Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards, which took place Jan. 24, recognize the passion, dedication and impact of Keep America Beautiful’s affiliates from across the nation as well as partner organizations and individuals who share its vision of a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, according to the organization.
“These imaginative, inspirational and transformative community leaders help bring to life creative, resourceful and meaningful actions that help make their communities more socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound,” says Mike Rosen, Keep America Beautiful senior vice president, marketing and communications, who served as emcee of the event. “Our National Award recipients personify the theme of this year’s National Conference—‘E Pluribus Unum…Out of Many, One’–through the work they do together to keep America beautiful state-by-state and community-by-community all across the country.”
Among the individuals recognized with Keep America Beautiful’s most significant honors include Kevin Perry, executive director of the Georgia Beverage Association, and Florence Cline, longtime board member of Keep Alachua County Beautiful in Gainesville, Florida. Perry and Cline received Keep America Beautiful’s pre-eminent awards for volunteerism: The Iron Eyes Cody Award and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award, respectively.
The Iron Eyes Cody Award was created in honor of Keep America Beautiful’s landmark public service advertising and awareness campaign of the 1970s, which the organization says is credited with awakening the environmental consciousness of an entire generation of Americans.
The Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award was named after the former first lady for engaging our nation in recognizing that aesthetic beauty is directly related to healthier communities, a cleaner environment, lower crime and a better quality of life. These awards honored the exceptional volunteer leadership that Perry and Cline have demonstrated throughout the state of Georgia and in the Gainesville, Florida, area.
The Coca-Cola Co. earned the first Carolyn Crayton Award, which was awarded in honor of the Keep America Beautiful board member who is credited with creating the national nonprofit’s community-based affiliate network, having started the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission (KMBBC) in Macon, Georgia, in 1974. The award recognizes an organization, board member company or individual board member of a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate for its long-standing service and contributions to the sustainability of the affiliate.
Keep America Beautiful also bestowed its annual Young Professional Award to Amy Tasto of Lake Jackson, Texas, who has served in a variety of capacities on the board of directors of Keep America Beautiful affiliate Keep Lake Jackson Beautiful, most recently as its board chairman. The Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award honored Evelyn Copeland, executive director of Keep Simpson County Beautiful in Braxton, Mississippi.
The Keep America Beautiful National Conference, its premier educational and networking event, brought together more than 350 leaders from Keep America Beautiful’s national network of affiliates, business leaders, policymakers and other experts who shared innovative ideas and proven strategies to help “End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities.”
For a complete list of National Awards recipients, click here.
Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful consists of a national network of more than 620 statewide and community-based affiliates whose programs, initiatives and efforts, supported by millions of volunteers, help transform public spaces into beautiful places.