SHIPPENVILLE — Olympic gold-medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings once said that, “The balancing act of motherhood and a career, and being a wife, is something that I don’t think I’ll ever perfect, but I love the challenge of it.”
Someone who has also discovered the truth of Jennings’ words is New Bethlehem area resident Cortney Ortz, a full-time working mother of two who also shares a passion for fitness with her community.
Ortz, who is employed by Advanced Disposal as a senior account manager for commercial accounts, said that her job consists of cold calling perspective customers to identify new business opportunities and secure sales.
“I help customers determine their waste hauling needs and determine what containers we offer that will best suit their needs,” she said.
While it might seem unusual to imagine a mother choosing a career in waste disposal, for Ortz it is not at all strange. This is especially true since her job is in sales rather than in the everyday operation of the facility.
“There are female drivers and operators throughout our company and I give them credit,” she said of colleagues in the business. “It is not an easy job.”
Ortz did note, however, that when her family first learned of her decision to take the job with Advanced Disposal in 2017, they were initially surprised.
“Once people understand that I’m in sales and not driving the truck, it seems to clear up any confusion,” she said. “My family thought it was funny when I first started working for Advanced Disposal because I drive around with a hard hat, safety glasses, reflective vest and tape measure in my car.”
Regarding her decision to move from a career in health services to waste disposal, Ortz says that she came to the job pretty much by chance.
“The position came available and I was excited to take on the challenge of learning a new industry,” she said of Advanced Disposal, which has offices in Shippenville, Brockway, Warren and State College and offers both residential and commercial trash and recycling collection.
Of course, the switch meant that Ortz had to receive some basic training and become familiar with the operation and offerings of the company.
“First, I had to go through a corporate safety training and a safe driving course,” she said. “I also had training to learn my position, the IT systems, and company policies and procedures.”
She recalled that part of the orientation involved riding along with the drivers to learn routes and the daily routine of trash and recycling hauling. She also toured the landfill and recycling facility that the company utilizes.
While she enjoys her career, Ortz said she also has a passion for health and fitness, a part of her life she has shared with the local community as a certified yoga instructor and fitness coach.
“In my former position, I was the director of a retirement community and I got certified to teach yoga and offered classes to my residents,” she said, noting that she also offered public classes at the local community center.
“Now, I help people by coaching them through online accountability groups held on an app,” she continued. “They use home fitness programs and I help them stay on track with it.”
Just as yoga emphasizes harmony between body, mind and spirit, so Ortz’s life is a balancing act between family, career and personal fulfillment.
“Finding a good work/life balance is important as a working mom,” she said. “Planning out my week and preparing ahead helps keep me on track with both my professional and personal life.”