Réna grew up in Southfield, Michigan. As a high school student, Réna developed a deep love for arts, people and the environment, that eventually led her to study architecture with the hopes of being able to influence the built environment in a way that is positive and creative and sustainable. In 2007, earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Howard University: the real HU! Réna spent the past four years working as a project coordinator at the Alexandria, Virginia office of HDR Architecture Inc. At HDR , Réna was a member of the fun and dynamic architectural team that completed the design development, construction documentation, construction administration, and extensive coordination efforts of the 1.35 million square foot Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (FBCH). The FBCH, which is considered a “world class” facility by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) division of the Department of Defense, opened its doors in August of 2011.
As the Community Development Project Manager of the Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA), Réna has taken on and taken part in various tasks, including: the development of original artwork for the DLBA Marketing Collateral Package, creating the DLBA Corporate Branding and Identity Package, construction management, and, site investigation, product research & concept production of interstitial green alleyways. Functionally the green alley space is conceptually designed to produce and harness energy, and reduce storm water runoff all while providing a space for Detroit residents to connect to and engage with nature and their neighbors.
Réna enjoys creating and taking in the creativity of others. Her favored art forms include the visual, musical, performing, culinary arts and, of course, architecture. Réna loves spending time with her family (particularly her twelve nephews and nieces) and in church. You can meet her Wednesday afternoons, at the Spirit of Detroit, for weekly prayer walks.