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Forest Preserve District of Kane County, Executive Director

It shall be the Mission of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County to acquire, hold, and maintain lands within Kane County, which contribute to the conservation of natural and historic resources and habitats, flora or fauna; to restore, restock, protect and preserve such lands for the environmental education, recreation, pleasure and well-being of all its citizens.


The Executive Director functions as the Chief Executive Officer of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.  Work involves the execution of all ordinances and resolutions of the Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners and pertinent laws of the state and federal government and implementation of the policies of the Board, plans, organizes, staffs, directs and controls all activities to achieve the District mission and specific goals and objectives.  Works closely with directors to maintain a productive and motivational climate throughout the organization.  The Executive Director reports to the President and the Commission.  All District directors report to the Executive Director.  All other district employees indirectly report to the Executive Director.

 ESSENTIAL POSITION DUTIES to be performed with or without reasonable accommodation

  • Guides the development of the District goals and objectives from committee planning to full board approval.
  • Provides for the execution of all ordinances and resolutions of the Forest Preserve Commission and all laws subject to enforcement by the Executive Director or those under his/her direction and supervision.
  • Prepares and submits to the Forest Preserve Commission for approval, administrative procedures for the operation of the District; review procedures and recommends revisions periodically or as required by the Forest Preserve Commission.
  • Selects and develops a professional staff to achieve a high level of competence and sound judgment.
  • Supervises the preparation of and presents to the Forest Preserve Commission the proposed annual budget and appropriation and levy ordinances. Works closely with the Chief Financial Officer, President, and Executive Committee, develops financial strategies, requests local, state and federal grants, and coordinates and monitors departmental budgets.
  • Recommends and/or approves the purchase of needed equipment, materials, supplies and services.
  • Furnishes the President and Forest Preserve Commission with information concerning the operations of District departments and the utilization of forest preserves by the public.
  • Coordinates land acquisition priorities and plans through the Executive Committee and Commission; evaluates and proposes land strategies, implements Commission directives through intergovernmental collaboration, manages grants, purchase negotiation and continuously building positive community relations.
  • Promotes advancement and understanding of the District to the general public, the media and public agencies through press releases, brochures, fact sheets, videos, presentations, interviews and public appearances.
  • Performs tasks that will require walking, bending, stooping, standing, kneeling, climbing, reaching and sitting.
  • Performs lifting tasks up to 35 pounds.
  • Represents the Forest Preserve at various public forums and local, state and federal agencies.
  • May work irregular hours, including weekends, evenings and holidays.
  • Possesses and maintains a valid and current Illinois Driver’s License free from suspension or revocation during term of employment; must maintain insurability with the District’s fleet insurance carrier.
  • Obtains and maintains all required licenses and certifications and keeps up-to-date on professional trends and developments related to position accountabilities.
  • Performs the job safely and in compliance with District policies, procedures, work and safety rules, the Employee Handbook, and applicable laws and regulations.



  • Local or regional travel may be required.
  • Assists the Board, community and preserve users by providing information and answering questions.
  • Performs related work as required; both indoors and outdoors subject to weather elements.


To be successful in any role at the District, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Quality / Accuracy: Pays attention to details and is concerned with accuracy and thoroughness of work; looks for ways to improve and promote overall quality and makes recommendations
  • Reliability / Dependability: Performs job duties consistently and reliably; fulfills promised actions; is honest and trustworthy
  • Responsiveness / Sense of Urgency: Demonstrates a sincere willingness to help; understands the needs of preserve users; sets realistic expectations; provides prompt service; is timely
  • Planning / Organizing: Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time and resources efficiently; develops realistic action plans
  • Judgment / Decision-Making: Possesses sound common sense and ability to solve-problems; has confidence to work independently; able to make effective decisions in a timely manner
  • Communication: Understands audience; writes and speaks in a clear and effective manner; possesses ability to vary communication style based on situation; demonstrates positive attitude in verbal and non-verbal communication; shares factual, pertinent and targeted information with others; accepts differences in communication styles – doesn’t allow differences to stop operational progress or efficiencies.
  • Adaptability / Flexibility: Manages change with ease and grace; able to communicate unexpected changes or delays in a way that minimizes negative impact; maintains a broad perspective
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Establishes and maintains positive working relationships; willingly helps and finds ways to add value; recognizes the contributions of others; cooperates; builds partnerships throughout organization; respects expertise and differences of others
  • Responsibility / Independence: Accountable for own work; willingly accepts responsibility for successes and failures; possess initiative to work independently and energetically
  • Safety / Security: Actively promotes safety; personally observes safety and security procedures; uses equipment and materials properly; investigates accidents professionally and efficiently



  • Ability to work effectively in a climate of political assertiveness and interaction, requiring timely administrative responsiveness and flexibility.
  • Ability to recognize the complexities, coordination and intergovernmental relations aspects involved in directing a successful land acquisition, development and management program.
  • Must be able to function effectively in a fast-paced environment and the ability to deal with people under stressful and demanding situations.
  • Must provide team leadership.
  • Considerable skill in applying project and time management principles to independently manage department workload including handling multiple priorities simultaneously, managing long-term projects, and adjusting priorities as needed.
  • Considerable skill in effectively applying leadership and management principles and practices.
  • Considerable skill in analyzing problems, identifying alternative solutions, projecting consequences and making recommendations or implementing changes within scope of authority.
  • Considerable skill in preparing and presenting effective verbal, written and graphic presentations.
  • Considerable skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with employees, supervisors, other agencies, community leaders, District officials, and the general public.
  • Ability to follow direction and communicate in English verbally and in writing, to read and understand materials printed in English.
  • Ability to work in a team atmosphere, promoting positive work relationships with both internal and external customers.
  • Ability to maintain self-control and composure in difficult situations.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of discipline and ethics.



  • Ability to work effectively in a climate of political assertiveness and interaction, requiring timely administrative responsiveness and flexibility.
  • Ability to recognize the complexities, coordination and intergovernmental relations aspects involved in directing a team.
  • Ability to drive motorized vehicle to other work sites.
  • Required to work extra hours to accomplish and complete high volume of work.  Ability to be on-call for emergency situations.
  • Ability to climb, stoop, bend, reach, walk, sit, kneel, or stand for long periods of time.



  • Ability to work effectively in a climate of political assertiveness and interaction, requiring timely administrative responsiveness and flexibility.
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to establish and maintain positive and effective working relationships with District staff, Commissioners, public agencies, private organizations, and the general public; effectively present ideas, policies and project orally and in writing; professionally represent the District at public meetings and events.
  • Ability to continue professional education and training, keep up to date with current practices, programs and technologies in public administration, natural resource and operations management, capital projects and related areas.
  • Must possess good problem-solving ability and good judgment.
  • Must be able to coach, mentor and supervise others.



  • B.S/B.A is public administration, business administration, finance, natural resource management and parks and recreation or related field.  Master’s in Business Administration, Public Administration or related concentration highly desirable.
  • Ten years progressive experience in a natural resource-based agency and/or public administration in a forest preserve district, park district, forest preserve or similar entity.
  • Analytical skills necessary to evaluate and decide alternative course of action in relation to planning, development and administration of operating and capital budgets, employee management systems, and purchasing and contract administration.
  • Employee management skills necessary to effectively plan, motivate, supervise and evaluate the work of professional staff.
  • Demonstrated ability in uniting diverse interests toward the objective of implementing and administering an effective land acquisition, development and management program.
  • Considerable knowledge of local, state and federal legislation and regulations pertinent to forest preserves.
  • Proficient computer knowledge for daily use, calendar, documents, spreadsheets and presentations in Microsoft Office suite.
  • Anticipated Hiring Salary $120,000 DOQ. This role will also include other fringe benefits such as a monthly car allowance, employer paid vision and life insurance and sick time, HMO/PPO medical insurance options with a dental plan, paid holidays, personal days, vacation days (enhanced vacation accrual plan), and the IMRF pension plan.

Application Procedure:
Please apply online. For consideration, you will want to attach a current resume, cover letter, three professional references and three to five letters of recommendation.


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