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updated: 5/4/2011 6:27 PM

Glen Ellyn parks set criteria for new director

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Job seekers take note: If you're a personable, open and approachable individual of high integrity, and a forward-thinking visionary and team builder, you could be the next executive director of the Glen Ellyn Park District.

Those are among the qualities park officials are looking for as they seek to replace longtime Executive Director Cory Atwell, who retired in January. A leadership profile report prepared by a search firm was released late Tuesday following its approval by the park board.

Candidates should have 10 years experience as a director or in senior management, with a bachelor's degree in parks and recreation or a related field. A master's degree and certification as a park and recreation professional is preferred.

Since being hired in December, Rosemont-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates gathered feedback on desired characteristics from Atwell, park board members, candidates for the board, district staff, and other community stakeholders, including the village, schools and library, officials said. Community forums were conducted in March.

In its research, the firm found the most often cited challenge for the park district is "a divided board."

Other feedback showed there to be a "disconnect" between the board and staff, according to the report.

Some also mentioned a "perceived lack of transparency" and need for greater budget efficiencies and accountability, the report stated.

The hiring of a new executive director comes at the same time as a major shake-up on the seven-member board. Three new commissioners were seated this week after winning election in April. All three campaigned on a platform of increased transparency and greater financial accountability. They joined three existing board members who campaigned on similar themes in 2009.

Stakeholders' suggestions for improvement included pursuing a long-range master planning process and doing "team-building" work. Conducting a communitywide assessment and collaborative planning could help build consensus among the director, staff and board, the report said.

Board President Melissa Creech said the search firm will bring candidates before the board in June and a director could be in place by July.

Superintendent of Recreation Kathleen Esposito and Superintendent of Parks Dave Scarmardo will continue to serve as co-interim directors until a permanent replacement is chosen.