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Getting to Know Missouri State Parks Foundation's New Executive Director

Tyler Rieke was named MSPF's new executive director, effective November 16, 2022

As we enter a new year, we wanted to take a moment to get to know our new executive director, Tyler Rieke.

Where are you from?

I am a life-long, multigenerational Missourian. I was raised in Crawford County, Missouri. I received a Dual B.S. in Business Management and Psychology and MBA from Stephens College and later a MEd. from Lincoln University. I now call Jefferson City, Missouri home.

Describe your career and personal background.

I have perhaps had a slightly different journey to this work than many. My career started in public service with State of Missouri, where I worked in Victim Services. From there I worked in the nonprofit Victim Services field as an Executive Director in a Domestic Violence Program in Central Missouri. In total, I was in the Victim Services field for just over 10 years.

Through the years, as I grew as a professional, gained skills and connections, worked long hours, one part of me always remained the same: a rejuvenation that came with nature. Nature and the outdoors were a passion that started in childhood, became a spark in my early adulthood, and soon had become a full fledged wildfire. My start at the Foundation is a field change for me but I've had years of experience as an Executive Director and passion for Missouri, the outdoors, and parks that cannot be extinguished.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of the Missouri State Parks Foundation?

I am sure no one would have guessed this, but I love to be outside. Hiking, kayaking and canoeing are my favorite ways to experience Missouri's diverse beauty. Winter hikes and river trips are my favorite, nothing compares to peacefulness of a chilly Missouri winter day (plus no bugs!). I'm also an avid rock climber (indoor and outdoor). When I'm not adventuring, there's plenty in my own backyard to keep me busy. I enjoy native plants and can often be found in my garden, constantly refilling my bird feeders, and researching bee-keeping.

I have been fortunate to have an incredible support system in my family and friends. My husband Luke and our daughters keep me busy and bring me immense joy. We also share our home with one crazy Border Collie named Mavis who is the best hiking and canoeing buddy anyone could ask for.

What is something weird that you're really good at?

I have an uncanny ability to find four-leaf clovers.

What is your earliest State Park memory?

I grew up near Onondaga Cave State Park and it's the first State Park that I remember visiting and visiting often. I was and still am in awe of the beautiful Onondaga Cave and the park itself has a lot to offer. I have very fond memories of going to the Cave with mom and on school field trips.

What are you most excited about in your new role as Executive Director?

I am really excited to get out and visit State Parks, Historic Sites and their staff. I'm also looking forward to connecting and collaborating with numerous folks on the Rock Island Trail project and Route 66 Bridge Project. And finally, I really look forward to increasing awareness of the Missouri State Parks Foundation and connecting with individuals and communities around the State.

What else do you want people to know about you?

That I am really passionate about this work. Missourians are so fortunate to have such an amazing and free State Park System. I take a tremendous amount of pride in any part that I play in furthering the mission of the Foundation, supporting our parks and historic sites, and connecting Missourians to their outdoor spaces.

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