Darlene grew up in Kent, Ohio with a sister and two brothers. She attended public schools, including The Ohio State University. She has called Charlotte home since 1993, and was a long time resident of Highland Creek where she raised her children (Lyndsay and Nick). She now lives in the University City neighborhood of Welwyn.
Most know Darlene as (former) executive director of University City Partners. In this role, she lead transformative growth in University City for eight years. She has been a fierce champion for investment in light rail, innovation in policing and public safety, robust investment and business growth in University City, as well as advocacy for critical/key community needs. She is co-founder of UCITY Family Zone www.ucityfamilyzone.com in partnership with Dr. Mark DeHaven of UNC Charlotte. The organization is a place-based partnership for improving livability and quality of life in the University City, Newell South and Hidden Valley communities.
Darlene has shared her passion for the city of Charlotte by serving on many committees and nonprofit boards. She is currently incoming Chair for SHARE Charlotte and Envision Charlotte and is a board member of UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics. She was recognized Mecklenburg 2016 Woman of the Year and 50 Most Influential Women, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Community Partner of the Month and 50 over 50 awards by the Charlotte Ledger, to name a few.