Maricha Ellis has won a Silver Stevie Award in the executive of the year category in the 15th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. She is vice president of marketing and sales operations for Stericycle Environmental Solutions.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees and the companies they run — worldwide. Ellis was recognized in the Female Executive of the Year category for business services companies with more than 2,500 employees for her instrumental role in combating the opioid crisis sweeping the nation. She led a team in successfully launching Stericycle’s pharmaceutical TakeBack suite to help organizations and consumers safely return unwanted or expired medication.

More than 240 million prescriptions were written for opioids in 2014 — more than enough to give every American adult his or her own bottle of pills. Recognizing the devastation of this epidemic, Ellis and her team helped bring awareness prominence to Stericycle’s pharmaceutical TakeBack suite, which consists of Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes and Medication Collection Kiosks. The envelopes provide a safe and convenient option for consumers to dispose of their unused or expired drugs by filling a pre-addressed envelope with up to eight ounces of pharmaceutical waste and dropping it into any USPS mailbox. Similarly, kiosks offer a reliable, anonymous outlet for consumers to dispose of unwanted drugs in a safe place within their communities.

Since receiving the Product of the Year Award from Environmental Leader, the TakeBack suite has continued to expand across the U.S. As a result of the efforts of Ellis and her team, Stericycle has received thousands of Seal&Send Envelopes from consumers with unused or expired pharmaceuticals, and its kiosks are now in 46 states.

Furthermore, Ellis was a fundamental part of launching Stericycle’s unique partnership with the National Safety Council. As the exclusive medication disposal partner for the “Stop Everyday Killers” national education campaign, Stericycle is helping the NSC address the opioid epidemic and offer a solution. The provocative nationwide campaign illustrates the faces behind the numbers, educates the community on the scope of the problem and promotes solutions to address the crisis.

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