The Board of Directors for Keep Massachusetts Beautiful oversees the organization’s operations and sets policy.
Board members contribute their expertise, passion, and skills to help us fulfill our mission. This may include serving on or leading a committee, fundraising, or offering guidance. If you are interested in joining our board, please contact us.
Board of Directors
Neil Rhein, Founder & Executive Director
After the amount of litter in his hometown of Mansfield, MA, became too much for him to bear, Neil Rhein decided to organize a committee of local volunteers to clean it up. The success of the first Great American Cleanup of Mansfield in 2008 led to the formation of Keep Mansfield Beautiful.
Since its inception, Keep Mansfield Beautiful has drastically reduced the volume of litter, beautified public spaces, fostered a sense of community pride, and delivered volunteer labor and in-kind donations worth more than $350,000 to the town of Mansfield. In the process, the town has become a cleaner, greener place to live, work, and play. In 2014, Neil founded Keep Massachusetts Beautiful to help bring the same success to towns and cities across Massachusetts.
When he’s not working to advance the cause of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful, Neil operates Bullseye Communications, where he provides professional writing, editing, proofreading, and graphic design services to corporate clients. He also serves as vice-chair of the Mansfield Select Board and is a member of the Massachusetts Municipal Association's Energy and Environment Policy Committee. Neil resides in Mansfield, MA, with his wife and their dog, Pogo.
Thomas A. Mackie, Board President
Thomas A. Mackie is an environmental business lawyer and shareholder of the Boston environmental law firm of Mackie Shea Durning. For over thirty-five years, he has advised companies in the environmental industry and other businesses facing environmental issues. He handles facility siting, environmental and land use permitting, appeals, regulatory compliance, enforcement defense, Brownfields projects, and liability claims.
Currently, Mr. Mackie serves as vice-chairman of the Board of the Environmental Business Council of New England, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden. He regularly presents at seminars on environmental law and regulation for the EBC, Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and other organizations. For the last fifteen years, he has authored the chapter on “Massachusetts Solid Waste Law and Regulation” in the Massachusetts Environmental Law treatise published by MCLE. In 2016, he was named to the MassDEP’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee.
Mr. Mackie graduated from Hobart College and earned his JD, cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New York.
Andy Bank, Board Member & Treasurer
Andy is a CPA and formerly led the finance and accounting functions at Triton Technologies and International Forest Products. He currently heads up the finance and accounting functions at LABUR. He is a graduate of Babson College and resides in Mansfield.
Bonnie Combs, Board Member & Clerk
Bonnie Combs is a passionate and active environmentalist who dedicates her time to causes that help make the world a cleaner and better place. Over the past 20 years, she has volunteered her time in cleaning up the Charles River, the Blackstone River, and countless other community cleanups. She is the Marketing Director at Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. and manages its Trash Responsibly™ program, impacting 25 communities within the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. She has launched several new recycling programs targeting monofilament fishing line, Styrofoam, and plastic. In 2016, she received the Environmental Leader Award from the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Ainsley Smith, Board Member
Ainsley is a marine biologist who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Ithaca College and a Master's of Environmental Management degree from Duke University. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she lived in multiple coastal states before landing on the North Shore several years ago.
Ainsley is the chair of the Gloucester Clean City Commission, where she successfully oversaw the passage of Gloucester's plastic bag and polystyrene ordinances, developed a citywide cigarette litter reduction plan, and coordinated environmental stewardship programming in local schools. She has firsthand experience working for nonprofit organizations, as well as state and federal government agencies, and she is eager to contribute her expertise to the statewide efforts of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful.
Monica Pennell, Board Member
Monica lives in North Central Massachusetts and has been an avid outdoor sports enthusiast for most of her life. After years of competitive mountain bike racing, she is now focusing on slowing down and appreciating the natural beauty that New England is known for. However, taking a closer look has been difficult. In her very rural and quiet town, the litter was clearly a problem. As a Telecommunications Senior Technical Support Engineer, problem-solving is her daily pursuit, so she turned her energy to solving the litter problem in her town of Ashby and founded Keep Ashby Beautiful. Monica is also a mother of two young daughters, a wife, and an artist. Her inspiration for taking action is her family and a deep concern for the environment.
Sarah Burgess, Board Member
Sarah moved to Massachusetts from the UK in 2018 and rediscovered her love for the sea on beach walks to clear her head. While there she would take a bag and pick up the trash she found. This experience was eye-opening and never-ending.
A 2020 New Year’s Eve beach walk with her family, litter picking as they went, led to the creation of Just1bag2020. Just1Bag2020 was a project to collect and inspire other people to collect 2,020 bags of litter in 2020. This idea has now grown to so much more, with litter collectors all over the world joining in to show that individuals, when they work together, can make a massive difference. Follow Just1Bag2020 on Instagram and Facebook at @just1bag2020.
Sarah serves as an advisor to the Cohasset Open Spaces and Recreation Committee and is in the process of setting up Just1Bag as a nonprofit organization. She also volunteers with the 143 Exchange, a kids' clothing swap, promoting the reuse and recycling of clothes on the South Shore. She’s excited to join the Keep Massachusetts Beautiful board and work together to promote litter-free communities and environmental programs.
Meg Morris, Board Member
Meg has been involved in waste, recycling, and litter abatement for more than 30 years in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She co-founded the Cape Cod Anti-Litter Coalition, a group dedicated to focusing on education that changes attitudes and behaviors and leads to a culture where littering is considered socially unacceptable. She continues to serve the Town of Brewster as its Chair of the Recycling Commission. In that position, she was able to champion the Pay as you Throw system which increases recycling and decreases trash. She is the co-organizer of Beautify Brewster, a town-wide yearly cleanup event.
Meg received the National Recycling Coalition’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2016 and the Lifetime Commitment Award in 2020 from MassRecycle, having previously received a similar award from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling. She shares her home on Cape Cod with her husband and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, her new best furry friend. She is enthusiastic about keeping Cape Cod and Massachusetts clean and plans to help bring the prevention of litter to the forefront.
Join Our Board!
We are currently seeking talented people to serve on our Board of Directors. In particular, we are seeking people who are passionate about cleaning up and beautifying our communities and who have experience in finance, fundraising, communications, public relations, social media, law, or other specialties.
If you are interested in serving on our Board of Directors, please contact us.