Maplewood community development director marks 10 years


Maplewood Director Community Development for Maplewood, Rachelle L’Ecuyer (Pronounced: Ra-shel Le-kwee-ay), marked 10 years in the position in April. She wrote about the milestone in her LinkedIn profile:

rachelle.lecuyer.2012.web_April 25, 2015 marked my 10th Anniversary in my position as Director Community Development for Maplewood.

I am in an awkward position here because I am the one who handles the PR and communications for the city. If one of my colleagues reached a milestone, I would be the one to write about it and promote it, so if I am going to do this, I have to do it for myself. Indulge me and forgive me but after a decade of working hard at something, I want to say something.

Over the last decade, I have had the honor of working with a dedicated group of professionals. I see the commission that oversees the downtown (along with myself) as stewards of the area. Downtown Maplewood possesses an historic character that is the cornerstone of the foundation we strive to enhance and solidify for future momentum.

I took the reigns of the downtown development and guided it by identifying the types of businesses that would become part of the community and serve the downtown by attracting a regional customer base. I developed business programs to serve those businesses to help them stabilize during the most vulnerable stage a business faces: opening their doors.

I realized early on that we needed to bring people from around the region to Maplewood. I developed a series of events (all of these were my concoctions): Let Them Eat Art, Women Making History, The Sweet Tooth Tour, The Maplewood Coffee Crawl, Stringfest (formerly the Harp Attack and Fiddlefest). These events have brought thousands of people to Maplewood.

Also, during my tenure, I worked with St. Louis Earth Day’s Green Dining Alliance and we achieved the distinction of the Nation’s first Green Dining District.

Finally, for one big moment, the 7300 block of Manchester was fully leased. Something that had not occurred in over a decade.

Acknowledging this milestone, I have the sense that I have reached a marker and I look ahead asking what’s next and what needs to be added, changed and made better?

I work with a dedicated team of people at Maplewood City Hall but there are also others who have been a part of this over the last decade:

I couldn’t have achieved all of this without the guidance of Rob Birenbaum, whose business experience, commitment to Maplewood, wisdom, common sense and copy editing skills have been an invaluable resource to me. A lot of credit goes to Rob more than me and I know that’s more than he would ever take!

Heather Testa stands out as an influencing force, she came to Maplewood and developed the look and the sense of place. Matt McInerney designed our brochures and banners and other marketing pieces. Matt and Heather don’t just come up with ideas off the top of their heads, they listened to us, they researched historical documents and they walked around and talked to people.

I also must thank Brian Pelletier for having faith in me when I told him (and stalked him for almost 2 years) that Maplewood was the best place for his second location for his business.

Finally, last but not least, Michael Kilfoy, whose unrivaled design skills have given our events a brand and a professional sheen that helps us attract hundreds of people to our events.


  1. Thank you for putting Maplewood on the Map! Your hard work has paid off, the city is full of young families, our future. My husband I move here in 1977 and were some of the first memeber of the Renissance society. What we dreamed of for Maplewood has come to fruitiion.
    Once again thanks, please stay with us for at least another 10 years.

    • Margaret, I greatly appreciate your comments and also that you have shared your insight.

      The credit for bringing the young families goes exclusively to the school district.

      MRH has done an amazing job with their plan to improve the district over the years with their sustainability efforts and curriculum, the ECC, etc.

      Their vision and hardwork have brought the families here, we just give them something to do when the kids aren’t in school 😉

  2. Congratulations Rachelle! What you have done is great and you were a tremendous help when we first moved in. The events such as String Fest and Let them Art are wonderful!! We feel so lucky to be here.

    Michelle Barron – The Book House, 7352 Manchester Rd.

    • Thanks Michelle! The Bookhouse is a big part of many of our events and we appreciate your support.

    • Thank you! I work with a wonderful group of people and we are very lucky to have such dedicated business owners and building owners who make Maplewood a great place.

    • Well, if I had written it in the third person, it would have sounded kind of weird 😉

    • Quoting how many “I’s there are in an article written by someone in the first person? That is simply mean-spirited. If you were focusing on the actual content of the article, you would have noticed that Ms. L’Ecuyer actually goes out of her way to state–more than once–that she could not have achieved anything without others. In fact she says, “I work with a dedicated team of people at Maplewood City Hall but there are also others who have been a part of this over the last decade”, and then she elaborates. So, really, I do not understand the unkind nature of your post at all. I realize some people are miserable and they want to be mean, so maybe that’s your deal. But if you try to be a nicer person, you might be happier.

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