STAMFORD, Conn. (September 29, 2022) – Keep America Beautiful® awarded 26 community organizations and individuals with 2021 KAB National Awards, including the Lady Bird Johnson, Sue Smith Professional Leadership, State Agency Partnership, and Innovation Awards.

We invited recipients to submit a video about their award, and we are pleased to share those with the KAB network and supporters as we honor their achievements.


2021 Lady Bird Johnson Award: Sammy Romero is the recipient of the 2021 Lady Bird Johnson Award, recognizing an outstanding volunteer. Named after the former First Lady, the award is given to a volunteer for exceptional leadership with at least 10 years of service. Romero is a long-time volunteer of Keep Irving Beautiful in Texas. He began volunteering with KIB in 2006.


The Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award goes to an Executive Director of an affiliate (for at least 5 years) who has exhibited outstanding support of the Keep America Beautiful mission. Named in honor of the former Keep America Beautiful Director of Education & Training and current Keep America Beautiful-Chicago Director, the 2021 recipient is Chris Lash of Keep McAllen Beautiful in Texas. Chris has been part of the KAB network since 2001. She has been an employee for the City of McAllen for over 20 years and is now the Program Manager for KMB.


The Keep America Beautiful Innovation Award salutes affiliates that have created innovative partnerships and programs to further the mission of Keep America Beautiful. The Innovation Awards are intended to honor true innovation, recognizing new approaches that help facilitate growth within the organization. 

11 affiliates were honored with 2021 Innovation Awards:

  • Keep Ridgeland Beautiful (MS) – Local Partnership
  • Keep Orlando Beautiful (FL) – Local Program
  • Keep Indian River Beautiful (FL) – Local Partnership
  • Keep Coral Gables Beautiful (FL) – Local Program
  • Keep Charlotte Beautiful (FL) – Local Partnership
  • Keep Irving Beautiful (TX) – Local Program
  • Keep Brevard Beautiful (FL) – Local Partnership
  • Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GA) – Local Program
  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (IN) – Local Program
  • Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (PA) – State Partnership
  • Keep Tennessee Beautiful (TN) – State Program

The Keep America Beautiful State Agency Partnership Recognition National Award honors state Departments of Transportation, Environmental Quality, and/or other state agencies for their support of Keep America Beautiful State Affiliates. These are the partners that help our State Affiliates get the job done, and Keep America Beautiful is grateful for their support and partnership.

State Agency Partnership Awards for 2021 are awarded to the following:

  • Caltrans – California Department of Transportation – Keep California Beautiful  
  • Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality – Keep Oklahoma Beautiful    
  • Oklahoma Department of Transportation – Keep Oklahoma Beautiful   
  • Oklahoma Turnpike Authority – Keep Oklahoma Beautiful   
  • Oklahoma Forestry Department – Keep Oklahoma Beautiful  
  • PA Department of Environmental Protection – Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful 
  • PA Department of Transportation – Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful 
  • TN State Parks – Keep Tennessee Beautiful 
  • Tennessee Department of Tourist Development – Keep Tennessee Beautiful 
  • TN Department of Transportation – Keep Tennessee Beautiful 
  • Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks – Keep Mississippi Beautiful 
  • Mississippi Department of Transportation – Keep Mississippi Beautiful 
  • Mississippi Department University Extension – Keep Mississippi Beautiful


Congratulations to our 2021 awardees! Thank you for your hard work and commitment to ensure everyone lives in a beautiful community.

Contact: Abby Turpin, Director of Communications
Keep America Beautiful®

Published by
September 28, 2022

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