Location: Illinois-Chicago Northwest
Mission(s): Other / Not Listed
Recreation and Leisure
Salary: $120,000/Yr - to - $150,000/Yr +
Job Type: Full Time
Posted On: Feb 11, 2021

Education: Bachelor's Degree
Career Level: Executive (VP/Senior VP/etc)
Nonprofit Experience: 10-20 Yrs


The Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) in DuPage County, IL is seeking a creative and collaborative leader to be its next Executive Director. The successful candidate will have the ability to think strategically, deliver high-quality special recreation services, communicate effectively, work collaboratively and attract, develop and empower their talented and dedicated team members.  The successful candidate will also be expected to continuously demonstrate the interpersonal skills and judgment to create trust, deliver results, mentor staff and influence a positive culture.

WDSRA has been impacting lives of individuals with special needs since 1976, providing innovative programs and outstanding customer service resulting in respite opportunities for families. WDSRA is a collaborative of nine park districts in DuPage County, IL that includes the park districts of Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Roselle, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton and Winfield.

It is the goal of WDSRA to provide all individuals with disabilities year-round recreation opportunities that allow for performance at one’s highest level of ability. The Association fully embraces that goal through its mission and vision:

  • WDSRA Mission: The development of individuals through recreation.
  • WDSRA Vision: Opening a world of untapped potential and a lifetime of possibilities.

WDSRA is a two-time winner of the National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal and is an Illinois Distinguished Special Recreation Accredited Agency. Annually, the Association serves 2,700 individuals and manages 9,300 registrations for inclusive and collaborative programs. It is best known for the variety of programs it provides including vacation trips, special events, Special Olympics, dance and art programs as well as social clubs and day camp. WDSRA operates an annual budget of $4.5 million supporting 35 full-time employees and 225 part-time employees and volunteers. WDSRA aggressively seeks collaborative opportunities with local organizations to serve those with special needs, to provide Synergy, an adaptive sports program; and Pro Leagues for students attending alternative schools. Unique are six Day Program sites that WDSRA maintains in four communities and provides 50 weeks per year. Participants range in age from 2-84 years old. The Association is supported by the WDSRA Foundation (a 501(c)(3)) whose relationships and networks provide $275,000 annually in support of WDSRA’s mission.

WDSRA engages in a strategic plan process that results in establishing goals under five initiatives: Culture, Sustainability, Service Excellence, Talent Management and Partnerships. The Core Values of WDSRA are woven into all that it does. WDSRA values a feedback-rich culture where robust discussions lead to better results. WDSRA works to be the employer of choice and FUNdamentals provide the house rules on how to be a cherished member of this great organization.

The Executive Director reports directly to the nine-member Board of Directors and is the team leader for the Agency’s Superintendents. The Executive Director is responsible for managing all functions of the special recreation system as related to the public and agency staff. The Executive Director administers the policies adopted by the Board of Directors.

Education and Experience:

A Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation, Parks and Recreation Management, or Business Administration or related field; certification as either a Therapeutic Recreation or Parks and Recreation Professional is preferred; a Master’s degree or at least 10 years of increasingly responsible experience in the field and history of progressive advancement is highly desirable.

Skills and Personal Characteristics:

The successful candidate will have true compassion for and a strong commitment to persons with disabilities and their families, puts the organizations needs before self-interest as well as:

  • Demonstrated ability to provide strategic leadership as well as short-term and long-term planning using innovative ideas and practices in order to anticipate future needs, issues, concerns and opportunities.
  • Highly motivated, energetic, self-starting, outgoing and confident with exceptional interpersonal skills, including a good sense of humor and excellent communication skills.
  • Proven record of outreach and collaboration with service entities and community partners through professional and personal commitments to civic and community activities and events.
  • Ability to create a sound fiscal program that includes budget development/management and capital projects, in addition to experience in seeking new and expanded revenue sources through fundraising, donations and grants.
  • Knowledgeable in State and Federal legislative processes as well as the ability to develop working relationships with State and Federal elected and appointed officials who may assist in fulfilling the mission of WDSRA.
  • Willingness to work with parent organizations, member agencies and staff on strategies to raise the agency’s visibility within the member communities.
  • Management style that includes well-developed organizational skills as well as leadership and motivation by personal example. Nurturing, encouraging, developing and expecting a culture that values: Respect, Passion, Innovation, Integrity, Communication, Collaboration and Fun. An effective Executive Director will encourage high standards of performance, accountability, productivity, and respectful and ethical conduct from all WDSRA personnel.


The approved salary range for the Executive Director position is $120,000 - $160,000, commensurate with qualifications. A standard benefit package is offered. WDSRA is a member of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

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For More Information, Visit: govhrusa.applytojob.com/apply/qYKdF6ZrZw/Western-DuPage-Special-Recreation-Association-Executive-Director

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