Wilson set to become Naperville Park District's new executive director

  • Brad Wilson

    Brad Wilson

Updated 1/31/2022 5:51 PM

More than two decades ago, Brad Wilson was a college intern with the Naperville Park District.

This week he becomes the organization's new executive director.


Wilson's rise from being the park district's director of recreation and facilities takes effect on Wednesday as he grabs the reins from Ray McGury, who announced on Jan. 11 he was stepping down after 13 years as executive director. Wilson's hiring was approved at the Jan. 20 board meeting.

"It's been quite a journey," said Wilson, 45. "It's a great organization and a great community to work for. I look forward to continuing, albeit in a different role than I was before."

As the director of recreation and facilities, Wilson's responsibilities included overseeing programming, facilities, customer service, aquatics and volunteer divisions. As executive director, he'll work more closely with the board and provide leadership to every department.

Wilson said 2022 will be an important year for the park district. A new outdoor circuit training facility at the Frontier Sports Complex is one of the many scheduled construction projects. Wilson also said this is a major planning year as the district continues to recover from the sagging participation numbers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The park district will be updating its community survey this year, something that hasn't been done since 2017. A new strategic plan for the next two to three years will be created, as well as a market analysis to evaluate the services offered.

With staffing shortages continuing, a priority will be placed on hiring full-time, part-time and seasonal employees as programs expand in the spring and summer.

Wilson's board-approved annual salary as executive director will be $165,000 with a total compensation package of about $237,000. McGury's final annual compensation was nearly $305,000, including a $234,000 salary.

"It became a goal to move into an executive director position with Naperville, ideally," Wilson said. "You couldn't find a better group of people to work with."

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