Jim Reuter says he wants to help others pursue healthy lifestyles and his new job as executive director of Carol Stream Park District puts him in a position to do just that.
"I just have a passion for providing activities and facilities for people for their health and wellness and fitness," he said Monday, his first day on the job after being plucked from South Elgin, where he served as director of the village's parks and recreation department since 1997.
Reuter signed a three-year contract with Carol Stream that will pay him $130,000 a year. He replaces Arnie Biondo, who left to become executive director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.
Reuter said his new post is "going to offer me the opportunity to take a family that I've already had through my other positions and extend that family into Carol Stream."
With more than 25 years experience in parks and recreation, he said he'll bring strong leadership and communication skills to his post.
"I love people and I love this industry and what we do and I want to make sure that I can share my experiences with the Carol Stream Park District and keep them headed in a positive path," he said.
He also expects to miss South Elgin.
"They have a lot of good people, a lot of good volunteers that are willing to do anything to help somebody else out, and I think that's what I'll miss most," he said.
Reuter was born in Elk Grove Village and attended Elk Grove High School. He graduated from Carthage College in 1985. He is a member of the National Recreation and Park Association, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association and the Illinois Association of Park Districts.
Park board President Tim Powers said commissioners were impressed by Reuter's skills and believe his management style will help move the district forward.
"We needed a person with vision, first of all, and we feel Jim has that," Powers said. "Somebody who has a management style that is interactive with the staff. He's a very good listener, we feel, and that will benefit the staff."