Melissa Rieman, chair of the 2022 La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas gala and past president of the Friends of the University Park Public Library, was recently selected as University Park’s 2022 citizen of the year.
Originally from Garland, Rieman attended Lakeview Centennial High School and was a Rangerette at Kilgore College. After her time there, she attended SMU where she was on the pom squad and graduated with two degrees, one in history and the other in public relations. Following her graduation from SMU, Melissa became a teacher and taught dance, which eventually led to her becoming a drill team director before she moved into the corporate world working for TXU and Ingersoll Rand.
Rieman and her late husband Russell moved to University Park 19 years ago after a stint in Atlanta. Her son is an upcoming junior at Oklahoma State University and her daughter recently graduated from Highland Park High School and will attend SMU in the fall.
Her community service resume began when she joined the Bradfield Elementary and Highland Park High School PTAs. Rieman chaired the Bradfield auction twice, was the president of her son’s Young Men’s Service League group, was the treasurer on the board of the Children’s Medical Center Women’s Auxiliary, is the chair of the board for Fair Park, was the president of the Friends of the University Park Public Library and served on the Centennial Master Plan Steering Committee. She also started the Raider Challenge fundraiser at Highland Park Middle School and the Scots Challenge fundraiser at the high school.
“I have an innate need to try and help,” Rieman said when asked what the most rewarding part of her community involvement is. “Although I may not be able to always make something better, I can always get other people to help, and there are so many people in this community who want to get involved.”
She recently rode in the Park Cities 4th of July parade and received a special Citizen of the Year gift during a brief ceremony at the gazebo in Goar Park.
The Citizen of the Year award was created by the city council in 2005 to boost public awareness and appreciation for the residents who work to better the city’s quality of life.