Former Elk Grove Park District intern set to become its next director

  • Ben Curcio

    Ben Curcio

Updated 2/20/2019 6:49 PM

A 23-year veteran of the parks and recreation industry who started his career as a college intern with the Elk Grove Park District is set to become its next leader.

Ben Curcio, who has been the district's director of parks and planning since 2013, will be appointed executive director by the park board effective March 1, officials said.


The five-member board, which collected applications from nearly 20 candidates for the job, will vote on Curcio's multiyear contract Feb. 28. The length of the employment agreement and how much Curcio will be paid was not immediately released.

Curcio, an Elk Grove resident, joined the park district in 2011 as superintendent of parks and facilities. He previously was general manager of The MAC Sports Center in Crystal Lake, director of operations at Field House Development and Management Corp. in Lake Barrington and superintendent of parks and facilities at the Barrington Park District.

The park board started a search for a new executive director last fall when Tom Busby said he planned to step down at the end of his four-year contract. That agreement was due to expire in February, but the board agreed last week to extend it to March 22 to provide a transition period with Curcio.

While both internal and external candidates were interviewed, park board commissioners ultimately favored Curcio for his experience and management style, said board President John Walz.

"We discussed it at length and determined it was going to go to the best quality person," Walz said. "This to me was a more solid field than I would've imagined. We will see more than a few of them become executive directors down the road."

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