For Immediate Release
Heather Weishaar
[email protected]


Professional Excellence Recognized at IAPD/IPRA Annual Conference


La Grange IL, January 2022 – On January 28, 2022, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) honored William McAdam, Executive Director at the Downers Grove Park District, for his commitment and excellent service to parks, recreation, and conservation in Illinois. Mr. McAdam was recognized during the IAPD/IPRA Awards Program at the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference, held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

IPRA Professional of the Year Award: William (Bill) McAdam, Downers Grove Park District

The Professional of the Year Award is an honor presented to an individual with more than eight years of full-time service and has made a major contribution to the park, recreation and conservation profession, and someone who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty.

With over 32 years as a parks and recreation professional, Bill McAdam has dedicated his career to advancing the field and serving others. Bill’s incredible devotion and service to his professional and personal communities make him very deserving of the Professional of the Year Award. Since 2012, Bill McAdam has served as Executive Director at Downers Grove Park District where he manages a $13 million budget, leads 400 professionals, and oversees over 600 acres on 48 sites. 

Guided by a vision that encourages leadership, imagination, fulfillment and enjoyment, Bill has built a positive work culture that fosters innovative thinking and empowers staff to provide exceptional recreation programming, parks, and facilities. Under Bill’s leadership, the district has been recognized with the 2020 Exceptional Workplace Award,  the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA)’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, and PDRMA’s Loss Control Program Review's Excellence Level A. Most recently, Bill was honored to lead the district to become an Illinois Accredited Distinguished Agency in 2021. Passionate about rewarding employees and providing work-life balance, Bill recently developed new policies featuring industry-leading employee benefits, such as Paid Family and Medical Leave and increased paid time off. 

Bill is highly respected by his colleagues as an industry leader, and has shared his knowledge, experience, and time by serving the IPRA and other organizations. In 2006, Bill served as the IPRA Board Chair. As a member of the Joint Coordinating Council from 2004-2008 and the Distinguished Park & Recreation Accreditation Committee since 2008, Bill has guided agencies to achieve the highest standards and provide exceptional park and recreation services to their communities. Bill has mentored professionals through ProConnect, is currently an Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation Trustee and serves as Board President for SEASPAR. Bill’s impact on community extends well beyond his duties at Downers Grove Park District. Since 2014, Bill has given back to the community in which he lives by serving on the Lemont Park District’s Board of Commissioners and as an active member and volunteer for Bethany Lutheran Church.

‘I congratulate Bill McAdam on receiving the Professional of the Year award. His leadership, innovation, and commitment to the profession, agency, and communities is inspiring and I look forward to collaborating with him on the Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation (IPRF) Board for the continued betterment of IPRA and our members.’ – Barbara Arango, CAE, IPRA Executive Director

A complete list of IPRA Award winners is available on the IPRA website,

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: