Matt Hartnett Honored with Dedicated to Excellence Award

Matt Hartnett, Aquatics Manager, was recognized with the Dedicated to Excellence Award at the Des Plaines Park Board meeting on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Hartnett has been with the District since January 7, 2014, starting as Aquatics & Youth Programs Supervisor. In Fall 2019, he was promoted to Aquatics Manager. In June 2020, Matt led the District in being the first park district in the state to open an outdoor pool following Covid-19 quarantine by doing so at both Iroquois and Chippewa Pools. In July 2020, the Prairie Lakes Aquatic Center grand opening took place successfully under careful guidelines. He was instrumental in planning, design, construction, budgeting and programming of the indoor aquatics center. In 2021, all four pools for the district were open for business despite initial limitations set by the state due to COVID. During that time, Matt successfully transitioned the lifeguard certification program from Ellis and Associates to the American Red Cross.

"Matt often works evenings, weekends and holidays, jumping into action anytime the whistle blows," said Superintendent of Recreation, Joe Weber. "Despite these work demands, he is also an involved husband and father. We truly appreciate the hard work and effort Matt gives us."

Other successes include managing nearly 500 Swim School participants, and our in-house Warriors Swim Team placing 1st in 2018 in the D division, 1st in the C Division in 2019 and 1st in 2021 in the B division, and 2nd in the A division Winter Season. Matt is also chair of the Wellness Committee and member of the Risk Management Committee.

The Dedicated to Excellence Award is presented three times a year to employees who have made a positive contribution to the Park District. Potential recipients are nominated by Park District staff members, and evaluated by the Employee Relations Committee and Administrators for creativity, responsibility, community relations, and customer service.

For more information about programs and events at the Des Plaines Park District, visit

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