ABN Spotlights Alanna McKissack, Executive Director of Keep Blount Beautiful
As Executive Director for Keep Blount Beautiful, Alanna McKissack handles all of the day to day operations of the nonprofit.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Alanna served an AmeriCorps term with Keep Knoxville Beautiful as a program coordinator, and later made the move to Executive Director for the Blount County program.
Keep Blount Beautiful has been a cornerstone of environmental protection and education in Blount County since 1992 with a mission to encourage and educate Blount County residents to take action to improve and beautify their community. The nonprofit has four main areas of focus: litter prevention, education, waste reduction, and beautification.
While Keep Blount Beautiful holds several large litter pickup and recycling events each year, the majority of cleanup and beautification events are focused on specific communities.
“I really do believe that we have to start small to improve the environment,” says Alanna. “I would like to see us reaching more of the younger generation here within the next year. This program has been around for 20 years but many younger people still don’t know about it.”
The educational opportunities offered by Keep Blount Beautiful form the basis of the organization’s relationship with students in the Blount County area. Field trips offer students the opportunity to tour the landfill to learn about where waste goes and how to reduce it. Students also visit the EcoCenter, where there are games and fun activities to aid in learning about waste reduction and environmental protection.
While Alanna says she loves the mission of Keep Blount Beautiful, the chance to work in the community is her favorite part. “Working with kids and being there as a resource for the community is the best part of my job,” says Alanna. “There is a visible result in the work that we do, whether its teaching kids or getting outside and cleaning.”
Keep Blount Beautiful has continued to grow, and Alanna hopes to expand the organization’s litter and educational programs to get more people involved.
“Working with Keep Blount Beautiful has been great, and it’s been a wonderful way to get involved and help out in the community,” Alanna says.
Alanna also serves as treasurer of the Alliance for Young Nonprofit Professionals (AYNP), an affinity group of ABN with a mission to connect, empower, and develop young professionals in the East TN nonprofit sector through opportunities in career development, networking, and community engagement.
For more information about Keep Blount Beautiful, visit their website at www.keepblountbeautiful.org.
Madi Mayfield is a junior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Public Relations.