DuPage Forest Preserve poised to hire executive director

  • Karie Friling

    Karie Friling

Updated 3/11/2021 4:34 PM

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is poised to hire Karie Friling as its new executive director.

Friling has more than 27 years of experience in public service and management. As the village manager for Homer Glen since 2019, Friling initiated Homer Glen's first open lands preservation program, expanded recreational and special event programming, and facilitated creative public and private partnerships.


Friling previously served as assistant village manager and director of development services for Orland Park for more than a decade.

"I truly believe that community development and planning are intrinsically tied to land preservation and conservation," Friling said in a statement. "Quality neighborhoods and great communities are desirable because of balanced development that promotes recreation, open spaces, parks, trails and pedestrian connections."

Forest preserve commissioners are expected to vote to hire Friling during their meeting on Tuesday. If approved, Friling would begin work on April 9.

"I am thrilled to welcome Karie to the district," forest preserve President Daniel Hebreard said in a statement. "Our current leadership team has the organization moving in a great direction, and the addition of Karie's experience, talent and proven leadership gives us even more momentum as we implement our districtwide master plan."

Friling has a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University, a master of public administration from Southern Illinois University and a Leading Educating and Developing certificate from the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia. She also is a credentialed city manager and has Lean Six Sigma yellow belt certification from Northern Illinois University.

Friling would replace the forest preserve's current executive director Ed Stevenson, who is to assume the title of executive adviser. Stevenson's new duties include serving as an advocate for staff, a resource for the board of commissioners and to the leadership team, including the new executive director.

Stevenson is also to continue his involvement in the oversight of the district's golf operations.

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