KLB State Conference Materials

Speaker Bios, Presentations, and More

Conference Schedule

This year’s conference was designed to cover topics related to the eight recommendations made by the Governor’s 2022 Task Force on Statewide Litter Abatement and Beautification.

On January 18, Governor John Bel Edwards announced with an executive order the establishment of the Task Force, which was administered by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and Keep Louisiana Beautiful. Presented to the Governor on July 1 was a report with the group’s recommendations for cleaning up Louisiana and initial priorities.

Tuesday, October 11 | Riverview Ballroom

9 – 10 a.m. | Conference Check-in

10 a.m. | Emcee: Eligha Guillory, KLB Board Vice Chair
  Welcome: Courtney Hornsby, KLB Board Chair

10:15 a.m. | Keynote: Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser

10:30 a.m. | Overview of Task Force on Statewide Litter Abatement and Beautification | Susan Russell, KLB Executive Director (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

11 a.m. – Noon | Recommendation 1: Establish Fundamentals to Sustain Litter Prevention and Beautification

  • Litter Study: Looking at Litter in Louisiana | Dr. Cecile Carson, CD Carson Consulting (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)
  • Overview of 2022 Legislation Impacting Litter in Louisiana | Tyler McCloud, Division Director and Senior Counsel for the Louisiana Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Environmental Quality (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

Noon – 1 p.m. | Lunch Keynote and Recognizing the 2022 Class of KLB University Affiliates | Dr. James Henderson, President of

University of Louisiana System

  • Presentation of the KLB Community Affiliate Circle of Excellence Awards | Cabell Mouton, KLB Affiliate and Grant Director, and Jennifer Lawson, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful

1-1:30p.m. | Recommendation 2: Raise Public Awareness

  • Presenting the Let Louisiana Shine Campaign | Joe Martin, Co-Creative Director and Partner, Red 6 Media (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

1:30- 2 p.m. | Recommendation 3: Build Knowledge Through Training and Education

  • Improving Waste Management at Festivals | Andrew Woodruff, Operations Director, and Kenneth Spears, Food and Beverage Director, French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

2 – 2:45 p.m. | Recommendation 4: Advance Youth Education to Create a Culture of Cleanliness

  • KLB University Affiliate Panel | Moderated by Dr. Cecile Carson, CD Carson Consulting
    Panel participants include Dr. Mitzi Jackson, Development Faculty Fellow, Nicholls State University; Carol Lunn, Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development, University of New Orleans; Tammy Millican, Executive Director, Louisiana State University Facility and Property Oversight; Helena Robinson, Director of Sustainability and Quality Control, Xavier University of Louisiana; Jordan Stewart, Assistant Director, Office of Sustainability, Tulane University; David Yarbrough, Dean of Community Service and a Professor of Human Development and Family Science, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

2:45 p.m. | Break

3 – 5 p.m. | Recommendation 5: Strengthen Litter and Illegal Dumping Enforcement Efforts

  • Presenting Pennsylvania’s Litter Action Plan and Enforcement Study Results  | Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)
  • Expanding Litter Enforcement Efforts | Rick Moore, State Litter Enforcement Director (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)
  • Operation Neaux Throw – Reducing Litter in Lafayette Parish | Bess Foret, Environmental Quality Manager,Lafayette Consolidated Government (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

Day 1 Meetings and Trainings by Invitation

10 – 11:15 a.m. | University Sustainability Coalition (Paramount Room)

3 – 4 p.m. | New University Affiliate Training (Paramount Room)

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. | New Community Affiliate Training (Paramount Room)

6 – 8 p.m. | KLB Private Reception, Sponsored by Waste Management (Huey Long Tunnel)

Wednesday, October 12 | Conference in Heidelberg Ballroom & Everyday Hero Awards Luncheon in Riverview Ballroom

8 – 8:30 a.m. | Breakfast (Outside Heidelberg Ballroom)

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. | Keynote: Jennifer Lawson, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

8:45 – 9:45 a.m. | Recommendation 6: Improve Waste Disposal Practices and Recycling Opportunities

  • A Look at Louisiana’s Recycling Needs Assessment | Craig Wittig, Director of Grant Implementation, and Marissa Ambrosi, Senior Researcher, The Recycling Partnership (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)
  • EPA Grant Opportunities: Learn How to Secure Funds for Local Recycling | Renee Bellew, UST and Pollution Prevention Section, Land, Chemical and Redevelopment Division, EPA (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

9:45 – 10 a.m. | Break

10–11a.m.| Recommendation 7: Expand Litter Prevention and Removal Initiatives

11 – 11:45 a.m. | Recommendation 8: Support Beautification and Community Appearance Enhancement

  • New Beautification Grants: Funding Plants and Trees in Your Community | Susan Russell, KLB Executive Director (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)
  • Beautification in Louisiana’s State Parks: Impacting Tourism and Residents’ Quality of Life | Brandon Burris, Assistant Secretary, Louisiana State Parks (DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION)

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Networking at the Everyday Hero Awards Luncheon (Riverview Ballroom)

12:30 – 2 p.m. | Everyday Hero Awards Luncheon (Riverview Ballroom)

Keynote: Governor John Bel Edwards

  • Emcee: Judd Jeansonne, Executive Director of Volunteer Louisiana and KLB Advisory Board Member
  • Presentation of the 2022 Everyday Hero Awards

Day 1 Speaker Bios

Click on each name to read bio information.

Courtney Hornsby currently serves as the Chief of Staff for the City of West Monroe under the administration of Mayor Staci Mitchell. 


Hornsby previously served as the president of the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, where she served in that role for six years. 


She currently serves on the board of directors for United Way of Northeast Louisiana, is Vice Chairman of Ouachita Green, a member of Keep West Monroe Beautiful, and is currently Board Chairman of Keep Louisiana Beautiful. 


She served with the City of Natchitoches for 12 years as the Director of the City’s Office of Programming and Promotions, including overseeing the Natchitoches Main Street Program and serving as a grant writer and public relations manager for the City of Natchitoches. She is a Nationally Certified Main Street Manager.   


Hornsby earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English from Northwestern State University. 


She graduated from Leadership Ouachita, Leadership Louisiana, and the Delta Leadership Institute. 


She is married to the Rev. Shawn Hornsby, and they have three children – Peyton, Emily, and Cooper.  

A graduate of McNeese State University in Management and Marketing, Eligha is a Louisiana Statewide Notary Public and a Licensed Louisiana Funeral Director. He is Assistant Manager/Business Development Officer and FDIC (Funeral Director in Charge) of King’s Funeral Home of Lake Charles, a partner in King and Guillory, LLC, and owner of Signature Notary Services. He is the Founder of the Eljay Foundation for Parkinson’s Awareness and a board member of CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation, Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Sisters Surviving Cancer, SWLA Law Center, and Community Liaison of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union. He is also president of the Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival Association.  


He has over twenty years of service in strategic business planning and organization marketing, public communication, and business management. He has coordinated and led many successful special events and campaigns and provided communication solutions to non-profit organizations, for-profit business units, healthcare institutions, and government agencies.   


Eligha’s work experience includes community and program development, project management, and public and governmental relations on local, state, and national levels. 


Eligha is a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church. He is married to his best friend Monica, and they are the proud parents of three children, Matthew, Martina, and Isabella. 

Billy Nungesser is the 54th Lieutenant Governor of the state of Louisiana. He was elected in 2015 and took office in January 2016. In July 2019, he officially took over as Chairman of the National Lieutenant Governors Association. This professional association charts issues and work to be pursued by the second-highest ranking officials in all 50 states and U.S. territories.


Under his administration, Louisiana celebrated a third consecutive year of record-breaking visitation as Louisiana welcomed more than 51.3 million visitors, bringing in more than $18.8 billion to the state. 


Billy left a career as a successful businessman to begin his political career following Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, Nungesser rode out Hurricane Katrina at his ranch in southern Plaquemines Parish. In response to his frustration over the government’s slow response following Hurricane Katrina, Billy decided to run for Plaquemines Parish President in 2006. He was re-elected in 2010 with over 70% of the vote.

On April 20, 2010, Plaquemines Parish became ground zero for the nation’s most significant environmental disaster. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf, Billy became the voice of Louisiana’s frustration. 


During the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the New York Times named him the “hardest working man in Louisiana,” and ABC named him Person of the Week during the same period. He continues to be the “hardest working man in Louisiana” on behalf of all of us.

Today Billy is second-in-command in the executive branch and Louisiana’s ambassador as Commissioner of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. From natural disasters to promoting our great state…Billy Nungesser is a man for all of Louisiana. 



Susan Russell is Executive Director for Keep Louisiana Beautiful since 2014. Before leading the state office, she spent eight years as a local affiliate director for Keep Mandeville Beautiful.

Her experience specializing in non-profit management, strategic development, program development and implementation, grant administration, event planning, communications, and marketing spans 30 years with stints at national non-profit organizations Special Olympics and Volunteers of America.

Susan serves on the executive committee for the Keep America Beautiful State Leaders Council as well as on the executive committee for Keep Louisiana Beautiful. She serves as a board member for the Louisiana Recycling Coalition and the Ozone Music Education Foundation.

As Executive Director, she leads the only statewide organization focused on litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling and beautification. She oversees a grants program that has awarded over $3 million to fund local projects; offers environmental education lessons targeting K to 5th grade students; conducts training and professional development; and supports local communities and a network of 39 affiliate organizations to increase their capacity to facilitate community and behavioral change.




Dr. Cecile Carson is a recognized leader of nonprofits and government entities in developing innovative zero waste, litter, recycling, and civic engagement programs. Cecile’s career spans 30 years in government, nonprofit, and academic settings. Dr. Carson’s recent projects include conducting statewide visible litter and litter cost studies, implementing littering behavioral strategies, and developing statewide litter recommendations. Her current projects involve establishing local litter plans, researching the impacts of litter law enforcement, and creating a citizen-science litter methodology. She obtained a doctorate from Baylor University in Learning and Organizational Change, focusing on litter and blight issues in rural America. Dr. Carson serves as the North Central Texas Council of Governments – Resource Conservation Commission Plan Committee Chair, California Resource Conservation Association K-12 Executive Committee Leader, State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Summit Committee member, and a Community Heart and Soul Coach. Cecile loves to travel for business and pleasure and to find local dining experiences.




Tyler McCloud has over 22 years experience as legislative staff. He is currently employed by the Louisiana Senate as a division director and senior counsel for the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Environmental Quality.


Dr. James Henderson became the University of Louisiana System president Jan. 1, 2017.


Since his appointment, he has led the Universities of Louisiana in the creation of a strategic framework that charges its universities to produce the most educated generation in Louisiana’s history, drive growth through public/private partnerships and research, and recruit, retain, and develop world class faculty who educate students, empower employers, and enrich communities. There are various systemic functions that ensure success, one of the newest is Compete LA, a program designed to assist the 653,000 Louisianians with some college credit but no degree.


Previously, Henderson served as president of his alma mater, Northwestern State University, where he reinvigorated student life and campus culture leading to the highest enrollment in the school’s 135-year history. Before taking the helm of NSU, Henderson served as chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College. During his tenure, the institution ranked among the five fastest growing colleges in the nation for five consecutive years.


In 2012, Henderson was named a Northwest Louisiana Business Hall of Fame Laureate and in 2017 he was inducted into Northwestern State University’s Hall of Honor, the Long Purple Line. His proudest accomplishment to date though is the tiny blue check next to his Twitter handle. On any given day, you can find an insider’s take on higher education in Louisiana sprinkled with candor, wit, and his two golden retrievers.


Henderson holds a Master of Science in administration from the University of West Florida and a Doctor of Management from University of Maryland—University College. In 2010, he completed the Institute of Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The smartest decision Henderson has made is marrying his college sweetheart, Tonia, a proud Cajun from Gueydan. The Hendersons have three children, Reagan, Nicholas, and Alexander; and three grandchildren, Zachary, Miguel, and Maria.

As a founding member with his fellow graduates of LSU’s Manship School of Communication, Joe serves as co­-creative director for Red Six Media. A seasoned and discerning creative with an eye for detail and a passion for transformative design, Joe leads Red Six’s talented and award-winning graphic design and web departments.

Partners Kristen Rushing, Joe Martin, and Matt Dardenne take a hands-on approach to client relations and satisfaction, making Red Six Media one of the most well-known and sought-after agencies in the region. Along with Keeping Louisiana Beautiful, the agency is proud to work with ExxonMobil, Turner Industries, Dow Chemical, Tiger Athletic Foundation, Gulf Coast Bank, and many other clients across the Gulf South. Red Six Media’s skilled, energetic, and ever-growing team delivers dynamic, integrated solutions in design, advertising, branding, video production, media strategies/purchasing, public relations, web development, interactive digital, and the region’s most well-known and sought-after agency’s al media and aspires to be Your Brand’s Happy Place.


Andrew has been a part of the French Quarter Festival, Inc. team since 2011 previously holding the roles of Site Manager and Assistant to the Operations Director, before becoming Operations Director in 2019. Andrew has worked in festival production in New Orleans for over a decade, including positions with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Voodoo Music Festival, and Essence Music Festival. He holds a B.S. in Music Industry Studies from Loyola University New Orleans and enjoys gardening and songwriting in his free time.


Kenneth Spears is a native New Orleanian who earned a BA in music and business management from Dillard University. In addition to being a musician, Kenneth has over a decade of festival experience by working on festivals including Essence Fest, Jazz Fest, Voodoo, Fest Fried Chicken Festival, and more in various capacities such as Stage Manager, Artist Relations, and Operations. Kenneth is a loving father and husband whose hobbies include composing digital music and enriching the artist community & culture of New Orleans through his work as co-founder at Abstract Nola.


Dr. Mitzi Jackson, a former Health Science faculty member, moved to the Office of Development in 2018 to become the Development Faculty Fellow. Since she has helped in the establishment of such projects as the Nicholls State University – LSUHSC -NO School of Medicine Culinary Medicine Program and Charles J. Monier, Ph.D. Makerspace. Mitzi is the advisor to the GREEN Club, a student organization dedicated to recycling activities, environmental stewardship, and sustainability efforts. With the advent of the Keep Louisiana Beautiful University Affiliate program, she was tasked with becoming the c Keep Nicholls Beautiful Task Force chair to help further sustainability efforts on campus and in the community.

After completing her undergraduate education in Biological Sciences at Newcomb College of Tulane University, Dr. Jackson earned her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed a Pediatrics residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – Children’s Medical Center.

Carol Lunn is the Assistant Vice President for Research & Economic Development at the University of New Orleans. Her department helps the UNO community succeed in creative, innovative, and scholarly research. In her twenty-one years at UNO, Carol built a team focusing on customer service and compliance. They provide support, training, and mentorship for all research activities; generate opportunities for collaboration with external partners in the community.


She and her husband are both first-generation students who met at UNO. Currently, she is working toward a Ph.D. in Planning & Urban Studies, and her dissertation focuses on environmental sustainability in higher education. In addition to serving as the UNO facilitator for Keep UNO Beautiful, Carol is a co-director of the UNO Sustainability Circle and the advisor to the UNO Garden Club. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, listening to her daughter sing, and playing with the family’s rescue dogs.

Tammy Millican currently serves as Executive Director for LSU Facility & Property Oversight. She has been an LSU staff member for 25 years and serves her third term as Staff Senate President. Tammy oversees the campus sustainability unit and internal and external communications, strategic planning, grant writing, and policy/process development for F&PO. She also serves as a part-time coach for LSU’s Leadership Development Institute.


Tammy has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, a master’s degree in public administration and is currently a doctoral student with an expected graduation date in Spring 2023. She is married with five children and six grandchildren.

Helena Robinson is the current Director of Sustainability and Quality Control at Xavier University. Helena’s passion for educating others can be traced back to her days as a lower education Educator, where she believed that all individuals were capable of learning and deserved that opportunity. After working over 14 years teaching and grant writing in New Orleans Public Schools, in 2016, she began a new path in higher education facilities management, monitoring the university custodial contractor and CMMS work order system. A recently earned MBA at Western Governor’s University and a prior MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology have helped her transition into Sustainability and Facility Management. In 2019 she became the Director of Sustainability and Quality Control at Xavier University of Louisiana, and with her prior duties, she championed campus environmental and sustainability initiatives. Her primary goal is to help the university organize, increase, and formalize its sustainability programming. Her work over the past few years is summarized in the following initiatives: digital recycling and climate awareness campaigning during the pandemic, increasing campus recycling measures through gaining certification as a Keep Louisiana Beautiful University Affiliate, growing the University’s canopy cover and urban orchard to become a 2021 Tree Campus, increasing student mobilization in sustainability initiatives, investment into Electric Charging Stations and researching best ways to reduce campus energy usage and energy efficiency project costs. In her off-time, Helena enjoys dabbling in various creative art forms, and this interest helps guide and influence how she conducts her primary job functions. She utilizes graphic design to create informative posts for social media and craft design for ideas on engaging sustainability activities.

Jordan Stewart is the Assistant Director in the Office of Sustainability at Tulane University. She practiced architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area before pursuing a doctorate in Urban Studies with Tulane’s City, Culture, and Community interdisciplinary program. At Tulane, she facilitated design thinking workshops through Tulane’s Phyllis M. Taylor Center of Social Innovation and Design Thinking. She is active in regional sustainability concerns as a board member of the Louisiana Chapter of the US Green Building Council, leading its statewide Green Schools Initiatives, and the Southeast Louisiana Coalition of the Air-Conditioning Industry.

David Yarbrough is the Dean of Community Service and a Human Development and Family Science professor at UL Lafayette. He also serves as the Executive Editor of the Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education since its inception in 2011. In addition, he has been Chair and a Member of the Service Council of the University of Louisiana System since 2008. Dr. Yarbrough has published numerous articles and presented his work at conferences and workshops domestically and internationally. Dr. Yarbrough holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.

Shannon joined the staff in 2004 and serves as the organizations’ President. In 2010, she was instrumental in leading the organization’s unification and merger of PA CleanWays with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. She earned a master’s degree in Public Administration-Nonprofit Management from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Shannon serves as a member of the Grants Committee for the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and is an appointed member of the DEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee. She lives in North Huntingdon, Westmoreland County with her husband Bryan, two children (Sydney and Christian) and their two dogs (River Joy and Hermes). In Shannon’s spare time, she enjoys time with her family and friends and doing anything and everything outdoors.


Retired from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2000, Rick was elected to a Constable position in 2001. In 2007 Rick was hired by St. Tammany Parish Department of Environmental Services to bring local Justices of the Peace and Constables together and organize a Parish wide litter court to fight the ongoing issues with litter, dumping, and illegal signage. Rick is a member of LALA (Louisiana Aquatic Litter Alliance) which worked with the LDEQ to produce a Model Ordinance (and) worked with KLB to develop a Litter Court Handbook for local governments. Rick was appointed the Executive Director of Keep St. Tammany Beautiful in 2016.


Rick has come on board with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office as their Litter Enforcement Director to implement state-wide enforcement and develop abatement programs to enhance the cleanup of our Interstates & State Highways. Cleaning up Louisiana is a goal that we can reach with Education, Abatement & Enforcement. “Let – Louisiana Shine – STOP Littering” is Rick’s GOAL!


Bess received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainable Resources from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1999. She has been employed by the Lafayette Consolidated Government in the Environmental Quality Division since 2002, where she is currently the Environmental Quality Manager. Bess oversees all sections of the Environmental Quality Division including the curbside solid waste and recycling programs, environmental code violations, the yard waste composting facility, and Lafayette’s regulatory compliance programs with the LDEQ and EPA.


After being named KLB’s executive director in 2020, Bess has worked to expand the beautification and litter removal efforts in Lafayette Parish, including incorporating native plantings in public spaces, organizing community spruce-ups in Lafayette parks, and spearheading efforts to get litterbug enforcement in place. Bess enjoys partnering with private and public sectors to work together to improve and protect our cherished natural resources so all of our community can enjoy them.


Day 2 Speaker Bios

Click on each name to read bio information.

Jenny Lawson joined Keep America Beautiful as its President and CEO in May of 2022. Prior to joining KAB Jenny served as Chief Civic Innovation Officer at Points of Light. Her career has focused on social impact and tri-sector partnerships that elevate volunteering and civic engagement. Prior to POL, Jenny held leadership roles at C2ES and The Nature Conservancy.


Craig has more than 25 years of recycling experience in the university, local government, and private sectors. Craig’s experience has revolved around program management including residential recycling, environmental education, electronics recycling, public school recycling, and business recycling. Part of Craig’s work involved collaborating with a variety of end-users to market fiber, plastic, and metal recyclable grades. He now focuses efforts on increasing multifamily recycling for The Partnership as Sr. Director of Community Development.



Renee has worked in Sustainable Materials Management for 10 years at EPA Region 6 in Dallas, Texas. She has worked both domestically and internationally in materials management, advancing EPA’s goals. In addition to her experience in materials management, she has also worked in water quality standards, ocean dumping, trash-free waters, and other programs in two EPA Regions and HQ. She has a BS in Marine Science from Texas A&M University and an MS in Environmental Science in Engineering from Colorado School of Mines.


Dr. Shawn Wilson was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) by Governor John Bel Edwards in January of 2016 and is now serving as Secretary for a second term. He has more than 15 years of executive service at DOTD. Under his leadership thus far, DOTD has ushered in project finance and innovations, including Public Private Partnerships and Construction Manager at Risk projects. During his tenure as Secretary, DOTD has been awarded more than $4.6 billion in construction projects. Dr. Wilson is Vice-Chair of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee and President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Dr. Wilson earned a B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Louisiana and holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Southern University. Shawn and his wife, Rocki, reside in Lafayette. They have two children, one son-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren.


Don Bates is the owner/founder of Osprey Initiative, LLC, and the inventor of the Litter Gitter. A graduate of Millsaps College, he has over 25 years of experience in the environmental consulting business. Prior to starting Osprey Initiative, LLC, he was an Executive Vice President for a Southeast Regional Civil Engineering firm where he managed operations for 250 people in 12 offices in 7 states.


Born in Hammond, Louisiana, he grew up in the swamps around Manchac, Louisiana and still gets back to the Galva Club fish camp whenever he can. He has spent most of his life in and around waterways and has a passion for maintaining and improving our natural resources. Married with 4 children, he feels that the best legacy he can leave to future generations is access to wild places un-marred by human impacts.


Amanda has a B.S. in Environmental Science from Bowling Green State University and an M.A. in Earth Science from the University of Northern Colorado. Ms. Takacs is the Assistant Director of Natural Resource Management at BREC and has been with the organization since 2013. She leads the NRM Division in creating and maintaining the local hiking trail system, studying diversity and health of local ecosystems, managing invasive species, and designing and maintaining green infrastructure to aid in stormwater management. Ms. Takacs is the Co-Chair of the Geaux Green Committee at BREC helping to lead the organization’s sustainability movement which included starting the public recycling program in parks in 2015 and developing the Environmental Sustainability Policy and Recycling and Zero Waste Plan for the agency. She is also a certified green infrastructure professional and works hard to ensure BREC parks and ecosystems are working for the residents of East Baton Rouge.


Susan Russell is Executive Director for Keep Louisiana Beautiful since 2014. Before leading the state office, she spent eight years as a local affiliate director for Keep Mandeville Beautiful.

Her experience specializing in non-profit management, strategic development, program development and implementation, grant administration, event planning, communications, and marketing spans 30 years with stints at national non-profit organizations Special Olympics and Volunteers of America.

Susan serves on the executive committee for the Keep America Beautiful State Leaders Council as well as on the executive committee for Keep Louisiana Beautiful. She serves as a board member for the Louisiana Recycling Coalition and the Ozone Music Education Foundation.

As Executive Director, she leads the only statewide organization focused on litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling and beautification. She oversees a grants program that has awarded over $3 million to fund local projects; offers environmental education lessons targeting K to 5th grade students; conducts training and professional development; and supports local communities and a network of 39 affiliate organizations to increase their capacity to facilitate community and behavioral change.



Brandon is the Assistant Secretary for the Office of State Parks within the department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Mr. Burris serves as a direct appointment for Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. Mr. Burris is responsible for the oversight of Louisiana’s vast State Parks system and numerous State Historic Sites. Mr. Burris served as Deputy Assistant Secretary within the Office of State Parks.


Mr. Burris has also served as Executive Management Officer for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and as Deputy Director of Community Programs within the Office of the Governor of Louisiana.


Assistant Secretary Burris is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University and a native of Monroe, La.


Everyday Hero Awards

Click on each name to read bio information.

The son of a sheriff and charity hospital nurse, John Bel Edwards, understood the importance of serving others early. Gov. Edwards has always put people first, from serving as an active-duty Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army to his time in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

John Bel was born the seventh of eight children to Sheriff Frank Jr. and Dora Jean Edwards. He grew up hunting and fishing in Amite, a rural town in Tangipahoa Parish. He and First Lady Donna Edwards began dating while attending Amite High School. After graduating top of his class, Gov. Edwards participated at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

As a cadet, he completed Airborne School and served as vice-chairman of the panel that enforces the West Point Honor Code. The governor graduated from West Point in 1988, commissioning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served on active duty for eight years, earning Airborne, Ranger, and Jumpmaster status, culminating with command of a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He and the first lady married in 1989. They have three children: Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen, and John Miller.

After commanding a parachute infantry regiment in the 82nd Airborne, Gov. Edwards retired from the Army with the rank of captain. He moved back home and earned a law degree from Louisiana State University before opening a civil law practice in his hometown of Amite.

In 2008, the people of House District 72 elected him to the Louisiana House of Representatives, where he represented the people of Amite, Greensburg, Kentwood, and Hammond for eight years before being elected governor in November 2015.

On January 11, 2016, John Bel Edwards was sworn in as the 56th Governor of Louisiana.

Gov. Edwards signed an executive order to expand Medicaid coverage to 430,000 of the state’s working poor in his first official act. The decision to expand Medicaid cut Louisiana’s uninsured rate from 24 percent to just 10 percent, saving lives and improving the quality of life for citizens across the state. Gov. Edwards considers this the easiest big decision he has had to make as Governor.

Upon taking the oath of office, Gov. Edwards inherited the largest budget deficit in Louisiana’s history, following years of budget mismanagement, which included cuts to higher education and vital state resources and services. In 2016, the state faced a $1 billion shortfall to close out the last quarter of the fiscal year. And in 2017, the state faced a $2 billion deficit in the governor’s first full fiscal year.

Gov. Edwards and a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers worked hard to stabilize the state’s budget through a balanced approach. Today, higher education funding has been restored, the state’s gross domestic product is the highest it has ever been, and Louisiana’s budget is balanced and stable.

One of the governor’s top priorities was comprehensive criminal justice reform. For decades, mass incarceration plagued Louisiana, and the state led the nation in incarceration rates. Gov. Edwards signed sweeping bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation in 2017 that targets recidivism and invests in treatment programs. In 2018, the state saw a 20 percent decrease in people imprisoned for non-violent crimes. Under his leadership, Louisiana shed the title of the most incarcerated state in the country.

On November 16, 2019, the people of Louisiana re-elected Gov. Edwards to another four-year term. On January 13, 2020, Gov. Edwards was sworn into his second term as the 56th Governor of Louisiana.

Gov. Edwards continues to do what the people sent him to Baton Rouge to do: Put Louisiana First. Hundreds of thousands are insured, Louisiana’s budget is stable, and Louisiana is open for business.

Judd Jeansonne serves as the Executive Director of Volunteer Louisiana in the Office of Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, and nationally as Board Chair for ASC – the coalition of America’s Service Commissions. At Volunteer Louisiana, he oversees 19 AmeriCorps programs that engage 1000 Louisianans in service each year, promotes volunteer recognition through Champions of Service, helps coordinate unaffiliated volunteers and unsolicited donations in times of disaster, and coordinates Community Emergency Response Team trainings statewide. Prior to joining Volunteer Louisiana in 2014, Judd spent 12 years as AmeriCorps Program Director at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and taught Political Science courses at both UL Lafayette and LSU. Judd is a Louisiana native, alumnus of LSU and UT Austin, and a member of the KLB Advisory Board.

Gabreyela Gonzalez initiated Zachary’s anti-litter campaign with the help of local government and the Zachary High BETA Club. Over the last few years, Gonzalez saw the negative impacts of litter on the community and felt inspired after seeing advertising for Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s Love the Boot Week. As a Co-President of the Zachary High BETA Club, Gonzales has led local cleanups with her club and volunteers as part of the Governor’s 4th Saturday Cleanup Pledge Program. The cleanups continue to have a positive response, as many businesses, parents, students, and other residents have reached out to the city and the Zachary High BETA Club to volunteer. She is also planning an anti-litter program as President of Zachary High’s Student Government Association with help from Zachary High’s Future Farmers of America Club.

Sponsored in memory of C.B. Forgotston Jr.

Corporal Jason Stagg, a 17-year veteran with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement, has dedicated himself to fighting litter though enforcement and education. With the support of his fellow agents, he has implemented a camera program with 25 cameras in five parishes for LDWF that has been extremely successful since its inception in 2016. The cameras have resulted in 319 citations for littering, which would have gone unsolved without the right set up and management. Corporal Stagg was successful in getting a bill passed this year (HB 69 now Act 101) that gives an inference for license plates when you cannot identify the driver. To help pass the legislation, Corporal Stagg created a video of litterers captured on camera and testified at House and Senate committees. With the help of his testimony and video, the bill passed without opposition in the House and Senate. Leading the state in litter citations, Corporal Stagg’s efforts were recognized this year with the LDWF Enforcement Division’s Top Litter Award.

Sponsored in memory of C.B. Forgotston Jr.

LSC FoundersLouisiana Stormwater Coalition (LSC) was formed to spearhead an all-volunteer, grassroots effort dedicated to increasing public awareness concerning the benefits of stormwater management systems. Employing a two-pronged approach for less flooding and less litter, LSC has taken on the challenge of minimizing litter in Louisiana’s streets and watersheds by emphasizing litter enforcement and awareness, capital improvements, and technological innovation in the deployment of cutting-edge trash-trap systems. Deriving directly from LSC’s achievements, HB 713 was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards in June 2022, officially declaring stormwater a utility. This legislation gives municipalities a local option to create and permanently fund stormwater management programs, as well as empowering these communities to effectively solve their litter and flooding problems in the long term. LSC’s work in the last two years has directly resulted in less flooding and litter, economic development and jobs, and a safer and healthier environment throughout the state.

Keep Bossier Beautiful (KBB), founded in 1985 and restructured in 2019, hosts programs to end litter and promote environmental education. Led by Executive Director Lynn Bryan and an advisory board, KBB has made major headway in recent years, creating a recycling resource hub for citizens, and hosting numerous cleanup and beautification events. In 2021, KBB conducted 31 events, engaging 1051 volunteers in 61,698 volunteer hours. These events led to the planting of over 720 plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees, and the removal of 49,530 pounds of litter from Bossier’s roadways and waterways. KBB received a Cleanup Supplies Grant, Healthy Communities Grant, and Program Grants from KLB totaling over $20,000. One of the organization’s major accomplishments was the first ever recycling program at a correctional facility in Louisiana, diverting cardboard and paper waste from the landfill using a baler purchased by the local Police Jury. KBB also created a “Keep Your Butts in Your Pants” cigarette butt litter campaign, removing over 9,000 cigarette butts, engaging over 1,000 local citizens, and distributing over 500 pocket ashtrays.

Sponsored in memory of C.B. Forgotston Jr.

The longtime coordinator for Tangipahoa Parish’s litter prevention project and Executive Director of Keep Tangipahoa Beautiful, Ginger Tastet lives and breathes the message of community beautification. Whether she’s organizing a Saturday morning cleanup, taking school children on educational tours of the parish landfill, or simply walking around a neighborhood picking up trash, Tastet is ever mindful of the mission to make Tangipahoa Parish shine. Her leadership style is one of gentle mentorship—not heavy-handed lecturing, and as a result, she’s making tremendous progress in helping change attitudes and behaviors that lead to littering. She spearheaded Rocksey’s Toolbox in Tangipahoa Parish, an elementary school educational program that teaches children about litter awareness, who in turn, share what they have learned with their parents and other adults in their lives. Tastet had over 1,000 elementary students participate in Rocksey’s Toolbox and continues to expand the program.

Sponsored in memory of C.B. Forgotston Jr.

Convention Center StaffThe New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center regularly hosts national conferences, tradeshows, sporting events, and high-profile local events such as charity galas and Carnival balls. But now they are talking trash!  In 2021, they completed their first ever Event Waste Audit, in pursuit of a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The results of the audit were shared with the public in two presentations: Life City’s “Talking Trash” Ted Talk and a Keep Louisiana Beautiful webinar, both in late 2021. With the knowledge learned from the audit, the Convention Center improved the facility’s recycling/waste reduction programs – doubling the footprint of attendee recycling, adding in plastics, and increasing pallet and cardboard recycling. They also piloted composting in the public spaces and exhibit halls and will be launching event attendee compost this year. Completed projects include 87 new bottle filing stations that will reduce plastic use, restroom upgrades for water reduction, and a new pedestrian park with 200 trees, rain gardens, and outdoor space.

Oscar D. Howard Jr. (Donta) is the Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Alexandria. He has gone above and beyond expectations and fully embraced the city’s participation in the annual Cleanest City competition, working year-round to encourage and document clean up efforts throughout the city. He also played a key role in developing the city’s new Adopt-A-Street program. It is safe to say Howard has a passion for improving his community and has become the face of the city’s efforts to clean up and beautify Alexandria.

Led by local realtor and volunteer extraordinaire, Jennifer Richardson, Keep Tiger Town Beautiful is a group of litter warriors in Baton Rouge who are passionate about keeping their community clean through weekly cleanups. The group was created 21 months ago, and they are already 3,800 members strong. During Love the Boot Week, 100 volunteers covered over 8 miles, filling 133 bags with litter. Since their inception, the group has filled 4,700 bags with litter, placed and maintained 72 public trash cans, and raised awareness for the issue of litter in Baton Rouge. Keep Tiger Town Beautiful continues to grow its impact as a grassroots, citizen-funded organization, and they are in the process of becoming a 501c3 non-profit.

Jane Boudreaux devoted herself to making Louisiana and Assumption Parish the healthiest and cleanest place possible. As the mother of six children and a retired school nurse for Head Start, she has always been very concerned about the living conditions our youth will inherit. She stepped up to organize community action against a proposed landfill in Assumption Parish, which lasted 20 years. Under Jane’s leadership and with the help of many, the landfill was finally defeated. She also served as a board member of the Assumption Chamber of Commerce and was on the LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities Committee. She helped to begin Keep Assumption Beautiful (KAB), serving as the Executive Director/President for 12 years and promoting many projects to clean up and beautify Assumption Parish. Her dynamic drive and caring personality have enabled her to reach the citizens on ways to reduce litter and care for the environment.