STAMFORD, Conn. (Jan. 25, 2017) – More than 80 individuals and organizations from communities across America received national recognition at Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards  Ceremony, which took place Tuesday evening, Jan. 24, during Keep America Beautiful’s 2017 National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards 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 Keep America Beautiful’s vision of a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live. 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.

“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,” said 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 was 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 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 Company was the recipient of 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.

The 2017 Keep America Beautiful National Conference was made possible through the support of some of America’s leading companies, including: Title Sponsor – Wrigley Company Foundation; Leadership Sponsors – Altria, Lowe’s and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company; Stewardship Sponsors – Anheuser-Busch, Steel Recycling Institute; Strategic Sponsors – Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Northrop Grumman; Supporting Sponsors – Foodservice Packaging Institute, Maryland Environmental Services and Owens-Illinois, Inc. Scholarships are provided by Altria, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and The Share Fund.

For a complete list of National Awards recipients, click here.

About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country in which every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 state and community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To donate or take action, visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.