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Article updated: 7/6/2012 2:24 PM

Buffalo Grove deputy manager going to Highland Park

Ghida Neukirch

Ghida Neukirch

 
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Buffalo Grove Deputy Village Manager Ghida Neukirch has resigned to take a similar position in Highland Park, officials confirmed Friday.

Neukirch will begin Aug. 1 as deputy city manager, Highland Park City Manager David Knapp said.

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"I'm really looking forward to it," Knapp said. "She has a great resume and great experience there in Buffalo Grove. She is a good match for the kinds of things we're looking to have done here. She comes across very well and was highly recommended."

Neukirch, 40, an Arlington Heights resident, wasn't available for comment Friday. She has been with Buffalo Grove since 1999, starting as an assistant to former Village Manager William Balling. She rose to deputy village manager in 2006.

Her duties as deputy village manager have included supervising the divisions of planning, communications, information technology, and building and zoning.

One of the main areas of focus during her tenure has been community development. She has also been instrumental in overseeing many of the village's cultural assets, such as the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival, the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band and the Limelight Cafe.

"In many ways, she has been the face of the village when it comes to citizens and when it comes to developers," said Buffalo Grove Village President Jeffrey Braiman. "She has made a lot of contacts with developers over the years."

In overseeing the village's economic development program, she was involved in negotiating annexation agreements and financial incentives, as well as educating and assisting new and current businesses on such matters as loans, grants, mentor programs and publications.

Even though the village has been keeping staff lean and has offered employees incentives for early retirement, Braiman said it is likely that the vacancy will be filled, probably with an assistant, rather than a deputy, which carries a higher pay grade.

"It is something that we will discuss," he said, "but I'm sure it will be filled. I'm not sure when."

He said the staff is getting into a budget mode right now and might not have time for a job search immediately.

Braiman said Neukirch's new job could lead eventually to a position as a village manager.

"It's a good move for her, and we wish her well," he said, adding she will be missed for her personality, objectivity and skill set.

Neukirch graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb in 1995 with a master's degree in public administration. Prior to that, she obtained a bachelor's in industrial/organizational psychology from DePaul University in Chicago. She has been president of the Illinois City/County Management Association and an executive board member of the Lake County Partners.

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