Mississippians Win National Awards from Keep America Beautiful

Keep Mississippi Beautiful (KMB) and its community-based affiliates recently took home several top awards from Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading organization for litter prevention, recycling, and beautification. Mississippians across the state were recognized by Keep America Beautiful at its national conference on Feb. 7.


“Mississippi continues to show the nation that we are serious about fighting litter, promoting recycling and beautifying our communities,” KMB Executive Director Sarah Kountouris said. “We are proud of the Mississippians who were recognized by Keep America Beautiful.”

Recipients include:

  • Jeannine May won the Sue Smith Professional Leadership Award for building and sustaining an exceptional affiliate. Jeannine serves as Affiliate Director of Keep the Rez Beautiful, known for its efforts to improve the water quality and beauty of the Ross Barnett Reservoir and its shores. Jeannine is the fifth Mississippian to win this award since it was created in the 1980s.
  • Brett Rushing won the Young Professional Award, which recognizes an outstanding volunteer, under the age of 40, who demonstrates exceptional leadership in helping his or her community. Dr. Rushing was integral in KMB’s launch of the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project, and he has worked with KMB and KAB affiliates across the state to support wildflower plantings. Brett is the second Mississippian to win this award since it was created in 2013.
  • Keep Starkville Beautiful won the Bill Nash Award, which honors an affiliate less than three years old for exceptional success. Since its launch in 2017, Keep Starkville Beautiful has made significant investments to end littering, beautify public spaces, and improve recycling. Affiliate Director Amy Counterman accepted the award. Keep Starkville Beautiful is the third Mississippi affiliate to win this award in recent years.
  • Keep Mississippi Beautiful and Keep Ridgeland Beautiful both won Innovation Partnership Awards. KMB was recognized as a state affiliate for its new anti-litter campaign, “Don’t Litter… Can It Mississippi,” created in partnership with Dak Prescott and Pepsi. KMB Executive Director Sarah Kountouris accepted the award. Keep Ridgeland Beautiful was recognized as a local affiliate for its citywide zinnia beautification effort in partnership with the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce. Affiliate Director Jan Richardson and Board Members Ginger Cocke, Rachel Brantley and Lea Anne Stacy accepted the award.
  • Mississippi Department of Transportation won the State Agency Partnership Award for its ongoing support of Keep Mississippi Beautiful and litter prevention efforts across the state.
  • Keep Mississippi Beautiful received the Diamond Level recognition for sustained success in the Keep America Beautiful network.
  • 30 local affiliates in Mississippi won the President’s Circle Award for sustained success. They include: Keep Belzoni Beautiful, Keep Brookhaven-Lincoln County Beautiful, Keep Canton Beautiful, Keep Clinton Beautiful, Keep Columbia/Marion County Beautiful, Keep Corinth-Alcorn Beautiful, Keep Desoto County Beautiful, Keep Diamondhead Beautiful, Keep Flora Beautiful, Keep Harrison County Beautiful, Keep Hattiesburg Beautiful, Keep Holmes County Beautiful, Keep Indianola Beautiful, Keep Jackson Beautiful, Keep Kosciusko Beautiful, Keep Leake County Beautiful, Keep Madison the city Beautiful, Keep Magee Beautiful, Keep Mendenhall Beautiful, Keep Natchez/Adams County Beautiful, Keep Oxford/Lafayette County Beautiful, Keep Pascagoula Beautiful, Keep Pearl Beautiful, Keep Pike County Beautiful, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, Keep Simpson County Beautiful, Keep Starkville Beautiful, Keep the Rez Beautiful, Keep Tupelo Beautiful, and Keep Waveland Beautiful.

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