The Winnetka Board of Park Commissioners is seeking to hire an Executive Director with well-rounded experience in parks, beaches, recreation programming, facility management, and working with a board of commissioners. The ideal candidate must have a proven record of being a strong, collaborative leader who is able to combine vision, strategy, and innovation in the oversight of the Winnetka Park District. The ideal candidate also will be a decisive, community-engaged leader with the ability to establish and maintain trusting relationships with staff, board members, community leaders and the community at large. 

The Winnetka Park District is a separate governmental entity and serves approximately 14,500 residents. The community covers 4.8 miles in Northern Cook County adjacent to Lake Michigan, approximately 17 miles north of downtown Chicago. A board of seven elected Park Board commissioners sets policy and conducts the official business of the District. The Executive Director, who is hired by the Board, manages the day-to-day operations of the District and oversees a staff of approximately 30 full-time, 47 part-time, and 230 seasonal employees. Each year, the District offers more than 1,200 programs and special events for everyone to enjoy. The District also offers 26 parks, 5 beaches, and 4 facilities and has an annual operating budget of more than $12,000,000. The Park District is a member of the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) and works collaboratively to provide recreational activities for residents with special needs. 

The successful candidate will:  
● Have a commitment to the preservation and protection of parks and open space, the maintenance and continuous improvement of the park district facilities, programs, and special events. 
● Be experienced in the principles of good governance and working collaboratively to build consensus among board members. 
● Be a well-respected collaborative leader able to effectively engage with a highly talented team of employees, commissioners, agency partners, the school district, and the Village of Winnetka. 
● Possess a clear vision and goals for the agency’s future and communicate that vision clearly and effectively to staff and all sectors of the community. 
● Have strong planning, project management, and facility renovation experience.  
● Possess the financial skills and experience to support and lead the District’s fiscal future. 
● Possess well-developed oral and written communication skills; comfortable with public speaking and making presentations. 
● Be supportive of the employees’ ongoing development and quickly identify what motivates each employee to succeed. 
● Demonstrate the ability to build a strong, cohesive, and highly motivated team and rally support around a common goal. 
● Be a transformative leader, a conductor/connector who solicits input, makes sound recommendations or decisions, acts confidently and decisively. 
● Have a proven track record of connecting with stakeholders and working innovatively to deliver the parks, programs and services desired by the community. 
● Be present, approachable, a good listener and open-minded with community members, board members, and staff. 
● Be a person who leads and motivates by personal example, encouraging high standards of performance, productivity, accountability and ethical conduct from self and all staff. 
● Participate and engage in various District and community events and programs. 

Experience and Education:  
● Must have experience leading an organization of similar complexity and have a broad range of experience with the diverse types of community-based recreation services, programs, and facilities that the Winnetka Park District offers. 
● Should have at least 10 years of progressive management and operational experience at a parks and recreation agency, park district, municipal department, or related field with experience overseeing the management of a large team of employees. 5 years of experience as a Director reporting to an elected board is preferred. 
● Graduate from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation, Leisure Studies, Facility Management, Public Administration, Business, Finance, or a related field; Master’s degree is a plus. 
● Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) or Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE) designation is preferred. 

The starting salary range for this position is $161,000 – $197,000. The actual salary will be determined by the selected candidate’s qualifications and commensurate experience. Additionally, the Winnetka Park District offers an extensive benefit plan,including a defined benefit pension plan with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, competitive health, dental, vision, and life insurance, recreational benefits, and voluntary 457 savings plan and flexible spending plan.

Apply online with resume, cover letter, and contact information for five (5) professional references by Friday, October 6, 2023. Questions regarding the recruitment may be directed to Joe DeLuce or Chuck Balling, Vice Presidents, and Executive  Recruiters, GovHR USA. TEL: 847-380-3240 Ext.130  

The Winnetka Park District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Click HERE for Brochure! 

Application Deadline: October 6, 2023 

Posted: 2023-09-21

To apply for this job please visit

Having trouble opening PDFs? Download Adobe Reader here.