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Downers Grove parks director earns special honor

Prince Pond is one of the Downers Grove Park District's attractions.

Bill McAdam, executive director of the Downers Grove Park District, has been elected as a Fellow into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.

McAdam was inducted at the academy’s virtual general membership meeting Sept. 14, according to a news release that noted the academy is a group of distinguished practitioners and educators who are leaders in the parks and recreation profession. Those in the academy must have served for at least 15 years in a high level of administration in a park and recreation agency or as a recognized educator in parks and recreation administration or they must manage a park and recreation department for an agency with a population of more than 500,000. They also must have demonstrated outstanding ability in administration, management or education in the profession, displayed broad interest with a direct service benefit to the advancement of public parks and recreation or assumed leadership with a keen desire to contribute to the advancement of the field, according to the release.

The academy is limited to 137 active members.

“The Class of 2022 is a great addition to the academy,” President Bill Foelsch of New Jersey said in the release. “The academy is honored to induct Bill McAdam into its ranks. The academy represents a diverse group of professionals and educators, all with superior career experience and a dedication to improving the quality of life through the provision of high-quality parks and recreation opportunities. We welcome our 2022 fellows.”

McAdam has served as executive director at the Downers Grove Park District since 2012, where he manages a $13 million budget, leads 400 professionals and oversees 600 acres on 48 sites. McAdam began his career in parks and recreation at age 14, when he worked as a concession stand attendant at the Lemont Park District. Since 2014, he has given back to his hometown by serving on the Park Board of Commissioners in Lemont. In 2022, he was honored as the Professional of the Year by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association.

“The Downers Grove Park District thanks Bill for his dedicated leadership and service to our community,” Cathy Mahoney, president of the Downers Grove Park Board of Commissioners, said in the release. “Bill is highly respected by his colleagues as an industry leader and has helped to cultivate the profession throughout the state of Illinois by sharing his knowledge, experience, time and talents. The Board of Commissioners congratulates Bill on this outstanding achievement.”

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois