Location: All Region - Midwest I     (IL IN MI OH WI)
Mission(s): Government
Multi-Service Community Agency
Recreation and Leisure
Salary: $70,000/Yr - to - $90,000/Yr
Job Type: Full Time
Posted On: Mar 15, 2021

Education: Bachelor's Degree
Career Level: Executive (VP/Senior VP/etc)
Nonprofit Experience: Desired / Not Required


The South West Special Recreation Association (SWSRA) is seeking a resourceful and collaborative leader to be its next Executive Director. The next Executive Director will be an excellent communicator with all stakeholders, ensure all services meet the highest standards of safety and customer service and continue to build and empower the SWSRA team of talented employees. The successful candidate will take the lead to assess the programs, staffing levels and financial plans of the Association, recalibrating from the COVID-19 pandemic as needed. The next Executive Director will then be responsible for guiding the Board and staff through the process of development and the implementation of a new strategic plan to assure the continued success of the agency.


SWSRA at a Glance

Celebrating 40 years in 2021, SWSRA was formed in 1981 to provide year-round quality recreation programs and services for individuals with disabilities or special needs. SWSRA programs are designed to increase independence and enhance the quality of life for each individual. A wide variety of programs are available for individuals from early childhood through adulthood. The programs are designed to meet the individual recreation needs of any person who is in special education classes, participates in a sheltered workshop, is referred to SWSRA from a local hospital or rehabilitation center, or whose special needs restrict or prohibit their participation in traditional park district or recreation department programs. This would include individuals who have varying degrees of physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, attention deficit disorders, and hearing or visual impairments. The Association serves the following communities: Alsip Park District, Blue Island Park District, Hickory Hills Park District, Village of Merrionette Park, Midlothian Park District, Palos Heights Recreation Department, Posen Park District, and Worth Park District.


Mission Statement:

Our Mission is to serve individuals with disabilities in their need for recreation so that all persons in our member communities may experience and enjoy positive leisure opportunities.


Vision Statement:

SWSRA will be the leading community-based provider of quality special recreation programs for individuals with disabilities, and is consistently setting new standards of value to meet the changing needs of our participants and our member communities.


The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and 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. 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 with all stakeholders.


Education and Experience:

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree required in Recreation Administration, Therapeutic Recreation, or a related field. The Executive Director should have at least eight years of administrative or supervisory experience in Recreation Administration, Therapeutic Recreation, or a related field. CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist), CPRP (Certified Park and Recreation Professional) or CNP (Certified Nonprofit Professional) certification is desirable with a work history of increasingly responsible experience and history of progressive advancement is highly desirable. Fundraising, grant writing and/or experience with alternative revenue sources is also desirable.


Employment is contingent upon physical examination including, but not limited to, a drug screen and passing a criminal background check. Possession of a valid state Drivers License is required. 


Knowledge, Skills and Personal Characteristics:

The successful candidate will have a knowledge of the theory, philosophy, and practice of therapeutic recreation for individuals with disabilities and a work-history showing a strong commitment to persons with disabilities and their families as well as:


  • Possess a thorough knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act and implementation process.
  • Understand park districts, other forms of municipal government, school districts, special education, and the law as it applies to the provision of special recreation services, administration, and related services.
  • Proven background in fundraising and generating revenue other than from tax dollars, including grant writing and other means of alternative revenue sources. Administer the agency scholarship program by seeking donations and allocating funds to participants.
  • Effective communication skills ensuring there is general community awareness and understanding of all programs and services.
  • Work in the “spirit of cooperation” with community organizations, member agencies and staff.
  • Ensure that the services offered by the Association incorporate opportunities for physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development for all participants, including all ADA regulations.
  • Ability to oversee public relations, speak before service and community groups and demonstrate the ability to work with administrators, boards, staff, and the public.
  • Prepare and recommend the adoption of short-term, intermediate, and long-range plans to meet community needs for quality therapeutic recreation programs, services, personnel, and facility development.
  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise and help develop the talents of the Business Manager, Superintendent, Public Relations/Marketing Coordinator, Office Staff, and Maintenance and Vehicle Coordinator.
  • Establish a good working relationship with the Board of Directors by building trust in all interactions, preparing monthly Board packets and attending meetings of the Board.



The approved salary range for the Executive Director position is $70,000-$90,000 annually, commensurate with qualifications. A standard benefit package is offered. SWSRA is a member of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.



Apply on-line to www.govhrusa.com, including a cover letter, resume, contact information for five professional references.  Application deadline is April 16, 2021. 


For further information contact Chuck Balling or Steve Scholten, Vice Presidents and Executive Recruiters, GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062.

Click here for Organizational Chart


Click Here to Apply!


For More Information, Visit: govhrusa.applytojob.com/apply/rBUuQFrlnL/South-West-Special-Rec-Assoc-IL-Executive-Director

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