MPF announces search for new executive director

March 12, 2014 by Janette Law

Search begins following departure of Mary deLaittre

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation announced it has initiated a search for a new executive director, following the departure of Mary deLaittre, who served more than two years in the position. The Parks Foundation has named Peg Birk as interim executive director.

“We commend Mary for her contributions and dedicated service to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, and the strong relationships she built and expanded with one of our most valued partners, the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board (MPRB),” said Daniel Avchen, board chair, Minneapolis Parks Foundation Board. “Mary’s expertise inspired the first of many complex city-building parks projects that will change the way we engage with the Mississippi River for generations.”

The Board of Directors is in the process of forming a search committee to seek a replacement executive director.

Birk has agreed to fill the position on an interim basis. She has extensive experience in guiding private and public organizations through executive-level management transitions in her past roles as president and CEO of Interim Solutions, the transitional general secretary of the National Council of Churches, and as an interim president and CEO of McKnight Foundation.

“Peg has been recognized as a creative and persistent leader, and we appreciate her serving as our interim executive director,” said Avchen. “We are confident her provisional leadership experience in other strongly visible organizations will help us to continue execute our mission.”

The Parks Foundation is positioned with a strong interim executive director who is motivated to continue the progress of the organization’s priorities. Birk will lead the continued RiverFirst work with MPRB to reconnect people to miles of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis and complete the schematic design phase of Water Works, a future destination park on the Minneapolis Central Riverfront.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is creating the Next Generation of Parks™. Through the generosity of donors and grantmakers, the Foundation provides private-sector leadership and funding for RiverFirst and Water Works, innovative urban design projects that build on the 100-year legacy of visionary parks. The Foundation works collaboratively with multiple government and non-profit partners on these parks projects, as well as the Foundation’s education programs – SiteSeeing urban design curriculum and the Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series. The Minneapolis park system enhances the quality of life of the city and contributes to social and economic environments that strengthen communities throughout the region. For more information or to support our work, please visit

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Media Contact: Janette Law at 612-822-3407

One Response to MPF announces search for new executive director

  1. Cordelia Pierson says:

    I would like meet with you to review potential priority projects connecting the Mississippi River with people through parks, trails, and programming, and learn more about your current work. I serve as the regional commissioner for the state’s Mississippi River Parkway Commission, a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee for the Central Riverfront Regional Park, president of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Organization, and chair of the Mississippi River Trail- Stone Arch/Dinkytown Link Task Force. The neighborhood is hosting an Earth Day River cleanup on April 26 by the Stone Arch Bridge, and a river connection event on May 3, featuring history, art, and nature, and potentially including a walk to our newest celebrities, “George and Martha,” the eagles nesting near St. Anthony Falls.

    Please let me know if you are available to meet in person or by phone. Thank you!

    Cordelia Pierson 651-815-1268

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