Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation Staff

Darlene Walser
Executive Director

Darlene Walser is the executive director and leads the strategic direction of the organization, the Saint Paul Design Center, and key projects. Darlene brings 25 years of successful community-planning and implementation experience from around the country, and has expertise in equitable mixed-income, mixed-use develop that links the design of physical places with the design of human capital systems.

Most recently Darlene led Hennepin County’s Bottineau Light Rail Transit Community Works Program, where she worked to ensure communities along the proposed Blue Line Extension LRT corridor were actively engaged in land use planning that would effectively leverage the proposed $1.5 billion transit investment. The previous 15 years she was Vice President of McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc., a national, mission-driven development company specializing in economically-integrated housing and comprehensive community development strategies in urban neighborhoods. She has planned and implemented a range of comprehensive community development initiatives across the country that included mixed-income housing, community centers, parks, community gardens, and transit-oriented development resulting in thousands of units of mixed-income housing, reconnected neighborhoods, and billions of dollars in leveraged investments.

Darlene is a 2006 recipient of the Bush Foundation’s Leadership Fellowship which she used to earn a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. She received a B.A. from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of Bochum, in Germany. She is the Founder of MACTION (now the Institute for Global Citizenship) at Macalester College, worked as a community organizer for the Jordan Area Community Council, and served as a HUD Community Renaissance Fellow for the Seattle Housing Authority.

Jean Rieck
Executive Assistant and Office Manager

Jean Rieck has been an executive/administrative assistant and office manager for over 21 years, the past eleven of which have been spent at Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation. Her expertise include assisting directors and staff with various tasks, coordinating meetings and events both large to small, and supervising staff and volunteers. At SPRC, Jean is responsible for providing high-level administrative support and scheduling to the Executive Director. She also manages all office operations, making sure the office runs smoothly and efficiently. During her tenure here, she is proud of her efforts to increase efficiency, lower costs, and increased recycling practices.

In her free time, Jean volunteers at her church counting money, preparing the lector/communion distributor schedule, and serving as the treasurer of their ladies organization. She has, in the past, hosted students from Brazil, China, Hungry, Poland, Slovakia, Mexico and South Korea.

SPRC works with a number of consultants to support our work including special projects, finance, communications, and design.