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 $400,000 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 these successful programs 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 Pogo the dog.
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
After graduating with distinction from Babson College, Andy Bank received his CPA and gained valuable experience working with Ernst and Young. At International Forest Products Corporation, a leading paper and pulp importer/exporter, Andy managed the eight-person accounting/finance department. He assumed responsibility for preparing periodic financial reports to senior management and overseas subsidiaries, as well as overseeing all required tax filings and audits. After 10 years of experience in finance, operations, and public accounting, Andy joined Triton Technologies in Mansfield, MA as the company’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
Steve Masterson, Board Member & Vice Chair
Steve was born into the New England lifestyle of spending every moment he could outdoors. This shaped his passion for protecting the environment and led to him starting multiple green initiatives for the community. Steve graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a business degree and currently works as a solutions consultant for TriNet. Steve enjoys leveraging his experience in fundraising and project management to empower his community to keep Boston (and Massachusetts) beautiful.
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 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.
Steve Changaris, Board Member
Steve is the Northeast Regional Director for the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA). He works with the region's recycling, organics, and waste companies and interacts on their behalf at the state, local, regional, special authority, and county level. Steve has also managed the association’s Future Industry Leaders Alliance (FILA) that helps younger industry professionals learn and grow professionally. Steve resides in Grafton Massachusetts with his wife Anne of 38 years. He has two adult children and two young grandsons. His interests include sports, travel, and enjoying the Delaware River in its wild and scenic upper region.
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 city-wide cigarette litter reduction plan, and coordinated environmental stewardship programming in local schools. She has first-hand experience working for non-profit organizations as well as state and federal government agencies, and she is eager to contribute her expertise to the state-wide efforts of Keep Mass Beautiful.
Jim LaFond-Lewis, Board Member
At the foot of Great Blue Hill, candy maker, poet and photographer Jim LaFond-Lewis was unable to take a pleasing landscape photo of the magnificent Fowl Meadow in Hyde Park without first cleaning the litter from the side of the road. So began an obsession with cleaning up decades of trash and dumping. Among his most memorable finds were a giant stack of used adult diapers and a live WWII era mortar shell (removed and exploded by the Boston Bomb Squad).
After multiple cleanings and re-cleanings, it was quickly apparent to Jim that the problem was far deeper than changing the habits of a few miscreants. Named a Hometown Hero by Blue Hills Bank, he joined the nascent Keep Hyde Park Beautiful chapter of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful while continuing to keep Meadow Road clean. In his search for a solution, he realized that nothing short of a cultural sea change was needed. Jim joined the KMB board hoping to contribute to a statewide effort to educate, inform, and inspire personal and collective action, especially in the younger generations. Jim currently lives in Hyde Park with his wife Cheryl.
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 non-profit organization. She also volunteers with the 143 Exchange, a kid’s 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.
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.