Our Team

Administration & Finance

Jennifer Lawson

Jennifer Lawson

President and CEO

Jennifer Lawson is President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, national nonprofit that works to inspires and educate people to improve and beautify their community environment. Pr...Read More

Jennifer Lawson

Jennifer Lawson

President and CEO

Jennifer Lawson is President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, national nonprofit that works to inspires and educate people to improve and beautify their community environment. Previously, Jenny served as Chief Civic Innovation Officer at Points of Light where she led programs to help companies achieve their social change goals through the actions of their employees.  She was also the executive sponsor of Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism, Points of Light’s partnership with Morehouse College and served as an advisor to the National Trust for Civic Infrastructure. Jenny came to Points of Light from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (now C2ES), where she led Make an Impact, a global campaign focused on energy efficiency and environmental awareness with some of the nation’s largest companies. Her career began with community development and affordable housing advocacy in Northern Virginia, where she served as the founding Executive Director of the Alliance for Housing Solutions. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she studied Philosophy and Mathematics.

Allison Hannel

Allison Hannel

Chief of Staff

Allison Hannel is an experienced leader with over 15 years corporate social responsibility, marketing, and communication experience.  Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful, Alli...Read More

Allison Hannel

Allison Hannel

Chief of Staff

Allison Hannel is an experienced leader with over 15 years corporate social responsibility, marketing, and communication experience.  Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful, Allison was the Director of The Achievery at AT&T and led the ongoing strategy, development and execution of the free online learning platform for K-12 students.   In her time at AT&T she was responsible for the employee giving program, including the annual campaign and fundraising efforts to align with the CSR portfolio, raising $100M+ to 25k non-profits over 5 years.  She also led integrated marketing efforts for a major company initiative, It Can Wait, AT&T’s movement to end handheld phone use while driving.

Before joining AT&T, Allison served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer where she spent 2 years in San Juancito, Honduras working in Business Development.  She is a proud alumna of Southern Methodist University where she earned her degree while playing NCAA Division 1 Volleyball and was an active member of Chi Omega sorority.  She lives in Canandaigua, NY with her husband Steve, their daughter Olivia (8), and son Joe (7).

Thea Michailides

Thea Michailides

Director, Operation Technologies

Thea has worked in operations for over 15 years. She has held increasingly senior positions in a variety of roles within the field. After completing her M.A., she was recruited to ...Read More

Thea Michailides

Thea Michailides

Director, Operation Technologies

Thea has worked in operations for over 15 years. She has held increasingly senior positions in a variety of roles within the field. After completing her M.A., she was recruited to start, build, and lead the Strategic Research Department for the IUPAT – an AFL-CIO affiliated building trades union – at their headquarters in D.C. In addition to her responsibilities as their Director of Strategic and Market Analysis she also helped build and launch a national database for all chapters to share experiences and best practices, network with colleagues, and store their documents, etc. Thea led the training for this database and traveled to all 50 states to train the local union staff. She was also involved in worker coalitions, organizing for immigrant and women’s rights, and served as panelist and lecturer at many conferences and conventions. After working at the IUPAT she spent several years as a Senior Consultant for a boutique firm specializing in serving nonprofits. There she assisted a variety of organizations and schools in building, streamlining, and training teams, implementing best practices, as well as auditing processes and procedures. Thea was then hired as Director of Prospect Research and Market Analysis by The Jackson Laboratory – a medical research nonprofit with laboratories in California, Maine, and Connecticut – to professionalize and expand their prospect research and management department. In 2021 Thea started her tenure at Keep America Beautiful as Chief of Staff to the CDO. In 2022 Thea moved to a more organization-wide role as Director of Operations and Board Relations under SVP, David Scott. There she has been involved in all aspects of the organization with a focus on systems and helping to create process using digital tools to maximize resources.

Thea has her M.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in New York; her B.A. from Fairfield University in Connecticut; certificates in Business Analytics and Strategic Corporate Research, both from Cornell University in New York. She is currently working toward a second masters (M.S.) in Accounting through Southern New Hampshire University. Thea lives in North Carolina with her rescue dog, Nellie, and enjoys exploring new eateries, running, hiking, and anything outdoors.

Janel Crite

Janel Crite

Comptroller

Janel Crite

Janel Crite

Comptroller

Michael Washburn

Michael Washburn

Policy and Program Advisor (Consultant)

Michael Washburn is a senior policy advisor consulting to Keep America Beautiful to support our work in policy engagement and partnerships.  Michael just completed two years as a...Read More

Michael Washburn

Michael Washburn

Policy and Program Advisor (Consultant)

Michael Washburn is a senior policy advisor consulting to Keep America Beautiful to support our work in policy engagement and partnerships.  Michael just completed two years as an advisor to The Recycling partnership where he worked to help shape and advance extended producer responsibility for packaging laws in multiple states.  He has consulted for clients including major environmental NGOs, global corporations and charitable foundations.  He previously served as Vice President of Sustainability at Nestle Waters North America, as a Senior Director at The Wilderness Society and early in his career served on the faculties at both Penn State and Yale’s forestry schools.  He’s a published author and accomplished speaker on the topics of sustainable forestry and certification, as well as recycling.  He holds a BS and MS in environmental studies and forestry respectively from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Ph.D. in forest resources from Penn State.   Michael is originally from the Adirondacks and now lives with his family in Northern New Jersey.

Development

Abby Horrigan

Abby Horrigan

‪Vice President of Development

Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful in 2021, Abby spent twelve years saving historic places with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As the Director of Marketing Part...Read More

Abby Horrigan

Abby Horrigan

‪Vice President of Development

Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful in 2021, Abby spent twelve years saving historic places with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As the Director of Marketing Partnerships, she developed corporate campaigns and managed print and online advertising to generate new revenue for the National Trust. She was the VP of Marketing for Gannett Digital, driving the marketing strategy for more than 100 local newspaper and broadcast websites. Abby played a major role in the early growth of America Online, structuring strategic alliances with Fortune 500 companies and creating advertising sales strategies that generated millions of dollars in revenue. She began her career in consumer marketing at MCI helping to attract and retain high value long-distance customers. Abby has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in economics and art history from Georgetown University.

David Wheeler

David Wheeler

Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships

David Wheeler currently serves as Keep America Beautiful’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships. Prior to joining KAB in 2021, David led development and management roles in ...Read More

David Wheeler

David Wheeler

Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships

David Wheeler currently serves as Keep America Beautiful’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships. Prior to joining KAB in 2021, David led development and management roles in various environmental nonprofits for many years, including serving as the Executive Director of a New Jersey-based wildlife conservation nonprofit for eight years. He has taught Environmental Communications and Introduction to Sustainability courses at Rutgers University and other schools. He wrote the book "Wild New Jersey: Nature Adventures in the Garden State," and previously wrote a monthly column for the Star Ledger. David holds an M.B.A. in marketing from New York University's Stern School of Business and a B.A. in public communications and literature from the American University in Washington DC.

Erin Slaughter

Erin Slaughter

Development Manager

Erin Slaughter joins Keep America Beautiful with over 11 years of experience in non-profit fundraising and development. Her passion for relationship building has allowed her to cul...Read More

Erin Slaughter

Erin Slaughter

Development Manager

Erin Slaughter joins Keep America Beautiful with over 11 years of experience in non-profit fundraising and development. Her passion for relationship building has allowed her to cultivate strong connections with donors, sponsors, and stakeholders, leading to long-term partnerships. Erin's expertise lies in creating and implementing effective fundraising strategies that generate sustainable revenue for non-profit organizations. 

In her free time, Erin enjoys reading, being outdoors, and traveling. She believes that experiencing new cultures and meeting people from different backgrounds is an essential part of personal growth. 

Erin shares her life with her partner, Britt, and their three beloved cats, Radley, Roux, and Matilda. She is dedicated to making a positive impact in the world and is driven by her desire to improve the lives of others.

Collin Holder

Collin Holder

Director Corporate Operations

Collin Holder has more than 13 years of experience in fund development, marketing, festival and event planning, and advancing organizations in the non-profit sector. He has a pass...Read More

Collin Holder

Collin Holder

Director Corporate Operations
Collin Holder has more than 13 years of experience in fund development, marketing, festival and event planning, and advancing organizations in the non-profit sector. He has a passion for organizations that work to generate pride within communities, and joins Keep America Beautiful with an immense history of the organization and its affiliates network. In 2006 he was selected at the Youth of the Year for Keep Macon-Beautiful, he has volunteered for Keep Georgia Beautiful, and most recently served on the Board of Directors for Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
Collin is from Macon, Georgia and prior to joining Keep America Beautiful, he served as the Chief of Staff for the City of York, Pennsylvania and then as the Chief Development Officer for Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. He has a proven track record for creating and executing innovative and impactful campaigns that generate revenue, loyalty, and retention for diverse organizations and causes.

Marketing & Communications

McCall Vrydaghs

McCall Vrydaghs

Director of Corporate Communications

McCall Vrydaghs was named Keep America Beautiful's Director of Corporate Communications in June 2023. Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful she held the role of Chief Meteorologi...Read More

McCall Vrydaghs

McCall Vrydaghs

Director of Corporate Communications

McCall Vrydaghs was named Keep America Beautiful's Director of Corporate Communications in June 2023. Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful she held the role of Chief Meteorologist for WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio.

During her tenure at WHIO-TV, Vrydaghs showcased her expertise in crisis communication and demonstrated exceptional service to the community. She successfully tracked a historic tornado outbreak and received state and regional recognition for her contributions. She's also a three time EMMY award-winning certified broadcast meteorologist who is dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment.

Vrydaghs' involvement with Keep America Beautiful began in 2021 when she partnered with RETREET, one of the organization's programs. Together, with the help of community partners, they replanted over 1,000 trees in tornado-damaged neighborhoods throughout southwest Ohio. This experience opened her eyes to the incredible work done by the organization.

In addition to her professional experience, Vrydaghs serves as Chair of the Station Scientist Committee for the American Meteorological Society. She shares her knowledge and latest scientific information about the atmosphere and climate with fellow broadcasters.

Vrydaghs holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from SUNY Oswego.

Networks, Programs, and Engagement

April Wennerstrom

April Wennerstrom

Director of Training

April serves as the Director of Training for Keep America Beautiful. She leads the National Conference program, manages the KAB National Awards Program, and curates and publishes t...Read More

April Wennerstrom

April Wennerstrom

Director of Training

April serves as the Director of Training for Keep America Beautiful. She leads the National Conference program, manages the KAB National Awards Program, and curates and publishes the semi-monthly Affiliate e-News. She has acted in a support and development role for the Affiliate Network since 2005 and is continually amazed and inspired by the affiliate network and the yeoman’s work each person brings to their community. Influenced even earlier by her parent’s career paths as a military service member and equal employment and anti-discrimination investigator for the Department of Defense, April is passionate about social justice, and the environment and impassioned by beautiful spaces and places.

She has lived in Germany and Italy and early career opportunities that eventually brought her to KAB include working as a Public Relations manager at IBM; leading an international judging competition for a tech start-up firm, ThinkQuest that awarded over $5 million annually in scholarships to school-aged kids for building educational web sites; and serving as a volunteer recruiter and manager for the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk, which engaged nearly 2,000 volunteers per event. April’s most rewarding volunteer cause is the Make a Wish Foundation of CT, where she has served as a Wish Granter for over 15 years. April resides in Connecticut and she and her family have supported Keep Norwalk Beautiful as volunteers and boosters and have participated in numerous events, cleanups, and activities to keep her community clean, green, and beautiful. She holds a BA in Communications from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Dave Forsell

Dave Forsell

SVP, Affiliate Network & Programs

Dave has a passion for the environment, community development, urban conservation, and community-led public art.

During his fifteen years as president of Keep Indianapolis Beaut...Read More

Dave Forsell

Dave Forsell

SVP, Affiliate Network & Programs

Dave has a passion for the environment, community development, urban conservation, and community-led public art.

During his fifteen years as president of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB), Dave led the organization to more than four-fold growth, by directing programs toward broader and deeper human and ecological outcomes; and a commitment to authentic relationships with diverse grass-roots leaders, philanthropists, and the corporate and public sectors. His sources of pride include KIB's creation of hundreds of green jobs for Indianapolis youth; more than eighty community-owned parks; and industry-leading work on mapping social and ecological stresses to plan and deliver the equitable planting and care of more than sixty-thousand trees. Dave also helped found and lead Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW) a collective impact initiative dedicated to positive environmental and community change along Indianapolis waterways; and is past chair of the national Alliance for Community Trees, a network of community forestry organizations.

Dave has also served as a consultant to KAB, working one on one with affiliate leaders; and, developing KAB’s toolkit Increasing Your Affiliate’s Impact: Ingredients for Long-Term Success.

Dave has been recognized for his professional leadership, including the Arbor Day Foundation’s J. Sterling Morton Award for his lifelong commitment to trees and conservation; and the Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award from Keep America Beautiful (KAB.)

He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Shannon. They both are graduates of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. In their spare time, they love to travel to beautiful places, hike and birdwatch.

Gabriela Polo

Gabriela Polo

Affiliate Operations Regional Director for the Western Region

Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful, Gabi was a Director at Coastal Quest, where she supported government and community partners in advancing and funding their resilience effor...Read More

Gabriela Polo

Gabriela Polo

Affiliate Operations Regional Director for the Western Region

Prior to joining Keep America Beautiful, Gabi was a Director at Coastal Quest, where she supported government and community partners in advancing and funding their resilience efforts. Gabi came to Coastal Quest from Rare, where she managed its flagship program to revitalize coastal habitats, protect biodiversity, and secure coastal livelihoods in Central America. In that role, Gabi oversaw program implementation, contributed to program strategy and fundraising, and supported diverse partners to advance solutions for coastal communities and the ocean. Gabi’s contributions and leadership were essential to achieving critical program milestones, including the program’s expansion into new geographies and the successful launch and execution of a behavior change campaign to promote responsible fishing behaviors. Prior to this, Gabi supported several environmental projects across Latin America in Belize, Cuba, and Costa Rica. She brings a wealth of experience in behavior change, capacity building, and event and project management and is deeply passionate about supporting community-led solutions. Gabi holds a B.A. in Economics and International Studies from DePaul University and a Master’s in Sustainable Development Practice from the University of Florida.

Grady McGahan

Grady McGahan

Senior Director, Green Strategies & Community Development

Grady graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in English and minors in international business, history, and studio art. A professional project manager, Grady worked on the p...Read More

Grady McGahan

Grady McGahan

Senior Director, Green Strategies & Community Development

Grady graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in English and minors in international business, history, and studio art. A professional project manager, Grady worked on the production teams of the 2008 Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium, the Bravo series Long Way Round, the PBS series Texas Ranch House, and Michael Moore's documentary film SiCKO while living in New York City.

In April of 2010, Grady began an 18-month trip around-the-world, during which he visited 25 countries on 5 continents. Upon his return to the United States, Grady founded RETREET to redefine disaster relief and, through it, find purpose, community, and fulfillment for himself and others. Almost a decade into running RETREET, the organization merged with Keep America Beautiful, where it now is being taken to scale across a vast network of affiliates. Grady is an eagle scout, a 2015 graduate of Municipal Forestry Institute, the past-president of the Texas Urban Forestry Council, an at-large commissioner for the City of Dallas’ Arts & Culture Advisory Commission and the chair of the city’s Public Art Committee, and the president-elect of the Trinity River Audubon Center advisory board. Grady also is studying to become a certified arborist.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Affiliate Operations Regional Director for the Eastern Region

Jason Smith is the Affiliate Operations Regional Director for the Eastern Region.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Affiliate Operations Regional Director for the Eastern Region

Jason Smith is the Affiliate Operations Regional Director for the Eastern Region.

Jeri Irby

Jeri Irby

Manager, RETREET

Jerí Irby is Keep America Beautiful’s RETREET Manager. Before joining the organization, Jerí spent over 9 years developing her professional forestry experience with Oklahoma Fo...Read More

Jeri Irby

Jeri Irby

Manager, RETREET

Jerí Irby is Keep America Beautiful’s RETREET Manager. Before joining the organization, Jerí spent over 9 years developing her professional forestry experience with Oklahoma Forestry Services. While with OFS Jerí held the roles of Area Forester for the Regeneration and Tree Improvement program from 2017-2022 and Forestry Education Coordinator from 2012-2017. Jerí is a passionate conservationist who has worked with diverse audiences that range from youth to adults on forest practices and land management. She has effectively developed and managed partnerships with a wide range of organizations including government agencies, private businesses, and non-profits.

Jerí is active in the Oklahoma chapter of the Society of American Foresters as well as a board member of the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council. She holds a Master of Science in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Ecology Management from Oklahoma State University.

Mallory Coffey

Mallory Coffey

Director of Affiliate Development

Mallory Coffee is the Director of Affiliate Development and Staff Liaison for the State Leaders Council.

Before joining the KAB National Network, Mallory was the Keep South Ca...Read More

Mallory Coffey

Mallory Coffey

Director of Affiliate Development

Mallory Coffee is the Director of Affiliate Development and Staff Liaison for the State Leaders Council.


Before joining the KAB National Network, Mallory was the Keep South Carolina Beautiful State Leader and Community Outreach Program Manager at PalmettoPride. While serving in this capacity, she spearheaded the creation of more than 10 local affiliates in South Carolina as a trainer for KAB. During this time, she also served as the Vice President for the KAB State Leader's Council.

Before joining PalmettoPride, she created and served as the Executive Director of Keep Bamberg County Beautiful, a national and state award-winning local Keep America Beautiful affiliate. 

 

Sabrina Ross

Sabrina Ross

Executive Director - Keep America Beautiful, Newark

Sabrina Ross is a dynamic human and professional with a background in service delivery, neighborhood planning, project planning, and collaborations. Ross is passionate about inform...Read More

Sabrina Ross

Sabrina Ross

Executive Director - Keep America Beautiful, Newark

Sabrina Ross is a dynamic human and professional with a background in service delivery, neighborhood planning, project planning, and collaborations. Ross is passionate about informing and empowering residents through neighborhood planning, envisioning community economic development strategies, and building strong communities.

Before joining Keep America Beautiful in May 2024, Sabrina was with GreenLight Fund and was instrumental in developing targeted strategies to address community needs. Previously, as Community Engagement Manager at Unified Vailsburg Services Organization, she successfully led civic engagement and beautification projects with a large team of volunteers. In her role at the City of Newark Department of Health & Community Wellness, Sabrina exemplified dedication and compassion, coordinating support and resources for victims of violent crimes. Ross's extensive involvement in advisory and volunteer roles further highlights her commitment to urban development and sustainability initiatives.

Sabrina has a BA in social behavior science and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management. If you don’t know Ms. Ross, you will because she may be knocking on your door to invite you to attend a block club meeting, join the fun at Healthy Havens Gardens, or engage you in initiatives to clean and beautify the community.

Sue Smith

Sue Smith

Executive Director, Keep America Beautiful-Chicago

Sue Smith is the Executive Director, Keep-America Beautiful- Chicago...Read More

Sue Smith

Sue Smith

Executive Director, Keep America Beautiful-Chicago

Sue Smith is the Executive Director, Keep-America Beautiful- Chicago

Impact and Analytics

David Scott PhD

David Scott PhD

Senior Vice President, Impact and Analytics

David Scott, Ph.D., joined Keep America Beautiful in 2019 as Senior Director, Research, Monitoring & Evaluation. David oversees research in support of the Keep America Beautifu...Read More

David Scott PhD

David Scott PhD

Senior Vice President, Impact and Analytics

David Scott, Ph.D., joined Keep America Beautiful in 2019 as Senior Director, Research, Monitoring & Evaluation. David oversees research in support of the Keep America Beautiful mission, and data and evaluation strategies to help understand the impact of the organization and its network of more than 600 community-based affiliates.

For more than two decades, David has worked at the intersection of data, analytics, evaluation, and technology to demonstrate the social impact of nonprofits, corporations, and foundations. Most recently, David directed research and evaluation activities at VentureWell, a nonprofit that cultivates a global pipeline of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Prior to VentureWell, David oversaw business intelligence and evaluation activities at Timshel, a social impact technology and strategy firm.

David began his career in the Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ghazal Dezfuli, PhD

Ghazal Dezfuli, PhD

Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation

Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation

Ghazal Dezfuli specializes in data collection, data management, research design, and qualitative and quantitative research methods, incl...Read More

Ghazal Dezfuli, PhD

Ghazal Dezfuli, PhD

Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation

Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation

Ghazal Dezfuli specializes in data collection, data management, research design, and qualitative and quantitative research methods, including advanced statistical techniques. She is passionate about uncovering insights from data and using them to inform decision-making.

Ghazal has experience working at non-profits, universities, and multilateral organizations. She has more than four years of experience providing research support to World Bank development projects focused on environmental health, climate change, cleaner production, biodiversity protection, and sustainable development. In her prior roles, she has provided guidance to staff and research teams on data collection strategies and on research designs used to evaluate the impacts of programs. She has also guest lectured on experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational research designs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In her past projects, she has collaborated with a variety of stakeholders, including civil society organizations and government agencies.

She received a PhD in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Government from Bowdoin College.

Affiliate Network

Individual Action Center

Partners for Change