Bulletin Board News

Bulletin Board News

Board Announces New Executive Director

Categories: Announcements
image Board Announces New Executive Director

The Park Ridge Park District Board of Commissioners is excited to announce John Shea, Jr. as its new incoming Executive Director of the Park District. This appointment comes as the District prepares for the retirement of their current Executive Director, Gayle Mountcastle, who is embarking on her well-earned retirement starting in May.

The search for a new leader began in August, following Mountcastle’s retirement announcement. The Board conducted a national search in collaboration with GovHR USA, a leading executive search firm for local governments and nonprofits. This partnership enabled the Park Board to conduct a robust recruitment process to find the best fit for the organization and the community as a whole.

John Shea, Jr. brings a wealth of experience to Park Ridge, having served with distinction since 2021 as the Executive Director at the DeKalb Park District. In DeKalb, he oversaw the operations of both an 18-hole and a 9-hole golf course, an aquatic facility, fitness center, two banquet facilities, community center, museum, and 40 park sites totaling over 700 acres. In his role as the Executive Director, the District was awarded a $507,000 OSLAD grant for the replacement of a fully inclusive ADA playground. Prior to his time in DeKalb, John most recently served for six years as the Superintendent of Recreation for the Winnetka Park District where he implemented changes resulting in a $2.5 million increase in the recreation fund.

"We are confident that John's vision and dedication will build upon Gayle’s impressive accomplishments and lead us to continued growth and success,” stated Board President John Tunnell. He continued, “Shea’s background in our industry, combined with his proven leadership, commitment to empowering staff, and innovative approach to community needs, assures us that he will guide the District into an exciting future under his leadership."

Shea expressed his eagerness to contribute, stating, "I am honored and excited to embark on this journey. The opportunity to build upon the impressive facilities and programming at the Park Ridge Park District and to bring new perspectives to those efforts is truly motivating. I look forward to working with the staff and the community to usher in a vibrant era of growth and innovation."

Shea will be starting with the Park Ridge Park District on May 1.

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