Description The Executive Director is responsible for implementation of Park District policy and the overall management of the District’s parks and recreation system. The primary function of the Executive Director is to carry out the District’s statutory responsibilities and to enact and follow the policies adopted by the District’s Board of Commissioners. The Director shall be the administrative head of all Superintendents and divisions of the District, in regard to recreation programming, personnel management, facility development and business management. Directly supervises the Superintendents of Finance and Administration, Parks and Development, Recreation, Golf, and the Marketing Coordinator. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Commissioners.
General Administration • Ensures Park District conformance with all statutory laws and regulations governing Park District programs and operations, including Illinois Park District Code and the policies established by the Board of Commissioners. Reviews pertinent legislation and remains abreast of statutory amendments pertaining to the responsibilities and authorities vested in the Park District. • Directs the operation of all Park District departments, programs, and services. Supervises administrative operations relative to legal, personnel, fiscal, capital development, risk management, and other business functions. • Provides the Board with information necessary for policy-making and budget decisions. • Develops, reviews, analyzes, and implements operational procedures required to effectively manage day-to-day operations and implement Board approved policies. Reviews policies and recommends changes when needed. • Oversees the development and maintenance of all District parks, golf courses, and facilities, including the development and operation of the revenue-generating facilities of the District. • Supervises recreational programs that meet the needs and wants of the residents. • Maintains systematic and accurate records of the District’s activities, services, personnel, and property. • Represents the Park District in negotiations and agreements between the Park District and vendors and contractors, schools, local government, State and Federal governmental agencies and other interagency agreements. Finance • Develops and recommends to the Board a yearly working budget, appropriations ordinance, and tax levy ordinance. • Directs the preparation and submittal of the annual budget recommendations for Park District Board consideration. Administers the budget as enacted by the Board in accordance with Board requirements and adopted policies. Monitors fiscal activities by reviewing and analyzing current fiscal conditions and projecting financial needs and resources to ensure compliance with policies and budgetary limitations. • Plans and coordinates efforts for receipt of federal, state, and local funds to assist the District’s operations and development. Prepares and applies for grants from local, state, and federal programs.
Planning • Oversees the recommended goals and objectives for the Park District based on the Strategic Plan the Comprehensive Master Plan, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Plan. Develops strategies for achieving these goals and objectives. • Develops the 3-5 year capital plan based on the plans listed above. • Works with the Board to develop methods for public input into the Park District’s planning process. • Oversees the acquisition, planning, design, and construction of the District’s recreational and park facilities. • Studies and analyzes the effectiveness of the District’s services and reports to the Board. • Studies conditions and trends affecting park and recreational needs to meet the community’s requirements for adequate recreation space facilities, programs, and personnel. • Establishes a working relationship with voluntary community organizations concerned with city planning, housing, public welfare, education, and other subjects related to community recreation. • Studies and keeps informed on developments in the park and recreational field through memberships in professional organizations and participation in workshops, conferences, seminars and programs designed to promote professional development with prior Board approval.
Personnel • Conducts staff meetings, establishes staff training programs, and provides staff with pertinent information on Board Policy and Personnel Policy. • Assists with and/or selects administrative and supervisory personnel. • Develops and coordinates an effective administrative program that includes accurate and up-to-date job descriptions, evaluation procedures, performance standards, and salary and benefit plans. • Works with the Board and Superintendents to determine current and future staffing needs.
Records, Reports and Meetings • Maintains systematic and accurate records of the District’s activities and services, personnel, and property. • Attends all meetings of the Board. Is a non-voting member of all committees and attends all meetings of the same, with the exception of Committee chair approval to designate an appropriate supervisor to attend. Proofs and distributes copies of all committee meeting minutes. • Prepares and issues regular and special reports for the Board, staff, community officials, as well as for the community.
Safety • Develops, supports, and promotes all policies relating to safety, health, and loss control as approved by the Board. • Ensures that all employees implement the policies and procedures pertaining to safety and health. • Ensures that all employees follow established safety rules.
Public and Community Relations • Maintains good relations with the public, accurately represents to the Board the needs of various groups within the District. Develops, maintains, and supervises an effective program for handling citizen complaints and inquiries. • With the Marketing Coordinator, develops and maintains a comprehensive marketing campaign to promote the District’s image, parks, facilities, programs, and special events. • Prepares and issues regular and special reports for use by the Board, staff, community officials and information for the community. • Ensures the Park District staff members understand the importance of good customer relations with the public and provide and maintain the same. • Promotes a greater understanding and support of Park District activities by participating in and representing the District at various governmental, civic, professional, and community functions with Board approval. • Maintains a program of efficient intergovernmental cooperation, and continued cooperative relationships with staff and appointed officials of other governmental units.
Legal • Become thoroughly familiar with the Illinois Park Code and District policies, as well as other federal, state and local statutes and ordinances, both existing and proposed, which affect District operations. • Work with the District’s attorneys in conjunction with Board established policies, procedures and directives in handling of the District’s legal matters. • Work with the District’s attorneys and Board to negotiate renewals of the District’s collective bargaining agreements and address other union issues as they arise, including those relating to discipline of personnel subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
Ancillary Functions and Responsibilities • Assist all employees of the Park District as needed. • Acts as the ADA Coordinator for the District. • Performs other duties as assigned by the Board of Commissioners.
Psychological Considerations • Ability to handle pressure from being held responsible for the District’s daily operations, financial accountability, and District personnel. • Ability to handle questions, complaints, and concerns from the public and employees in a professional manner and resolve differences and problems that arise with patrons and employees. • Ability to manage crisis situations.
Physiological Considerations Should be able to sit 80% of the day. Position includes repetitive hand movements (keyboarding). Ability to drive to required meetings, workshops, and District facilities.
Environmental Consideration May be exposed to the elements when driving to meetings or when assisting workers with outdoor functions. Most activities are done indoors; these conditions include lighting and temperature.
Cognitive Considerations Must exhibit good problem solving ability and judgement in keeping with the Park District mission.
Education and Experience Requirements A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in business management, public or business administration, parks and recreation administration, or a closely related field of study is required, although a master’s degree is preferred. In the discretion of the Board, however, a comparable amount of directly related experience will be considered as a substitute for the minimum educational requirements. The Executive Director must have at least five (5) years of related experience in an upper level management/administrative position, preferably in the field of parks and recreation. At least one year experience as an Executive Director preferred. Experience in developing working relationships between organizations and individuals.
Mandatory Qualifications 1. Excellent organizational skills with the ability to demonstrate high-level performance. 2. Knowledge of fiscal procedures and budgetary planning. 3. Knowledge of efficient personnel management and ability to lead and train staff. 4. Skill in oral and written communications. 5. Computer fluency and understanding of business applications. 6. Ability to work with minimal supervision. 7. Ability to communicate and work effectively with the public, media, the Board and District staff. 8. Skill to evaluate the District’s programs and operations. 9. Ability to attend frequent meetings, workshops, and conferences during non-business hours. 10. Possession of a valid Illinois Driver’s license. 11. Submit to and pass a criminal background check.
Desired Qualifications 1. Working knowledge of rules, regulations, and ordinances pertaining to recreation programs and facilities, including State and Federal compliancy agencies. 2. Experience evaluating park district programs, facilities, and operations. 3. Ability to develop, organize, and direct a comprehensive community recreation program based on assessing the recreational needs of the community. 4. Ability to develop, organize and direct a program of parks development and maintenance. 5. Ability to develop, organize and direct a program of acquisition, construction and maintenance of park areas and facilities.
About DeKalb Park District
The Dekalb Park District was established in 1935 and is located roughly 50 miles west of Chicago. With a population of 43,445, DeKalb is a diverse community rich in history - known for the invention of barbed wire and DeKalb agriculture. DeKalb is also the home to Northern Illinois University.
The Park District is composed of 19 playgrounds, 10+ miles of trails, and 44 park sites across 700 acres. The District also includes the Ellwood House Museum, Hopkins Park Pool, a sled hill, a seasonal ice rink, a dog park, a skate park, and an indoor Sports and Recreation Center that houses two indoor soccer fields, basketball courts, locker rooms, and classrooms for day care opportunities.
The District also includes two golf courses: River Heights Golf Course and Buena Vista Golf Course.