2021 Board of Directors




When Paula Hladky retired from the working world, she found a perfect place to use her people skills and talents as a volunteer. She is currently volunteering for Douglas County Emergency Management, Keep America Beautiful, Perry Pride, The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center and on the Outreach Board for Domestic Violence in Jefferson County. She and her husband, Willard Epling, received President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award for their commitment to The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center. Paula lives in Perry, Kansas with her wonderful husband. They spend their free time riding bicycles and cheering on the Jayhawks. Paula has been a Silver Haired Legislature representative for Jefferson County for several years. Willard and Paula are also co-presidents of Perry Senior Citizens providing a monthly luncheon, wellness exams, and socialization for approximately 50 area senior citizens.


Steve has been a member of KAB for three years, serving as a committee chairperson and now on the Board of Directors as secretary. Prior to his involvement in KAB, Steve was, and continues to be, an active member of the Topeka Beautification Association, an organization that promotes and sponsors beautification through landscaping, gardening and community involvement in creating and maintaining natural areas in public spaces around Topeka and Shawnee County. He is a long-time supporter of recycling and involving community members in protecting our environment. Steve serves as the University Registrar at Washburn University and prior to that, worked at KU. Go Bods and Jayhawks!!!

Steve has been proud to call himself a Kansan since 2008. Prior to that he was actively involved in service and local government in his native state of Michigan. Although he misses the vibrant fall colors of the north, he can’t imagine living anywhere else than his adopted home state of Kansas, and is a fervent proponent of all that Topeka and Shawnee County has to offer.


Maggie was a natural fit for Keep America Beautiful.  An avid recycler for many years, she was brought up by a mother that taught you should always leave any place better than you found it!!  She grew up as an animal lover and inherited a green thumb from her father, who was an organic gardener (before it was popular).  As an adult, Maggie has always been a volunteer, as well as a natural health professional.  She feels blessed having grown up in Topeka.  Maggie has served her community well, serving in many capacities at her church, having been a Chamber Ambassador, and a Keep America Beautiful volunteer.  Maggie helps out at many KAB special events and also serves as Co-Chair of the Education Committee helping to create new presentations.


Marcia joined KAB two years ago as a way to help her beloved community. As a native Topekan, she loves her town and wants to see it at its best. Marcia retired from the City of Topeka after working there over 30+ years. She worked in the City Attorney’s Office and City Manager’s Office. Her work experience attributes to her belief everyone should try to make our City better by recycling efforts and educating residents on environmental issues. She enjoys the KAB special trash pick-up events and volunteering to help with public gardens by planting and maintenance.

Marcia has been a Chamber Ambassador, a United Way fund raiser, a volleyball assistant coach, a Girl Scout leader, and held many PTO positions in the Shawnee Heights school district. Her other volunteer experiences include helping family members with tons of projects, making t-shirt quilts and volunteering at a local hospice.


Philicia McKee was appointed Executive Director of Keep America Beautiful-Topeka/Shawnee County in August of 2005. She rejoined the local workforce after home schooling her two children for the previous 10 years. Prior to her teaching position, Philicia served as Promotions Manager for WIBW AM/FM radio, was a travel agent for Maupintour Travel and managed the area station of Royal Air, a Midwestern commuter airline. Philicia has also been extremely active in the Topeka/Shawnee County area Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, serving as a leader for over 14 years, earning regional and national leadership recognition. Philicia’s past career and volunteer experiences have uniquely qualified her to lead the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and she looks forward to continued involvement in Topeka and Shawnee County promoting the earth-friendly practices of the KAB organization.

KAB Committee Chairpersons

Business Committee:  Willard Epling and Mary Thomas

Communications Committee:  Sherry Clayton and Lacey McKee 

Community Organizations Committee: Judy Gatewood and Mary Cox

Education: Maggie Kelley and Mary Snyder

Government Committee: Aaron Grams and Bill Sutton

IT and Social Media: Mary Snyder