Keep America Beautiful National Conference Reflections

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

As we return from the 60th Anniversary Conference and Celebration of Keep America Beautiful, I can’t help but reflect upon Keep America Beautiful’s President and CEO Matt McKenna’s message during his opening address on Tuesday January 29, at the Omni Shorham Hotel in Washington, D.C. His keynote speech discussed the importance of creating and sustaining communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. The overlying theme of his message was “storytelling,” and sharing our story as an affiliate, right here in Akron. As we learned of many different success stories, events and programs that are taking place throughout the country and right here in our backyard, the staff of Keep Akron Beautiful was able to reflect on how we are proud to be included in the Keep America Beautiful network of more than 1,200 affiliates across the country.

The conference offered programs and breakout sessions that covered topics such as community recycling, social media and marketing, strategic planning and a wonderful keynote by Ed Humes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who discussed his recent book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. During his keynote, he told us, “The average American produces about 7.1 pounds of trash per day, which is 102 tons per lifetime.” And, as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, we hope to decrease this amount by educating and impacting residents throughout the City of Akron!

If I could elaborate on everything I learned at the 2013 conference this blog post would take me two hours to write. I am excited and energized for our programming in 2013 and ready for the best year yet. I hope you will be able to see everything I learned throughout the programs Keep Akron Beautiful runs in 2013. Oh–and the best part of the conference? Paula Davis, President and CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful won the Sue Smith Leadership Award for all her accomplishments right here in Akron on Tuesday evening–we are so proud of her! See Cindy’s blog post and the Press Release from the Mayor’s Office for more information.

Matt McKenna, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful and Paula Davis, President and CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful, upon accepting her “Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award” at the KAB Conference in Washington, D.C.

Interested in who Keep America Beautiful is and what they do? Check out their website at! Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that builds vibrant communities. They bring people together to unlock every community’s potential. Keep Akron Beautiful is sure lucky to be a part of all that they do. Thanks for a wonderful conference, Keep America Beautiful! We will see you next year with lots of new stories to tell.

Capt. Danny Zampelli (KAB Board Member), Paula Davis (KAB President and CEO) and Jacqui Flaherty (KAB Program Manager) at the end of the 2013 Keep America Beautiful Conference.

The Keep Akron Beautiful attendees signed the “Vibrant Communities Pledge” at the closing of the 2013 conference. We are proud to be part of the organization that brings people together to unlock every community’s potential.


The SOSA Luncheon Recycling Numbers Are In!

by Cindy Pantea

Thank you to Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority and The University of Akron for helping with recycling the waste from the October 25, 2012 SOSA luncheon. Here are the numbers:

Recycling Numbers from SOSA Luncheon

How does your company handle recycling? Do you have numbers that you want to share? Do you want bragging rights? Learn more about the Summit of Sustainability Awards and new categories for 2013 by visiting here.

Also, don’t forget to watch videos of the 2012 sustainable champions, winners and more at the SOSA YouTube site.

The Summmit of Sustainability Awards is a part of Greenprint for Akron, a program facilitated by Keep Akron Beautiful.



APS Science Fair Projects Address Issues Covered by Greenprint for Akron

by Cindy Pantea

Greenprint for Akron Executive Summary 2012

Click on the picture to read the 2012 Greenprint for Akron Executive Summary or follow the link to our Greenprint for Akron web page.

At The 57th Annual Akron Public Schools (APS) 2013 Science, Math, and Technology Expo held at North High School on Saturday, January 26, 2013, three volunteer judges spent 4.5 hours selecting projects that addressed issues covered in the Greenprint for Akron sustainability goals and climate change strategies for the government and the community.

Carl Safreed, P.E., Air Pollution Control Division of the Canton City Health Department, as well as Terry Reagan and Kevin Lockett, two Keep Akron Beautiful Board members who serve on the Greenprint Task Force, were the judges. They decided on a first, second and third place winner out of the 589 science projects created by middle and high school students.

Greenprint for Akron Award Winners Selected

Antonia Bruno, a 7th grader from Miller South School for Visual and Performing Arts. Antonia developed her winning project, entitled “The Ethanol Project,” under the supervision of teacher, Tina Lattimer. About her project results, Antonia commented, “Just because I didn’t get the results I was looking for doesn’t mean I won’t try again.  We can’t give up on trying to make the world a greener place.” Her prize was $250 from Greenprint for Akron.

Greenprint for Akron logoJacob Lormer, a 7th grader from Dr. Morgan Greene’s science class at Litchfield Middle School took second place. He won with, “The Effects of Grass Killers on Grass,” a project that will directly help Keep Akron Beautiful in bed preparation for urban Flowerscapes sites this spring. Jacob’s prize was $100 from Greenprint for Akron.

Mikala Warner, an 8th grader at the National Inventors Hall of Fame (S.T.E.M. Learning) School, took third place. She worked with Coach Sharon Kaffen to develop her project called Air Pollution in Akron. For this project, Mikala tested the levels of pollution in downtown Akron, in a residential area, and in a city park and found that downtown is the most polluted. Her work won her the $50 Greenprint for Akron award.

A big thank you to the judges and, of course, the students for participating in the event. The Green Ribbon Panel from the City of Akron is encouraged and impressed that these middle and high school students are identifying local environmental problems and investigating solutions at their young age.

For more about the APS Science, Math and Technology Expo, visit

Greenprint for Akron is a program facilitated by Keep Akron Beautiful.



Paula Davis Wins Award at KAB Conference

by Cindy Pantea

Congratulations to Keep Akron Beautiful President & CEO Paula Davis, who won the Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award at the Keep America Beautiful National Conference in Washington DC.

The Sue Smith award is named after the recently retired Director of Education and Affiliate Trainer for Keep America Beautiful. It honors Executive Directors of affiliates who have built and sustained a local or state affiliate program with exceptional success.

The award also came with a personal congratulations from the Keep America Beautiful President, Matt McKenna, and a $500 check to add to Keep Akron Beautiful programming.

Paula Davis of Keep Akron Beautiful wins KAB Sue Smith Award

Pictured left to right: Captain Danny Zampelli, Akron Police Dept. and Keep Akron Beautiful Board Member; Melissa Adams, Manager of Recycling Programs for Keep America Beautiful; Paula Davis, our President & CEO; and Jacqui Flaherty, our Program Manager

Those who have worked with Paula or sought out Paula’s expertise about new start-ups have received nothing but the best in direction and help, and we are sure they are as proud of her as her staff is.

The Mayor’s office will be sending out a formal press release about this win, but we wanted to tell our readers first.

Updated February 4, 2013: See Mayor’s Press Release here.