Hoffman Estates Park District director receives association’s Honored Professional Award

Craig Talsma, executive director of the Hoffman Estates Park District, received the highly esteemed Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) Honored Professional Award last week during the annual statewide Illinois park and recreation conference.

The award is the highest individual professional honor given by the association.

The IAPD Honored Professional Award is presented to an executive director of a member agency that has worked closely with citizens and the IAPD to improve the quality of life in Illinois.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award from the IAPD,” Talsma said in a statement. “It reflects not only my dedication but also the hard work and collaboration of the entire HEParks team, board of commissioners and our community partners. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones, and I look forward to continuing our mission of providing the best in park and recreation services for our community.”

Talsma's 32-year career in the park and recreation industry, culminating in this award, reflects his many contributions to the community. He joined the Hoffman Estates Park District in 1997, steadily progressing from finance director to deputy director, and ultimately to the role of executive director in 2018.

Under his leadership, the district has attained several noteworthy recognitions and achievements, most recently being named with the top honor of Grand Plaque recipient for the National Gold Medal Award for Class IV (population 30,001-75,000).

Talsma has secured over $3.5 million in grants during his time as executive director, including the recent announcement of a $600,000 grant to renovate Vogelei Park, which will create a fully inclusive community park and splash pad.

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