Faye Alexander Nelson’s vision, drive and passion were instrumental in the success of not only the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, but in the transformation of the Detroit riverfront from a blighted area into one of the most beautiful and vibrant destinations downtown. 

After more than 10 years with the Conservancy as president and CEO, Nelson departed in January to serve as president of the DTE Energy Foundation and vice president of public affairs for DTE Energy. 

To honor Faye’s legacy with the nonprofit and to celebrate her many achievements during her tenure, the Conservancy Board hosted a farewell reception in late January at Stroh River Place that was attended by more than 100 people from throughout the political, educational, philanthropic and business communities.

Following a brief program in which heartfelt sentiments exchanged, funny stories told and tears shed, many guests spontaneously approached the microphone to share their memories of working with Faye and to extend their well wishes for her future success in her new position.


The Conservancy is currently conducting a comprehensive search to find its next president and CEO.