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Illinois Parks & Recreation
November / December 1995 • Volume 26, Number 6


Illinois Delegation Receives Top Awards at the 1995 Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Congress

Schaumburg, Rockford Win the Gold
The Schaumburg Park District received the 1995 National Gold Medal Award, Class III (populations 50,000- 100,000) for excellence and innovation in park and recreation programs, services and administration. Winners in each class are selected based on improvement, service, continuing development, extent of future planning and degree of participant involvement and acceptance by the community. The district was nominated by European Sports in Schaumburg.

The Rockford Park District's Extended Services Department received the National Gold Medal for Special Recreation Services, Class I (200,000-plus). This top honor recognizes agencies that excel in administration and service to people with special needs. The department was nominated by Tom Harmer Athletic Equipment, Inc., in Loves Park.

Gold Medal, Special Recreation Award Finalists
Skokie Park District, Class III
Bolingbrook Park District, Class IV
St. Charles Park District, Class IV
Rolling Meadows Park District, Class V
Itasca Park District, Class V
Waukegan-Foss Special Recreation Association, Class II

Front row, left to right: Class I, Gary Holler, Johnson County. Shawnee Mission. KS; Class II, Duane Dawson, City of Tempe, AZ; Class III, Jerry Handlon, Schaumburg Park District, IL; Class IV, Chuck Wilt, Columbus, IN; Class V, Mark Thornton, Naples, FL.

Back row, left to right: Walter C. Johnson, NRPA staff liaison; Special Recreation Class I, Barbara Baptista, Rockford Park District Extended Services, IL; Special Recreation Class II, Lee Springgate, City of Bellevue. WA; Ted Flickinger, senior judge.

Illinois Gains Market Share in NRPA Kudos Awards
Illinois park districts and fores preserves earned more than half of all the 1995 NRPA Kudos Awards for excellence in communicating the benefits of parks and recreation to the public. Awards are presented in five categories: Best Recreation Catalogue, Best Print Public Service Announcement (PSA), Best Film PSA, Best Short Recration Film, and Best Overall Communicator.

Best Recreation Catalogue
Fox Valley Park District--First Place, Class II
Park District of Highland Park--Second Place, Class I
Nile Park District-Second Place, Class II
Peoria Park District--Second Place Class II

Best Short Recreation Film
Rockford Park Disctrit--First Place, Class II
Geneseo Community Park District--Second Place, ClassI
Kane Co, Forest Preserve District--Second Place, Class II

Best Overall Communicator
Champaign Park District, Second Place, Class I

Illinois Pars & Recreation • November/December 1995

Decatur Recognized for Performing Arts Program
The Decatur Park District received the National Dorothy Mullen Arts and Humanities Award for its innovative approach to arts, humanities and recreation. Decatur's Performing Arts Program encourages youth to audition and perform with choral, vocal and dance groups consisting of both amateurs and professionals. Groups perform throughout the year at the park district and community special events.

Toalson Receives Professional Honor
Robert R Toalson, CLP
Robert R Toalson, CLP, received NRPA's National Distinguished Professional Award— presented annually to those in the field who through inspiration, incentive and demonstration of leadership, have made noteworthy contributions over a period of time to the recreation, parks and conservation movement.

Currently the general manager of the Champaign Park District, Toalson began his career as an intern with the National Recreation Association in Philadelphia, under the mentorship of Robert Crawford and Woody Sutherland. He went on to serve the Illinois communities of Oak Park and Champaign by developing and implementing innovative programs while perpetuating the mentorship philosophy that was his beginning.

In both cities, Toalson oversaw the design and construction of new recreation centers and parks and received National Gold Medals for Excellence. In Champaign, he helped establish the first full-time department for volunteers in the country.

Toalson is an active professional and has served as chair of many state and national committees and as president of the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA), the American Parks and Recreation Society (APRS), American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) and NRPA. He currently serves as executive secretary/treasurer of AAPRA and co-chair of NRPA's Ahrens Institute fundraising drive. Toalson received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas and his master's degree in Recreation Administration from Indiana University.

Lehman Merits Prestigious Award
Ronald D. Lehman
Ronald D. Lehman, vice president of the Channahon Park District, received the APRS Meritorious Service Award for his distinguished history of service to his park district, the Illinois Association of Park Districts and the nationwide park and recreation movement.

Serving his local board for more than two decades, Lehman has also held many leadership positions on IAPD committees and the board of directors, serving as president in 1992. He was instrumental in the development of the IAPD Director Search

Service. He has served with distinction on the Great Lakes Regional Council since 1991 and was elected to the NRPA Board of Trustees in 1993. In that same year, Lehman received the highest honor for a board member in Illinois—the Allan A. Weissburg "Commissioner of the Year" Award.

Lehman has championed the cause for conservation as a delegate for the Conservation Congress and was approved by President Bush to serve as a key member of the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission.

Plumb Achieves National Honor
Steven S. Plumb, CLP, interim director and director of park services for the Elmhurst Park District, was honored with the William Penn Mott, Jr. Award for Excellence, presented by the National Society for Park Resources, a professional branch of NRPA. Plumb was recognized for his professional achievements and contributing to the advancement of the professional of parks and recreation for the past twenty-three years. Among them, Plumb is noted for founding the purchasing cooperative for the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association.

Ted Flickinger, Ph.D., executive director of the Illinois Association of Park Districts, was recognized by NRPA for his outstanding contributions as 1994/1995 chair of the National Forum, an advisory board for the association and its branches, sections and affiliates.

58 • Illinois Parks & Recreation * November/December 1995

Jamie Sabbach, CLP, Champaign Park District's facilities/program manager was awarded the NRPA Young Professional Fellowship for the Great Lakes Region. The fellowship gained Sabbach the opportunity to be paired with an NRPA leader at the national congress to learn the structure and operation of the national organization. She was paired with R. Dean Tice, executive director of NRPA.

NRPA Elects Illinois Representatives to Board of Trustees
Phyllis Cossarek was elected citizen representative of the Great Lakes Region. Cossarek is president of the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and a commissioner for the Wilmette Park District. She is also president-elect of the General Federation of Women's Clubs and lectures statewide to women about sexual assault awareness and victim assistance.

Ted Flickinger, Ph.D., was re-elected for an additional three-year term to the board of trustees. Serving the board since 1991, Flickinger is noted for his key roles in advancing the association's Western Revenue Sources Management School, Legislative Advocacy Task Force and Public Awareness Committee. Flickinger also serves on the NRPA National Forum and the Great Lakes Regional Council.

Kenneth S. Kuteka, CLP, will serve this year as the past president of the NRPA Board of Trustees. As president of the association in 1995, Kutska played an instrumental role in the 1995 Ahren's Institute challenge, helping to raise more than the $1 million goal set for this major project.

Penelope Randal, elected citizen at-large representative of the Board, is commissioner and vice president for the Northbrook Park District. She is the NRPA citizen board member representative on the Great Lakes Regional Council and a former member of the Glenview Northbrook School District Board of Education. Randal is also a former school teacher who still substitutes regularly.

Messerli Elected to The Academy
Stephen K. Messerli
Steven K. Messerii, executive director of the Lake County Forest Preserve District, was elected to serve as a member of The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. The Academy is made up of distinguished senior professionals and citizen leaders in the park, conservation and recreation field and was established to serve as an advisory board to the NRPA Board of Trustees.

Messerli received a bachelor's of science degree from East Tennessee State University and a master's in public administration from California State University. With more than twenty years of experience in the field, Messerii has served as executive director for the Lake County Forest Preserve since 1991.

Grodsky and Atkins Lead NRPA's Leisure & Aging Section
Teresa Grodsky, Senior Center Director for the Park Ridge Recreation and Park District, was elected president of the NRPA Leisure & Aging Section. Grodsky speaks widely on the subject of senior programming and is considered a top professional in this area.

K. Dale Atkins, Re.D., CLP, was voted President-Elect for the Leisure & Aging Section. Atkins is assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration at Western Illinois University.

Both Grodsky and Atkins played an integral role in the 1995 White House Conference on Aging events held both state-wide and in Washington, D.C.

Hurd Named Chair of NRPA Division
Amy Hurd, CLP, marketing manager of the Champaign Park District was named chair of the NRPA Recreation Programmers Division. Hurd was also appointed to the board of directors of the American Park and Recreation Society.

Send your People & Places in the News informtion to:
Editor, Illinois Parks & Recreation
Illinois Association of Park Districts
211 E. Monroe St.
Springfield, IL 62701

Illinois Parks & Recreation November/December 1995 •59

LoriKay Paden has been hired as the new community program manager for the Urbana Park District. Her responsibilities include supervising the Recreation Office, the Phillips Recreation Center, the Lake House and several full-time staff members. Paden received here master's degree in Health and Physical Education from Illinois State University. Her most recent position was aquatics and fitness manager for the Round Lake Area Park District.

Rick Pyle was named director of parks and recreation for the Streamwood Park District. Pyle was director of the Freeport Park District for the past eleven years and previously held positions of superintendent of recreation and facilities manager for the Mount Prospect Park District. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Pyle has been in the field of parks and recreation for thirty years. He earned his master's degree from Western Illinois University.

Deborah EIlerman, executive director of the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum for the past four years, was honored with a Rockford Park District Distinguished Service Award for her dedication to the old house museum and directing the growth of its outreach program. Ellerman is leaving the museum post to move out West with her husband.

The Northbrook Park District recently hired two recreation supervisors. Jim McCarthy has a bachelor's degree in Physical Education from North Park College, Chicago, and previously worked for the Village of Riverside's Recreation Department. His program responsibilities include adult recreation, girls' softball and youth basketball.
Bruce Takasaki will oversee teen programs, athletic clinics, tennis programs and winter facilities for the district. Takasaki graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Leisure Studies, with an emphasis on Sports Management. Through the University of Illinois he worked as a Recreation Director for the Illinois Rural Recreation Development Program in Newman.

Rich Zielke was named recreation supervisor for the Matteson Parks & Recreation Department. Zielke has bachelor's and master's degrees in Recreation and Park Administration from Illinois State University. His background is in planning, implementing and supervising youth and adult athletic programs and other recreational activities.

Stacy Soliday was appointed public information coordinator for the Champaign Park District, where she is responsible for desktop publishing and public information. She received her bachelor's degree in Recreation Management from Indiana State University and completed an internship with the Champaign Park District.

Traci Walker was named special events coordinator for the Champaign Park District where she will plan community-wide special events and coordinate cultural arts programs. Walker has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois and she is the president and chief designer for Walker Studios.

Sally Macnamara was named the director of programs for the Leisure Services Division of the Northbrook Park District, where she will run the district's summer camp and after-school programs, preschool and contract programs and outdoor recreation. She earned her bachelor's degree in Recreation and Parks Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Macnamara has worked for several years in private industry specializing in training and consulting.

Illinois Parks & Recreation
1996 Editorial Calendar
January/February - Wellness in the 21 st Century
March/April - Partnerships
May/June - Preserving Public Land
July/August - Youth and Families
September/October - Trends in Technology
November/December -- University Perspective

For a complete copy of article/photography submission guidelines, including permission to publish release forms, write to:
Illinois Parks & Recreation
illinois Association of Park Districts
211 E. Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701
217-523-4554 (Phone)
217-523-4273 (fax)

60 • Illinois Parks & Recreation November/December 1995

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