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Commissioner of the Year
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IAPD Commissioner of the Year Award – FREE NOMINATION!

The recipient of the Commissioner of the Year Award will have shown outstanding qualities to support and promote parks, recreation and conservation in his or her community, as well as throughout the state.


The recipient must:
1) Be an elected official and member of IAPD.

2) Have served a minimum of 6 years as a member of a local board.

3) Demonstrate skills in dealing with people (public, media, legislators), a true desire to serve while accepting personal sacrifices, and the ability to stimulate community action while maintaining the highest integrity in ethics.

4) Have helped to carry out the IAPD mission: "The IAPD is a non-profit service, research and education organization that serves park districts, forest preserves, conservation and recreation agencies. The association advances these agencies, their citizen board members and professional staff in their ability to provide outstanding park and recreation opportunities, preserve natural resources and improve the quality of life for all people in Illinois." This can be promoting IAPD through the legislative process, volunteering at IAPD events, serving as a lecturer or panel member at IAPD programs, or participating on an IAPD committee or its board of trustees.

IAPD Award Nomination Procedure
Nomination Deadline: Noon on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. 

Please scroll down to complete the award application fields below. The "Narrative of Contributions" is a biography of contributions and accomplishments, which should be sent separately. In that field, please type "to come as separate attachment." 

All nominations must include a typed biography of contributions and accomplishments not to exceed 750 words. Nominations must also include a photo of the nominee attached as a .JPEG, .TIFF or .EPS file (at least 300 dpi.)  Nominations may also include supportive materials (not to exceed 5 pages or 5 attachments) such as newspaper clippings, additional photos of nominee, etc.  All nomination materials must be submitted via e-mail to IAPD Director of Public Relations & Membership Engagement Bobbie Jo Hill.  The typed biography of contributions and accomplishments must be formatted as follows:

  • Times New Roman or Arial font
  • 12 point font size
  • Single spaced
  • Saved as a .pdf
  • The following information centered at the top of the page:
    - Agency name
    - Nominee's name
    - Award nomination title
    - Contact name, agency, phone number and e-mail address (of person submitting the nomination)

Past Recipients of the Commissioner of the Year Award
1982 - Robert Nicholas, Bensenville Park District
1983 - Donald F. Bresnan, Champaign Park District
1984 - Peter Koukos, Park District of Highland Park
1985 - Morgan Powell, Champaign Park District
1986 - Robert Cole, Decatur Park District
1987 - Bonnie Noble, Peoria Park District
1988 - Michael Cassidy, Freeport Park District
1989 - Eugene Pomerance, Elmhurst Park District
1990 - Ralph Cianchette, Park District of Highland Park
1991 - Michael Curtis, Carbondale Park District
1992 - Bruce Larson, Urbana Park District
1993 - Ron Lehman, Channahon Park District
1994 - William Sherman, Jr., Downers Grove Park District
1995 - Donald Jessen, Addison Park District
1996 - Judith Beck, Glenview Park District
1997 - Waldon Degner, Palatine Park District
1998 - Phyllis Cossarek, Wilmette Park District
1999 - Fred Hohnke, Woodridge Park District
2000 - Oscar Dahl, Northbrook Park District
2001 - Michael S. Gilfillan, Arlington Heights Park District
2002 - James L. Shook, Round Lake Area Park District
2003 - Mary Garrison, Winnetka Park District
2004 - Millie Keith, Freeport Park District
2005 - Dennis Flanagin, Lan-Oak Park District
2006 - Timothy J. Cassidy, Pleasure Driveway and Park District of Peoria
2007 - David Mason, DeKalb Park District
2008 - Mary Ann Chambers, Northbrook Park District
2009 - Ann Austin, Rock Island Parks & Recreation Department
2010 - Scott Triphahn, Hoffman Estates Park District
2011 - Edward Karasek, Berwyn Park District
2012 - Chris Riley, Decatur Park District
2013 - Colette Kubiesa, Elmhurst Park District
2014 - John Hoscheit, Forest Preserve District of Kane County
2015 - Doug Brooks, Rockford Park District
2016 - David Johnson - Schaumburg Park District
2017 - Sebastian "Buzz" Puccio, Bloomingdale Park District
2018 - Lester L. Long, Sr., Dolton Park District
2019 - Wally Frasier, Mundelein Park & Recreation District

This award will be presented Friday, January 29, 2021 during the All-Conference Luncheon at the annual IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference.