Press Release - For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Weishaar, Outreach Director
heather@ilipra.org 

Town of Normal Parks & Recreation Director Installed as 2021 Chair of Illinois Park & Recreation Association

La Grange – The Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) has installed Doug Damery, Director of Parks & Recreation for the Town of Normal, as its 2021 Chair of the Board of Directors. He was sworn in during the IPRA Annual Business Meeting on January 28, during the 2021 IAPD/IPRA Annual Soaring to New Heights Virtual Conference.

Doug has been Director of Parks & Recreation for the Town of Normal since November 2016. Originally from Metamora, Illinois, he graduated in 1991 from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Recreation Administration. Doug served as Grad Assistant in Intramurals at Miami University, and after working at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Doug made the move to Carmel, Indiana as their first Recreation Coordinator.

In 1995, Doug moved to Itasca Park District as a Recreation Supervisor, serving as Superintendent of Recreation/Operations from 1999 until 2003, before heading to Washington Park District as Executive Director in 2003. Most notable projects completed there include Harry LaHood Park, the Recreation Center and Administrative Offices, a new Pool and Bathhouse, and expansion of the Washington Recreation Trail.

Doug was driven to pursue a leadership role with IPRA after a tornado devastated Washington in 2013, which destroyed much of the town and thousands of homes, including his own. Many of his connections made through IPRA offered their support to help the City of Washington and the Washington Park District. For several weeks, 33 Parks Districts and Parks & Recreation agencies spent over fifteen hundred manhours assisting with debris removal. Others donated supplies, resources, money, or trees.

Reflecting on his upcoming role, ‘I look forward to the upcoming year and the challenges ahead. I am proud and honored to represent some of the best parks and recreation professionals in the country.’

‘We are so pleased to have Doug as our new Chair. He is the first chair from the Central Illinois region since 2011. Doug is someone who is a service-oriented leader. His statewide perspective and his style of weighing all sides to an issue will be especially helpful to us as we continue to serve our members under the challenges of COVID-19.’-Debbie Trueblood, IPRA Executive Director.

Established in 1944, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s mission is to provide and promote exceptional standards of education, networking, and resources for all professionals in the Illinois park, recreation, and conservation communities. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website: www.ILipra.org.