Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) hosted its annual State Conference Oct. 11-12 at Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, welcoming all to attend to learn about the eight recommendations made by the Governor’s Task Force on Statewide Litter Abatement and Beautification to improve the state’s litter problem. The conference was the largest and most impactful to date thanks to support from KLB partners, sponsors, Community and University Affiliates, partner agencies, and everyone in attendance — all passionate individuals dedicated to reducing litter and waste in Louisiana. In attendance to share, learn, and network were individuals from 9 different states, 34 parishes, 8 state agencies, 54 local governments and cities, 12 universities, and 95 companies.
Highlights from day one included keynote speaker Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, who spoke about how Louisiana is moving forward with the Task Force’s recommendations. He emphasized that it’s going to take a commitment from us all to stop litter in Louisiana, whether you are a business owner or a student in elementary school.
During the day one lunch program, Dr. James Henderson, President of the University of Louisiana System, addressed the crowd and recognized the first class of KLB University Affiliates. The Community Affiliates who met KLB’s requirements for the 2022 Circle of Excellence were also recognized during the lunch program, receiving a plaque and cash award from Cabell Mouton, KLB Affiliate and Grant Director, and Jennifer Lawson, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful (KAB).
Day two highlights included a presentation by keynote speaker Jennifer Lawson, who spoke about KAB’s vision, implementing research driven solutions, and investigating how economically challenged communities can find the economic value in removing waste and litter.
The conference concluded with the Everyday Hero Awards luncheon featuring Governor John Bel Edwards as the keynote speaker and honoring individuals, businesses, and non-profits going above and beyond to clean up Louisiana. The 2022 Everyday Heroes recognized for their efforts include Jane Boudreaux of Assumption Parish (Alice Foster Award), Oscar D. Howard Jr. of the City of Alexandria (Golden Can Award), New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (Corporate Leadership Award), Louisiana Stormwater Coalition (Most Innovative Program Award), Gabreyela Gonzalez of Zachary High School (Youth Leadership Award), Keep Bossier Beautiful (Outstanding Affiliate Award), Ginger Tastet of Keep Tangipahoa Beautiful (Outstanding Affiliate Director Award), Corporal Jason Stagg of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) (Litter Enforcement Award), and Keep Tiger Town Beautiful (Let Louisiana Shine Award). Read about the 2022 Everyday Heroes here.
Presenting these awards were Chuck Brown, Secretary of LDEQ; Mark Cooper, Governor’s Chief of Staff; Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of Administration; Jennifer Lawson, President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful; Jack Montoucet, Secretary of LDWF; E.J. Forgotston; and Shawn Wilson, Secretary of LDOTD.
The KLB State Conference and the Everyday Hero Awards were made possible thanks to The Alta and John Franks Foundation; E.J. Adams Forgotston in memory of C.B Forgotston Jr., Evangeline Specialties; Hayworth, Waymouth & Carroll, LLP; Louisiana Beverage Association; Mele Printing; and Waste Management. Also supporting the conference were KLB’s partners, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and Keep America Beautiful.
Conference exhibitors included Clean Earth, Inc., Louisiana Clean Fuels, Louisiana Department of Cultural Recreation and Tourism, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Recycling Coalition, Louisiana Stormwater Coalition, Osprey Initiative, and Waste Management.