By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern
In January, Keep Akron Beautiful’s (KAB) CEO, Jacqui Flaherty-Ricchiuti, attended the Keep America Beautiful National Conference in Washington, DC. There was so much to do, see and learn. Coming back from the conference, Jacqui shared lots of new ideas and information that she obtained from the training forums with affiliates from all over the country!
The Keynote Speaker at the conference was Peter Kageyama, whom we are proud to say is originally from Akron, Ohio. Author of the book “For the Love of Cities: The love affair between people and their places.”, Peter spoke about the relationship between a person and their city. Our city is one of the most powerful influences for us but often times, we don’t think about it in terms of a relationship.
“If cities begin thinking of themselves as engaged in a relationship with their citizens, and if we as citizens begin to consider our emotional connections with our places, we open up new possibilities in community, social and economic development by including the most powerful of motivators-the human heart-in our toolkit of city-making.”, he said. In “For the Love of Cities”, Peter features many cities and showcases some examples of their efforts. He also talks about unofficial “co-creators” that may be the key to community development in the future and discuss how they can be identified, recruited and engaged by these cities. KAB is so proud to have also been a part of Peter’s presentation, in which he showed photos of Akron and KAB and thanked us for what we do every day. Right back at ‘cha, Peter!
Some more exciting news comes from the fact that KAB was recognized with two awards at the Awards Dinner: 2nd Place Affiliate Award and the Storytelling Award. We are thrilled to have received these awards and to be recognized among the 600+ affiliates of Keep America Beautiful, nationwide.
Lowe’s, a national sponsor of Keep America Beautiful and who has also sponsored Keep Akron Beautiful, also had a “Build And Grow” event at the conference. During this event, Jacqui was able to work alongside other affiliate leaders to build picnic tables for children in an after-school program in Prince George’s County, VA.
To sum it up, Jacqui said, “Keep Akron Beautiful is so proud to be a part of a national organization that has been building and sustaining vibrant communities for over 60 years and we look forward to working hard for the next year on many goals and initiatives we learned at the National Conference.”