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updated: 3/28/2013 3:26 PM

Hoffman Estates Park District names employee, team player, volunteer of the year

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The Hoffman Estates Park District recently recognized its 2012 employee of the year and team player of the year.

Sally Whalen, a disbursement associate for the business department, was named the employee of the year. Whalen, who has been working for the park district since 2000, was praised at a March 19 board for continuing to perform her duties while taking on the duties of a position that was vacated last year. Board President Keith Evans said at the meeting that "during this time of challenge and learning of new responsibilities," Whalen continued to treat everyone with respect and never lost her sense of humor.

Hockey coach Pete Ripoli was named the team player of the year, an honor given to part-time employees who exemplify leadership and uphold the park district's core values. Ripoli was recognized as a coach who is well-liked by kids and one that Evans said "always contributes in a selfless manner, always doing what's best for the Wolf Pack program." Outside of coaching, Ripoli serves as president of the Wolf Pack travel hockey program.

In January, the park district named Hoffman Estates Community Bank President Georgeanna Mehr as volunteer of the year. In 2012, she helped raised money for the Friends of HE Parks Foundation at a golf outing, wine and beer tasting event, and casino night. She also volunteered at numerous park district community events, including the HEALTHeKids Fair.

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