National Nonprofit Keep America Beautiful Hosts 2019 National Conference in Baltimore

by | Jan 31, 2019

STAMFORD, Conn. (Jan. 31, 2019) – Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s largest community improvement nonprofit organization, is featuring Fred Kent, founder of Nonprofit for Public Spaces, as its keynote speaker at the 2019 Keep America Beautiful National Conference, taking place Feb. 6-8, 2019 at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Keep America Beautiful’s National Conference, its premier educational and networking event, brings together nearly 350 leaders from the nonprofit’s national network of community-based affiliates, business leaders, policymakers and other experts who share innovative ideas and proven strategies to help end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America’s communities.

“Keep America Beautiful is thrilled to be conducting its National Conference in Baltimore with our state affiliate Keep Maryland Beautiful and local affiliate Keep Baltimore Beautiful serving as hosts,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “The conference theme – Placemaking – is well-suited for today’s community development leaders, in Baltimore and throughout our national network of affiliates, as they reimagine their public spaces to strengthen the connection between people and the places they share.” 

Kent, one of the foremost thinkers on the topics of livability, smart growth and the future of the city, will focus his keynote on the collaborative process of shaping the public realm to maximize shared value. He’ll follow his keynote with a plenary session on “Investing in Transformative Placemaking” with Jennifer Vey, senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, whose work concentrates on the role of place and placemaking in driving inclusive economic growth and development. 

An additional keynote session features Dr. Mark Zimmerman, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development, who will address “Transforming Neighborhoods for a Safe and Healthy Future.” Dr. Zimmerman’s session (Thursday, Feb. 7) takes his current work testing the “Busy Streets” theory – the examination of the role of vacant and abandoned property, social disorder and neighborhood disadvantage in determining neighborhood safety – and explores what it takes to cultivate safe environments where neighborhoods can thrive and build a sense of community empowerment.

Additional conference session highlights include: 

Translating Adolescent Resiliency Theory into Practice – Dr. Zimmerman will follow-up his keynote with a session covering the application and development of empowerment theory and how adolescent health and resiliency can be fostered through the work of community improvement organizations.

Mitigating Marine Debris – Lisa Rider of Keep Onslow Beautiful in North Carolina and Rachel Miller, co-founder of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, will discuss how they have been working on the issue of marine debris prevention through education and remediation.

From Blight to Beauty: Approaches to Success – Michelle Feldman, policy director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Branton Strategies Principal Consultant Winnie Branton, Shreveport Green Executive Director Donna Curtis, and Wendy Benscoter, executive director of Shreveport Common, will review innovative, community-based approaches they’ve taken to tackle blight and transform problem properties from liabilities to assets. 

For additional details about the National Conference sessions and speakers, click here. 

The 2019 National Conference also highlights the award-winning work of Keep America Beautiful affiliates, partner organizations, community leaders and volunteers from across the U.S. at the annual Keep America Beautiful National Awards Ceremony, which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 7, during the conference.

The 2019 Keep America Beautiful National Conference is made possible through the support of some of America’s leading companies, including: Leadership Sponsors – Altria Group, Keep Maryland Beautiful, Lowe’s, Reynolds American Incorporated, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company; Stewardship Sponsor – Anheuser-Busch; Strategic Sponsors – Keurig Dr Pepper, PepsiCo and Steel Recycling Institute. Conference scholarships are provided by Altria Group.

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. Established in 1953, 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