DALLAS, Texas (Jan. 18, 2018) – More than 80 individuals, including community leaders from iconic national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful’s affiliate network and other partner organizations are being recognized today at Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards Ceremony, which is taking place during Keep America Beautiful’s National Conference in Dallas, Texas, Jan. 17-19, at the Fairmont Dallas.

Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards celebrate the work of its more than 600 community-based affiliates, millions of volunteers, and corporate and community partners for their commitment and passion to End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. Celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful has been transforming America’s communities since 1953. The leading community improvement nonprofit believes everyone deserves to live in a clean, green and beautiful, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

“The outstanding community leaders who are being recognized today enable their respective communities to thrive by proactively making their communities clean, green and beautiful as well as by spearheading behavior change that will have a lasting impact,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “Keep America Beautiful National Award recipients have created a visible path for future community stewards to do beautiful things for the next 65 years.”

Among the individuals recognized with Keep America Beautiful’s highest honors were:

  • Sherrie Bossung, former director of employee engagement and volunteer strategy at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, who is the recipient of the Lady Bird Johnson Award, named after the former first lady for engaging our nation in recognizing that aesthetic beauty is directly related to a better quality of life. The recently retired Bossung has partnered with her local Keep America Beautiful affiliate, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, for more than a decade, including on development of the Eli Lilly and Company Global Day of Service. During Bossung’s tenure, Lilly mobilized volunteers to help KIB plant nearly 16,000 trees and more than 240,000 other plants; paint more than 220,000 square feet of murals; and remove more than 100 acres of invasive species along waterways in Indianapolis.
  • Ron Aldridge, executive vice president of the Mississippi Beverage Association and longtime board member of Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB), received the Iron Eyes Cody Award, which was created in honor of Keep America Beautiful’s landmark public awareness campaign of the 1970s. Aldridge’s contributions to KMB and Keep America Beautiful affiliates in Mississippi spurred KMB to honor him with the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016. KMB renamed their award – the Ron Aldridge Volunteer of the Year Award – to commemorate his contributions.
  • Waste Management was the recipient of the Carolyn Crayton Award, which was created in honor of the longtime Keep America Beautiful board member who is credited with advancing Keep America Beautiful’s community-based affiliate network, having started the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission in Macon, Georgia, in 1974. Waste Management’s Mississippi Gulf Coast Area Public Affairs Manager, Buford Clark, a longtime supporter of Keep Mississippi Beautiful who serves on KMB’s board of directors, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Keep America Beautiful also presented its annual Young Professional Award to Tim Hair of Midland, Texas. Hair is a landscape architect who helped create a program that partners with local schools to plant trees. The Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award, named in honor of Keep America Beautiful’s former director of education, was given to Susan F. Carmichael, who recently retired as executive director of the Montgomery (Clean City Commission in Alabama after 40 years of service.

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

The Keep America Beautiful National Conference, its premier educational and networking event, brought together nearly 400 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 2018 Keep America Beautiful National Conference was made possible through the support of some of America’s leading companies, including: Leadership Sponsors – Altria, Lowe’s, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, SC Johnson, A Family Company and Wrigley Company Foundation; Stewardship Sponsors – Anheuser-Busch, Carton Council, Pratt Industries – Recycling Division and Steel Recycling Institute; Strategic Sponsors – Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Owens-Illinois, Inc.; Supporting Sponsors – Dipjar, insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. – Donation Division and Irio. Scholarships are provided by Altria, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Southwest Airlines and Wrigley Company Foundation.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.