Riverfront Development Corp.
Carol Colletta is the new president and CEO of the Riverfront Development Corp.
Big changes are underway for the Riverfront Development Corp. (RDC), including an “aggressive” capital campaign, a name change, a new business plan, and, as announced Monday morning, a new leader.
Carol Colletta, a native Memphian and a senior fellow at The Kresge Foundation, will lead the RDC as president and CEO. She will replace Benny Lendermon, who retires from the post in April.
“Memphis is my hometown, and I am passionate about using my decades of experience working in community development and enhancing civic assets to help the city I love most to succeed,” Coletta said in a statement. “Our riverfront represents a tremendous opportunity to transform Memphis, and I cannot wait to begin this important work.”
Much for the new work for the RDC comes in the six months since the Memphis Riverfront Concept was delivered by Studio Gang.
That plan transforms the riverfront with a series of new venues — like an aquarium on Mud Island and, perhaps, a museum on the bluff — strung together along the river bank from Martin Luther King Park to the northern tip of Mud Island.
“The RDC has undergone its own transformation,” reads a statement form the organization. ”An aggressive capital campaign is in the works, a name change is expected to be announced later this month, a new business plan is being completed and new staffing is being added.
Studio Gang's concept plan shows a reactivated Wolf River Harbor.
“Under Coletta’s leadership, the organization will focus more intently on making the riverfront a city asset that promotes racial and economic equity and greater community development in adjacent neighborhoods.”
Colletta is, basically, on loan to the RDC from Kresge. The statement said she’ll serve “in a loaned executive role" from the foundation.
Through Kresge, Colletta has led the Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative here. The initiative focuses on the “Fourth Bluff,” which includes Mississippi River Park and the RiverLine, the planned pedestrian and cycling path that will connect the Wolf River Greenway with the Big River Crossing and, eventually, Martin Luther King Park.
Riverfront Development Corporation
Coletta will continue her leadership efforts on the Civic Commons initiative during her service at the RDC.
“This is our moment to create the riverfront Memphis deserves, and we are eager to make the Memphis Riverfront Concept a reality,” said RDC board chairman John Farris.