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, Mass. 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 been 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 the state.
When he’s not volunteering his time, Neil operates Bullseye Communications, where he provides professional writing, editing, proofreading, and graphic design services to corporate clients. He also runs GreenCents Communications, where he helps municipalities, schools, and recycling companies teach people how to recycle correctly. Neil resides in Mansfield, MA with his wife and two daughters (and Pogo the dog), where he is an elected member of the Mansfield Select Board.
Jane Ellis, Board President
Jane Ellis brings to her role with Keep Massachusetts Beautiful extensive experience in the for-profit, non-profit and public sectors. She has held general management positions in a variety of organizations. Prior to joining Tower Hill Botanical Garden as Chief Financial and Operating Officer, she was Vice President of Operations for Boston Harbor Island Alliance, the non-profit partner operating Boston Harbor Islands national and state park. In this capacity, Jane managed various earned income streams as well as providing financial and administrative oversight for the organization.
Jane also served as the first executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank. She has 20 years’ experience managing law firms and a professional background that includes a variety of positions that run the gamut from property management to broadcast journalism.
Jane lives in Worcester with her husband, Perry, a teacher-naturalist with Mass Audubon, and their daughter, Laura.
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.
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.
Thomas Mackie, Board Member
Thomas A. Mackie is an environmental business lawyer and Managing Shareholder of the Boston environmental law firm of Mackie Shea, PC. 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, Thomas serves as Chairman of the Board of the Environmental Business Council of New England, and on 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 J.D., cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School. He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New York.
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 the 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. He is the father of two children who have moved to cleaner states. Jim currently lives in Hyde Park with Cheryl, his wife of 38 years.
Steve Masterson, Board Member
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.
Kristin Blake, Board Member
Kristin's passion for the environment started as soon as she could walk, digging for earthworms in her family's compost pile and wandering her backyard catching ladybugs and katydids.
Kristin is currently a communications manager for Veolia North America, an environmental services company headquartered in Boston, where she supports the company's waste business unit, providing media relations and community relations guidance to more than 50 sites across the United States.
Raised in New Jersey, Kristin earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Drew University where she also minored in environmental studies and sustainability. For the past five years, Kristin has worked in educating communities on the importance of sustainable and responsible waste management.
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.