Palatine Park District hires new executive director

The Palatine Park District has hired Benjamin Rea as its new executive director.

Rea begins his new position on Friday, Dec. 1. He replaces Mike Clark, who is retiring after serving the district for 12 years.

Rea comes to Palatine with 24 years of experience in the parks and recreation field, most recently as the director of parks and planning for the Arlington Heights Park District. Rea holds a master's degree in public administration and is a graduate of the Illinois Park and Recreation Leadership Academy and Illinois Professional Development - Administration and Finance Section.

"Ben's vision, enthusiasm, transparency and lead by example style will be a great asset to Palatine Park District," said park board President Greg Sammons, board president.

Rea received a three-year contract with a salary of $175,000.

Clark retires after an award-winning career in parks and recreation. In 2022, he was honored with the Illinois Park and Recreation Association's Robert Artz Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment and lifetime of service to parks, recreation, and conservation in Illinois. Clark's last day is Thursday, Nov. 30.

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