Gurnee Park District

Under the direction and supervision of the Executive Director, the Director of Recreation is responsible for leading a team of employees in planning, organizing, and supervising dynamic and comprehensive community-based recreation programs serving all age groups and a wide scope of interests. The Director of Recreation is responsible for selecting, training, and leading highly motivated employees who are committed to striving for the highest level of customer satisfaction.


  • Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree in Park and Recreation Administration, or related field is required. A minimum of five years of supervisory responsibility in the field of public parks and recreation is also required.
  • Skills/Competencies:  Must be able to interpret community needs and interests, as well as possess the ability to grasp ideas and concepts, and analyze and implement them. Excellent programming and communication skills are essential; Must be highly organized and at the same time be creative and flexible; Must possess the ability to promote and maintain high morale and enthusiasm within the department and throughout the Park District; The Director of Recreation must possess the ability to maintain positive and effective working relationships with Board members, employees, cooperating agencies, vendors, and customers. A thorough knowledge of the philosophy of public recreation and park management and the ability to communicate this to others is required. A proven background in facility management, recreation programming, human resource development, financial management and marketing is required.
  • Certifications: Certification with the National Recreation and Parks Association (CPRP) is required. Must have a valid Driver’s License. CPR, AED and first aid certification required within 90 days and must be maintained.


  1. Develop and oversee the annual budget for all recreation activities in accordance with “categories of services” as well as “fund balance policy.”
  2. Develop and lead a highly effective team of employees through proper recruiting, hiring, training, coaching, empowerment, delegation, motivation, and recognition.
  3. Oversee the operations at all community centers and fitness centers to ensure space is utilized efficiently and effectively.
  4. Grow program offerings, revenues and participation for Park District recreation programs.
  5. Study trends in the field of recreation and assess community needs to develop creative, balanced recreation activities.
  6. Develop a culture of innovation within the department.
  7. Develop and maintain a high level of customer service based on Park District’s Core Values SOFIE (Service, Ownership, Fun, Inclusion and Excellence) and ensure that they are practiced throughout facilities and programs.
  8. Develop and administer a department orientation program, in-service training and staff development that fosters highly motivated employees who are committed to striving for total customer satisfaction.
  9. Assure an equitable distribution of work related responsibilities amongst team members.
  10. Conduct and/or coordinate written performance appraisals on all departmental employees.
  11. Annually review all program fees in accordance with Park District policy.
  12. Apply and administer personnel policies and procedures on a fair and equitable basis.
  13. Implement a program evaluation process for every program offered by the department.
  14. Prepare monthly Recreation Department reports for Board meeting updating the Board on pertinent information on the department’s operations.
  15. Monitor monthly budget reports and report deviations to Executive Director.
  16. Develop annual challenging departmental goals and objectives and monitor them regularly for successful completion.
  17. Coordinate departmental bidding specifications.
  18. Oversee scholarship requests.
  19. Respond to citizen inquiries and/or complaints promptly and professionally.
  20. Work closely with the Marketing Department to ensure effective marketing and communication for all recreation programs and facilities.
  21. Coordinate submission of program information materials to ensure timely distribution of program brochures and fliers.
  22. Work closely with the Business Services Department to ensure effective registration process for recreation programs.
  23. Work closely with the Director of Business Services to study and evaluate budget and program statistics to ensure a financially stable recreation operation.
  24. Work closely with the Director of Parks and Planning to assure that assignments necessary to the conduct of recreation programs or facility maintenance are carried out timely and effectively.
  25. Maximize the use of Park District, school districts and other community facilities. Assure high maintenance, cleanliness and safety standards at all facilities.
  26. Develop positive working relationships with counterparts at other local government agencies to ensure collaboration on facility use and program offerings.
  27. Establish and maintain effective relationships with all Park District-sponsored and affiliated groups.
  28. Oversee the Recreation Department internship program.
  29. Collaborate with other agencies, public and private, in developing cooperative programs to avoid duplication.
  30. Perform special projects as assigned by the Executive Director.


  1. Serve on internal committees as assigned.
  2. Serve on external committees as assigned.
  3. In the absence of the Executive Director, perform duties as assigned by Executive Director
  4. Always provide excellent customer service to both internal and external customers.


The physical demands of this position are minimal.  Most of your job will be at a desk or on site for program or event delivery.  Occasionally movement of supplies, equipment, or uniforms is necessary in which case the maximum weight that you are expected to be able to lift is 25 lbs., though typically it will be less than this.  Some bending, twisting, and kneeling may be necessary at your desk or in support of certain recreation programs/events.


  • This is an administrative, full-time, exempt position with a minimum of 40 hours per week.
  • Full salary range is $83,233 – $154,575, annually. Starting salary will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate.
  • An excellent benefits package is included.


For more information, contact:

Majeeda Purnell

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