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Rising Star
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The Rising Star Award recognizes up-and-coming board members who have completed a minimum of one year, but not more than six years of service as a board member (equivalent to one elected term.) The recipient of the Rising Star Award will have demonstrated exemplary performance in duties and responsibilities as a board member.


The recipient must:
1) Have completed a minimum of one year, but not more than six years of service as a board member (equivalent to one elected term).

2) Be actively involved in the park district, forest preserve, conservation or recreation agency and community including, but not limited to, service to residents and promotion of the benefits of park districts, forest preserves, conservation and recreation agencies.

3) Have performed additional significant or noteworthy projects demonstrating positive impact and dedication to the field of parks and recreation, which may include involvement in IAPD activities.

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 Rising Star Award
1997 - James Heberer, Kewanee Park District
1998 - Scott Triphahn, Hoffman Estates Park District
1999 - Paula Gilbert, South Barrington Park District
2000 - Clint Hull, St. Charles Park District
2001 - Earl Creutzburg, Champaign County Forest Preserve District
2002 - Steven Born, Naperville Park District
2003 - Christine Gentes, Round Lake Area Park District
2004 - Jim Popp, Manhattan Park District
2005 - Christopher T. Riley, Decatur Park District
2006 - Rick Main, Medinah Park District
2007 - Mark Gartland, Oak Park, Park District of
2008 - Suzanne Hart, Naperville Park District
2009 - David Doerhoefer, Vernon Hills Park District
2010 - John Karesh, Westmont Park District
2011 - Tim Pasternak, Round Lake Area Park District
2012 - Eric Entler, Park District of Forest Park
2013 - Mike Reilly, Naperville Park District
2014 - Adriane Johnson, Buffalo Grove Park District
2015 - Kevin Riley, Batavia Park District
2016 - Matt Walsh, Park District of Forest Park
2017 - Dan Engelkes, Oregon Park District
2018 - George Bridges, Waukegan Park District
2019 - Ted Schulz, New Lenox Community Park 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.