The DeKalb Park District is excited to announce they have selected, John Shea, Jr., as the next Executive Director.
“The Park Board is thrilled to work with John as our new executive director. I am confident that the Park District will be well-positioned under his guidance to thrive in the years to come,” commented Park Board President, Phil Young. “We feel that John is an energetic, positive individual that is passionate about the field of Parks and Recreation. He was the clear choice as our next leader to advance DeKalb Park District amenities that serve the entire community.”
John brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, having received a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Park Administration from Illinois State University. Before joining DeKalb, John has more than fifteen years in the field of Parks and Recreation. He first joined in his hometown of Schaumburg, Illinois, as the Pool Manager/Head Lifeguard at the Schaumburg Park District and later as the Leisure Services Intern at the Elk Grove Park District. John went on to the Town of Normal Parks and Recreation to manage select sports courts facilities and youth variety programs, such as their Before and After School Program. And most recently, landing at the Winnetka Park District playing a variety of roles for the past 10 years. John started at Winnetka as a Recreation Supervisor and quickly rose in the ranks, becoming Superintendent of Recreation and spear-heading major capital projects, such as a 15-year master plan for five lakefront park sites.
“I am excited and honored to be here for the DeKalb community,” stated the new director.
“I was able to visit many of the park sites and interact with users, gaining insightful knowledge of the park system. The staff is creative, coordinating exciting opportunities and services for the community, and I look forward to working with them to continue providing offerings meeting all interests of our diverse city. I can tell from my interactions with staff members, we are eager to become a leader in the field, in how we enrich the lives of our community members. We want residents to be proud of their park district and excited to participate in the programs and resources available to them.”
As executive director, Shea will work closely with staff and the Park Board to ensure the organization continues to grow and adapt to serve the DeKalb community through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
John is a National Recreation and Park Association Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and a 2017 Graduate of the University of Illinois and Illinois Parks and Recreation Association Level 2 Leadership Academy. He is certified in American Red Cross, First Aid, CPR, AED, and Waterfront Lifeguarding. John currently lives in Buffalo Grove with his wife, Meri, and two dogs, Shelby and Bruce.
The Park Board and staff invite the public to get to know the new executive director in a series of pop-up park Meet’n’Greets. Starting in Hopkins Park, located at 1403 Sycamore Road, on Friday, June 11, from 6:30-8:00 pm, before the Movie in the Park. DeKalb residents and their furry friends can also choose Saturday, July 24 from 10:00 am-noon at Katz Dog Park, 393 Dresser Road. Lastly, John will be on-site before the final Music at the Mansion Concert at the Ellwood Museum lawn, located at 420 Linden Place, on Wednesday, August 4, from 5:30-7:00 pm. Each Meet’n’Greet will provide refreshments, pop-up activities, and prizes.
“Through hard work, I look forward to enhancing the DeKalb Park District for current and future users. I value community input to ensure we are offering programs and services meeting the needs of our residents. Please contact me with any input, suggestions, or constructive commentary regarding all aspects of the DeKalb Park District,” continued Shea.
If you would like to reach out to the new executive director directly, John Shea, Jr. can be reached at email@example.com or (815) 758-6663 ext. 7265
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