The Champaign Park District is seeking a forward-looking, strategic leader with a commitment to serving the community. The Director must have strong financial and operational acumen to effectively deliver high-quality parks, recreation, and cultural arts services. This position requires the ability to listen effectively, communicate clearly, and make sound decisions.  The ideal candidate will be a proven team-builder with the ability to attract, develop and empower talented employees. The Director must be a collaborative leader, able to combine vision, problem-solving and innovation in the oversight of the Champaign Park District. In addition, the Director must demonstrate a passion for parks, recreation, and cultural arts as well as a commitment to the preservation of park district assets by efficiently planning for and using financial resources, delivering operational efficiencies and effectively managing capital projects and on-going facility and park maintenance.
The City of Champaign is home to approximately 88,000 residents and is located nearly equidistant from Chicago, IL, Indianapolis, IN and St. Louis, MO. Champaign is proud of sharing the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with its sister city of Urbana and is an integral part of what is known as the “Silicon Prairie” due to local start-up technology companies.  Champaign is also home to a number of Fortune 500 companies.
Under the direction of a five-member Board of Park Commissioners, the Executive Director manages, supervises, and directs all operations, maintenance and activities for the Champaign Park District’s more than 700 acres of community parks, playgrounds, and facilities. Recreational facilities include an outdoor aquatic complex, waterslides, three recreation centers with gymnasiums, two senior centers, a cultural arts center, the Virginia Theatre (a renovated historic theater featuring a 1,400-seat auditorium), indoor and outdoor tennis courts, pickleball courts, sports fields, playgrounds, children’s petting zoo, picnic shelters, skate parks, a dog park, lakes for fishing and over 30 miles of walking paths.
This position oversees a team of 80 full-time and over 500 part-time and seasonal employees and an operating budget of approximately $22 million. The Director provides leadership in advancing agency-wide initiatives leads the fiscal responsibility initiatives and develops innovative strategies for program growth and on-going operational improvement.  The Director creates short-term and long-term plans, sets goals and develops budgets for the park district. The ideal candidate must possess well-developed oral and written communication skills and a record of success in building collaborative relationships with board members, city leaders and community organizations. The successful candidate will be expected to continuously demonstrate the personal demeanor, interpersonal skills and judgment to create trust, deliver results, and influence a positive inclusive culture.
Education and Experience: 
  • Bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation, Business, Public Administration, or a closely related field. 
  • Preference will be given to individuals with ten (10) years of experience in an upper-level management position, preferably in parks and recreation, municipal government or a not-for-profit. 
The salary range for this position is $135,000 – $165,000.  The actual salary will be determined by the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience. 
The Champaign Park District offers a comprehensive benefit plan which includes a generous contribution to medical, dental, life insurance and a defined benefit retirement plan (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund), optional 457 plan, optional Health Savings Account (HSA), car and phone allowances, paid vacation, sick and holiday time.
Apply online to with your resume, cover letter, and contact information with five professional references. Questions regarding the recruitment may be directed to Chuck Balling, Vice President and Executive Recruiter, GovHR USA at 847-380-3240 Ext.130. 

 Application Deadline: Open Until Filled  

Posted: 2022-09-23

To apply for this job please visit

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