When Paula Davis, KAB CEO of 26 years retired in the winter of 2014, the remaining staff and new CEO, Jacqui Flaherty-Ricchiuti knew they needed to thank her for all she had done in a big way. The impact Paula Davis had on not only the agency, but on the Akron community was too big for just a simple ‘thank you.’
So when planning for the 2015 planting season, Keep Akron Beautiful decided they would dedicate a Flowerscape to Paula Davis. Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) chose the Flowerscape located at North Main Street and Perkins, at the corner, which was one of Davis’ favorite Flowerscapes. This Flowerscape pays tribute to Paula Davis, who helped the Akron community bloom with the same vibrancy and beauty as the white alyssum, vinca, zinnia, gomphrena and canna flowers.
Since 1989, Davis’ work through KAB has had a lasting impact on not just the agency but the City of Akron. The agency’s Flowerscape program is considered a “model” program within the national network. In addition to the $600,000 Davis raised through extensive grant writing that sustains the agency’s annual operating budget, she also introduced the Dreamscape Raffle in 2004. Annually, private sector donations must be solicited to implement the urban beautification program, but the countywide Dreamscape Raffle was instrumental to supplement direct mail fundraising efforts. Keep America Beautiful, Inc. has awarded the agency third place recognition for comprehensive program excellence of affiliates serving similar populations and a President’s Circle Award annually since 2003.
Paula Davis was awarded the national Sue Smith Leadership Award at the organization’s 60th anniversary conference in Washington, D.C. in January, 2013 for exemplary contributions to the Keep America Beautiful National Network. The league of Women Voters® of the Akron Area recognized Paula Davis for her dedication to protecting and preserving our natural heritage by declaring her a Champion for the Environment in the spring of 2014.
And now, Keep Akron Beautiful would like to say thank you to Paula Davis for her commitment to Keep Akron Beautiful, through the dedication of a Flowerscape.