Press Release - For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Weishaar, Outreach Director
[email protected]/708.588.2282

Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) Names New Executive Director

La Grange – The Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) is pleased to announce Barbara Arango, CAE as its new Executive Director. She will start with IPRA on January 3, 2022. 

Barbara Arango, CAE, is an association professional with over nine years of experience with various associations at the state, regional and national level. Most recently, she served as Executive Director at WJ Weiser & Associates where she managed multiple physician focused associations. She attended the University of Miami for her undergraduate degree and earned an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She resides in Palatine, IL, with her husband of 25 years, three children, and two dogs. Her career passion is in helping organizations grow and succeed. Outside of work, Barbara currently serves as Chair for the Holistic Moms Network and enjoys spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors. 

‘I am delighted to be chosen as the next Executive Director for IPRA and be able to support parks, recreation, and conservation professionals in the important work that they do. Park and recreation agencies are integral in building the connections and community we all need – especially today. I pledge to ensure IPRA continues to provide the quality education and opportunities our members have come to appreciate so they may continue to excel for residents across Illinois.’ – Barbara Arango, CAE

‘On behalf of the IPRA Board, we are thrilled to introduce Barbara to the IPRA membership. We are confident that her work ethic and energy are a great fit for IPRA as our next Executive Director and I am excited as we look forward to the upcoming year. ‘ - Doug Damery, Director of Parks and Recreation, Normal Parks and Recreation Department and IPRA Board Chair. 

Established in 1944, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) serves nearly 2,500 park, recreation, and conservation professionals throughout the state, and is a national leader in providing premier education, networking, and resources. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website: