Background: Near 10th Avenue Bridge

Credit: Mark Hendricks under CC BY 2.0 license via ⋅ Image resolution reduced and gradient and graphic elements overlaid.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

John Crippen


David Tinjum

 Vice Chair

Elizabeth Hinz


Doug Snyder


Meg Forney

Al Swintek

Public agency board appointments

Now a city-wide Commissioner on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), she was the south representative to Above the Falls (AFCAC) and was appointed the MPRB chair for AFCAC Phase 1. Her great grandfathers were grist millwrights at St. Anthony Falls; she rows in the Mississippi River gorge all summer (between strokes, she watches the majesty of the wildlife there); and she enjoyed paddling the Mississippi Challenge with her husband. She also serves on the Minneapolis Planning Commission, St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and has been a Realtor for Coldwell Banker Burnet since 1978.

With the Mississippi River running through the Third Ward of Minneapolis, City Council Member Jacob Frey understands the importance of this national treasure and is committed to making it a vibrant highlight for our entire city. As Jacob states, our city should not be divided by the river, but united by it. Prior to being elected to the City Council, Jacob practiced law at Faegre Baker Daniels and then Halunen & Associates. Awarded the City of Minneapolis’ first annual Martin Luther King Jr. Award, Jacob has established a strong commitment to community organization and helping those who are less fortunate.

Linda Higgins is on the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. Before joining the Hennepin County Board, Higgins was the Minnesota State Senator from District 58, representing Downtown and North Minneapolis from 1997 to 2012. While a member of the Senate, she served on numerous committees including Capital Investment, Environment and Natural Resources, Finance, and Health and Human Services. Linda lives in North Minneapolis.

Serving as president of the Minneapolis City Council since 2006, Barbara Johnson represents the Fourth Ward, with the Mississippi River on its eastern edge. Living in northwest Minneapolis, she is a founding member of the Victory Neighborhood Association and its former chair. Before her fifteen years as City Council member, she served for eighteen years on the Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission, and was appointed to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Commission. As a registered nurse, she is very interested in health sector growth in Minneapolis and partnerships through biotechnology.

Representing the First Ward on the City Council, Kevin Reich has a natural interest in the Mississippi River, which marks his ward’s western edge. A Northeast Minneapolis native, he served as project director the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association, and as a director on the board of the Eastside Food Co-op, neighborhood organizations, and local social service and sports foundations.

Suzanne Smith is an architect and leads the University’s capital planning and construction activities. As the University Architect, she recognizes the Mississippi River is an important asset and a critical image to the University of Minnesota and its Twin Cities Campus, which spans the east and west banks of the river. Suzanne’s career includes more than twenty-five years in the public and private sectors working in the planning, design and construction of projects. Prior to joining the University, she worked as a designer and project manager for several architectural firms, project architect for the University of California, San Diego campus and principal architect for the University of California system.

As Executive Director of the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO), Doug Snyder brings extensive experience in water quality, landscape architecture, and financial management. The MWMO is a watershed organization representing much of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. He lives in St. Paul.

Anita Tabb is the commissioner representing District 4 to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. A graduated of the University of Oklahoma, including receiving an MBA, Tabb started her career in consulting at Accenture, then later worked in human resources and customer service in the telecommunications field. She has served on the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association Board, and serves on the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board.

Serving as Third District commissioner on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Scott Vreeland represents the west bank of the Mississippi River from downtown to the Lower Gorge. With experience teaching, acting, and working in carpentry, he provided leadership in neighborhood organizations in his district. He lives near the Mississippi River in south Minneapolis.

Liz Wielinski was elected in 2009 and again in 2013 to serve on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, representing District 1, in the City’s Northeast corner - all areas east of the Mississippi River. As her Park Board webpage states, she “looks forward to adding to our system along the riverfront, by increasing our trail system and getting shovels in the ground to bring back Hall’s Island!” She serves as the President of the Park Board.

Blong Yang represents the Fifth Ward and resides in North Minneapolis. He serves as Chair of Public Safety, Civil Rights & Emergency Management Committee on the City Council. He holds a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School. Prior to serving on the City Council he was a practicing attorney.

Riverfront stakeholder appointments

Anna Bierbrauer is a founding member of Eastside Environmental Quality of Life (EEQL) and the Bottineau Neighborhood representative on the Above the Falls Citizen Advisory Committee. Anna owns a design and planning studio called Floodplain Collective and has worked on many local projects including the Hennepin County Lowry Ave NE design, Eastside Storage and Maintenance Facility, and, in partnership with Metro Blooms and Mother Earth Gardens, sustainable landscape projects in NE neighborhoods bringing environmentally sound and cutting-edge practices to our city. Anna is also an Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota - College of Design.

Working as Director of Historic Sites and Museums for the Minnesota Historical Society, John Crippen formerly served as the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board Coordinator and on Minneapolis’s Heritage Preservation Commission. A south Minneapolis resident, he brings extensive expertise in historic interpretation.

Elizabeth Hinz is a long time resident of Cooper neighborhood (Longfellow community) and Prospect Park/East River Road. She has a lifelong affinity for rivers beginning with her childhood along the Yellow Medicine River, a prairie tributary to the Minnesota River. She is a rower on the Mississippi River in Pool 1 and is a member of Minneapolis Rowing Club, but also kayaks, sails and skis on rivers and lakes. Her background is in urban planning and social work, and she has recently retired as an administrator with Minneapolis Public Schools. Zib is a board member of People Serving People Shelter, a member of the River Gorge Committee of the Longfellow Community Council and serves on committees of First Congregational Church, Minneapolis.

Ted Tucker is a board member of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association. He is a member of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board and the University District Alliance. Tucker is also the past chair of the Minneapolis Planning Commission.

Appointments by the Board of Directors

As a Vice-President at Highland Banks, Mike works to empower small business owners through access to capital throughout the 11-county metro area. Mike was born and raised in North Minneapolis. His family goes back to some of the first fur traders that initially settled along the Minneapolis Riverfront and utilized it for the amazing resource it is. As a result, Mike feels a deep connection to the Minneapolis Riverfront and a responsibility to preserve and improve it for future generations. Before joining Highland Bank, Mike spent 15 years in commercial lending in the Twin Cities in various community development focused roles at CRF, Wells Fargo Bank, Sunrise Banks and others. Mike is also a member of the City of Minneapolis CPED Development and Finance Committee which provides City leaders with advice on requests for financing. Mike also serves as Treasurer for Still Kickin, a Minneapolis-based national non-profit that supports families experiencing loss. Mike, his wife Sara, and his sons David and Daniel reside in Southwest Minneapolis.

A journalist who specializes in architecture, historic preservation and the built environment, Linda Mack serves on the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board. Architecture critic for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for more than 20 years, she freelances for regional and national magazines including Architecture Minnesota, Mpls/St. Paul, and Metropolis. She lives in South Minneapolis.

Alisa lives in St Anthony West Neighborhood and enjoys having the beauty of the riverfront and parks along with the vibrancy and amenities of the city in walking/biking distance. She is Vice Chair of the St Anthony West Neighborhood Organization (STAWNO) and on the Fundraising and Riverfront Parks Committees. As part of her involvement with STAWNO she helped to create a history guide for the Historic Riverfront 5K run/walk, partnering with the Mill City Museum and the MN Historic Society.

Morlock is the director of community relations for the Twin Cities Campus at University of Minnesota.

President of RSP Architects since 1985, David Norback has led the firm through consistent growth and expansion to become one of the largest architecture firms based in Minnesota. He located the business in the century-old Grain Belt Brewery on the Minneapolis riverfront in northeast Minneapolis, and lives near the Mississippi River gorge in St. Paul,Minnesota. In 2010, he was voted one of 200 influential Minnesotans by Twin Cities Business Magazine.

Alexis works as a database manager for a local media firm and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Communications Studies.

Alexis has lived in Minneapolis since 1997. For the last year and a half, he has worked with neighbors to advocate for a new Greenway in North Minneapolis as well as working on various Bikeways For Everyone campaign projects in downtown and North Minneapolis.

He is currently involved in his community as a member of the Hennepin County Capital Budget Task Force, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition Vice President, Above the Falls Citizen Advisory Committee, Folwell Neighborhood Association Board Vice Chair, Fifth Congressional District DFL Chair, North Minneapolis Bicycle Advocacy Council Co-Founder, and Northside Greenway Council.

Michael has worked for the Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association for 30 years. He has a Marketing degree from the University of St. Thomas and a certificate in non-profit management for the University of Notre Dame.

Michael is currently involved in his community as a board member of the Ritz Theater, St. Anthony West Neighborhood Organization, the NE Arts District and De La Salle High School. He also serves on the Minneapolis Police Chief’s Citizen Advisory Committee and in the past has served as a Commissioner for the Mississippi River Parkway Commission of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Parks Open Space Commission.

Heidi is a marketing professional with nearly 10 years of experience in the Twin Cities corporate real estate industry. As Director of Marketing for NTH, Inc., she manages marketing strategy and implementaion and recently completed a complete brand overhaul for NTH (formerly Nelson, Tietz and Hoye). Raised in Michigan, Heidi is no stranger to iconic waters. The experience of growing up in a region defined, both culturally and geographically, by the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world had a lasting impact on her sense of place. Heidi sees a future for Minneapolis in which we honor the internationally known Mississippi River for the remarkable resource it is and fully realize the potential of the riverfront to connect our neighborhoods, unite our community and welcome new visitors to our world-class city.

Al Swintek is the Manager of CenterPoint Energy’s local government relations activities in Minnesota, where he is responsible for strengthening the company’s relationships with local officials and supporting public policy initiatives important to communities that CenterPoint Energy serves. Al began his career with CenterPoint Energy in 1980, where he has served in a variety of sales, management and leadership roles. He currently serves on the Minneapolis Downtown Council Board of Directors and has been involved with a number of river-related initiatives, including the Above the Falls plan and most recently, the RiverFirst Initiative.

David Tinjum grew up in North Minneapolis and now lives on the Central Riverfront. Seeing a need for better communication and community action among riverfront residents, he founded and publishes the Mill City Times website and weekly newsletter, which has mobilized the community on important civic issues. He is Chair of the Mill District Neighborhood Association, a member of the Central Riverfront Regional Park Master Planning Citizens Advisory Committee, a member of the Downtown Public Realm Steering Committee, and serves on the Board of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association. A lifelong entrepreneur, he founded St. Paul based software company Customer FX in 1993 and currently serves as Board Chair.

Angie Wordell is an Operations Director at Graco Inc, headquartered in NE Minneapolis. Angie currently leads the Industrial Products Division manufacturing plant in NE Minneapolis, where her factory is located right on the riverfront. Angie started her career at Graco 20 years ago, and has held several positions and also worked at many of the Graco locations. Angie graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stout with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology in Manufacturing Engineering and from St. Thomas University where she received her MBA.

Director alternates

A long-time downtown riverfront resident, Carletta Sweet was appointed a director alternate from the Central Riverfront. She has provided strong volunteer leadership with the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, the East Downtown Council, and Aeon.

As director from the Above the Falls Citizen Advisory Committee, Georgianna Yantos has been a long-time champion for the Mississippi River. She brings her deep experience with neighborhood engagement and riverfront improvements in the Hawthorne neighborhood of North Minneapolis.