full Circle

Neil Beranbaum ’86 P ’22’24’28 brought his MB experience full circle recently when he came back to the classroom to speak to Upper School students in Tara Tsakraklides’ two AP Environmental Science classes. Neil is certainly at home here at MB – as an alumnus, current parent, former Trustee and former Clerk of the Moses Brown Alumni Association, Neil is actively involved in the community.

The students in Tara’s classes have recently been studying solid waste management and recycling and welcomed Neil to discuss his experience working in the field. Neil presented about the fundamentals of transfer station and end market recycling as well as the complexities of government regulations on the construction and recycling industries. Neil emphasized the importance of source separating materials and explained the procedures used to ensure different types of materials are clean enough to be recycled. He also discussed the concept of supply and demand and how market pricing for recycled materials both in the U.S. and abroad impact the waste industry.

The students were attentive and engaged, eager to learn more about the business side of a topic everyone can relate to. After wrapping up his presentation, Neil spoke casually and covered a wide range of topics, in a very relatable way for students. Neil shared that he is a serial entrepreneur who likes different challenges and looks for new opportunities and that MB gave him the initial confidence to venture on his own while a student at Emory University. Neil encouraged the students to keep working hard at their goals even if a topic feels foreign, as Neil knew little about the waste industry when he first entered the space and quickly became adept at the many facets of the industry.

“When you can serve the school, it’s a great opportunity to come back,” he says. “I’m happy to share my experience with students and enjoy being able to answer their real-world questions.”

It’s not Neil’s first time visiting MB to share. He even shared a picture from 2012 in which he gave a similar talk to a bunch of kindergarteners (complete with visiting truck!), some of whom were in the upper school classes today.

Neil remembers faculty members who helped him start on his own path. He says that former faculty Ransom Griffin and the late Stan Ward taught him to focus on the details, especially in regard to written communication. “Stan and Ransom challenged me early on and served as mentors from time to time,” Neil says. “I recall seeing Ransom when my three daughters began their studies at MB and for many years thereafter and it seems that every encounter with him gave me a little spring in my step as I think about my time at MB and recall their basic life lessons.”

Many thanks to Neil for visiting your old stomping grounds and inspiring the next generation of MB entrepreneurs!