Vernon Hills to lose another top administrator

Turnover in top administration continues at the village of Vernon Hills with the pending departure of Finance Director Nicole "Nikki" Larson.

Larson said she will accept the same position in Glencoe. Her last day in Vernon Hills is May 25.

She follows former village manager John Kalmar, who was asked to resign in March for unspecified reasons. He had served as assistant village manager and director of community development for 14 years before being named manager in 2014.

"I was involved in a competitive recruitment process for this position, spanning several months," Larson said Monday. "It's a tough choice, but it's a great opportunity," she added.

Larson, a Lake Zurich resident, worked in Highland Park and Palatine before joining Vernon Hills in June 2014 as assistant finance director. She rose to the top spot Jan. 7, 2016, replacing Larry Nakrin, who retired after 31 years and was regarded by elected officials as an integral behind-the-scenes asset.

"I am very thankful for my time in Vernon Hills, and have had the opportunity to work with many exceptional employees and elected officials," Larson said.

Glencoe has been without a full-time finance director since January with the departure of David Clark. A national search began in February with an application deadline of early March, according to village Manager Philip Kiraly.

Kiraly said Larson was chosen from a "competitive field" of more than 70 applicants across the U.S. She'll start there in early to mid-June.

Glencoe, a North Shore community, has a population of about 8,900 compared with more than 26,000 in Vernon Hills. Its expenses in the most recent budget were estimated at $25 million compared to $31.3 million in Vernon Hills. Both have AAA bond ratings from Standard & Poore's.

"Throughout the selection process, we were struck by Ms. Larson's strong technical background, her commitment to innovation and her passion for public service," Kiraly said.

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