Board of Commissioners
Established in 1966, the Naperville Park District is an independent municipal agency committed to its mission to promote healthy lives, minds and community, by offering a wide variety of recreational opportunities. A seven member Board of Commissioners elected at-large by Naperville voters governs the organization, each serving a four-year term. Board meetings are held each month on the second Thursday at 7:00 p.m. and the fourth Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, "Matters from the Public" allows for public comment on park district operations at each regular meeting. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board and manages the day-to-day operations of the District. Under the Executive Director's management, a staff of full-time professionals oversees recreation and facilities, park operations, planning and development, marketing and communications, finance, human resources, and information technology. More than 1,000 part-time and seasonal employees lend their support to the District's operations, programs and services. To reach a Naperville Park Board Commissioner please see below or contact the Naperville Park District at 630-848-5000. To view a list of past Park Board of Commissioners from the year 1966 to the present, click here.
Mary Gibson, a Naperville resident since 2014, was elected to the Park Board in 2021. She grew up in Lisle, and after living in several different places for school and work, she and her husband knew that they wanted to raise their family in Naperville. She and her children actively participate in a variety of Park District programs, which have become an important resource for her family. She chose to run for Park Board to help ensure that the District continues to be a strong community asset for all of Naperville.
Mary is a mother of three young children and a former director at a data analytics firm where she advised Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and non-profits on public sentiment, unforeseen risks and strategic opportunities. After being a working parent for a while, she made the decision to pause her career to stay home with her growing family. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History, a master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and a certificate in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics.
Mary’s community involvement includes being a trained member of Naperville’s Community Emergency Response Team, a graduate of Naperville’s Citizen Police Academy and Naperville’s Citizen Fire Academy, and facilitating a book group at Anderson’s Bookshop that is designed to foster civil discourse among people with differing political views.
The Naperville Park District is one of Mary’s favorite things about the City of Naperville. She appreciates that the District has provided her family with so many ways to get moving, learn, and socialize. She loves the accessibility and inclusivity of our parks and green spaces; that anyone can go out and enjoy nature without traveling far from home.
Reflecting on Naperville as a community, Mary is impressed by how much time and energy so many people devote to making the city a better place for everyone.
Term Expires 2025
Leslie Ruffing was elected to the Park Board in 2021. A Naperville resident since 2012, she appreciates Naperville as a special town with so much value to offer its residents and visitors. Leslie and her husband love raising their two daughters in Naperville and continue to be impressed with the community's award-winning schools, parks, and community services.
Leslie spent 15 years as a Structured Settlement Annuity Broker until recently joining the public sector. She has served her community through a variety of volunteer roles and that passion for public service is what led her to run for the office of Park Commissioner. For over 6 years she has served as a regular volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She is also a volunteer and PTA member at both her daughter's schools.
She believes her most significant accomplishment is being a mother to her two daughters and enjoys the ability to view community services and Park District programs through the lens of her children and their hopes and dreams. She believes that the Park District has the ability to serve the community as a whole in endless ways and feels fortunate to play a small part of that growth and development.
Term Expires 2025
Rhonda Ansier, a Naperville resident for six years, was elected to the Park Board in 2021. She and her family are active participants in Park District programs and have enjoyed the parks and facilities ever since they moved here. When Rhonda looked for a way to get more involved in the community, she was naturally drawn to the Park District, choosing to run as a park commissioner.
Rhonda believes that the Park District is a unifier in the community, bringing people together around shared activities and common concerns, including our need for recreation, health and wellness. She wants to see the Park District continue to serve everyone in our diverse community with its amazing events, programs and facilities.
Rhonda is a nurse practitioner and is proud to have finished her master’s degree in 2019 while working and raising two children. She feels fortunate to be able to do what she loves and values Naperville as a great place to raise a family, with a sense of community, good schools and an active downtown area.
Term Expires 2025
Chris Jacks, a Naperville resident for 16 years, was elected to the Park Board in 2023. He and his wife settled in Naperville, where she grew up, because they wanted the best community in which to raise a family. Their two children enjoy many Park District activities and benefit from the excellent schools, the library and other amenities that Naperville offers.
Chris has worked in the information technology industry for 29 years and currently is a program manager. He values community service and has been a member of the Naperville Historic Preservation Commission for two terms, as well as serving in the Naperville Township Republican Organization. He ran as a park commissioner to continue contributing to the community and to support an organization that is important to his family. He believes that the Naperville Park District and School Districts 203 and 204 are key to what draws so many people to Naperville.
He observes that the number of parks, programs and events the Park District provides are among the best in the country and contribute greatly to Naperville’s consistently best rankings in national surveys. As a park commissioner, he wants to maintain and support this high level of excellence in parks and recreation in our community.
Term Expires 2027
Rich Janor, a Naperville resident and business owner since 2005, was first elected to the Park Board in 2011 and has served two terms as President of the Board. Rich owns and operates Janor Sports, a team sports apparel business based near downtown Naperville. He has also served as a Head Varsity Baseball Coach for fifteen years, and currently is Head Baseball Coach at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard. During his tenue, the Broncos won three consecutive IHSA Regional Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Janor is an avid sports and recreation enthusiast and operates amateur sporting events nationwide, including several events in partnership with Major League Baseball organizations. Specific areas of expertise include sports event management, sports marketing and programming, and designing custom sports apparel. Janor is a supporter of the local sports community, sponsoring several Naperville youth programs and teams on an annual basis.
A proponent of teaching life lessons through athletics, Janor would like to help move Naperville forward by focusing on continued enhancement of recreation programming and facilities. He believes the Park District plays a critical role in inspiring residents of all ages to be active in recreation with their families, neighbors, and friends. He also enjoys cycling, and hopes to see continued improvement and connectivity of Naperville’s trails and paths.
Rich serves as Regional Director for USA Baseball’s National Team Identification Series in the Great Lakes Region, and is an active member of the American Baseball Coaches Association, the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association and the Wheatland Athletic Association Board of Directors. He has completed two Chicago Marathons, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Term Expires 2023
John Risvold was elected to the Park Board in 2023. He and his wife moved to Naperville 8 years ago. They decided to make their home in Naperville, where his wife grew up, to be close to family and to raise their children in an area where the schools, parks and city are exceptional. John is a personal injury lawyer who has worked in his field for 11 years and is now a partner with the Collins Law Firm, P.C.
John’s experience with the Naperville Park District began when his family first moved to Naperville and lived across the street from a park, where his kids learned to walk, ride bikes, slide and play soccer and t-ball. When seeking a way to contribute to the community, John thought first of the Park District. In serving on the Park Board, he wants to make sure that other families and residents have the same opportunities that his family enjoyed. He believes strongly that the programs and green spaces that the Park District provides are vital to the health, wellness and success of the community.
Naperville as a community is important to John because he believes that it is an example of what a city can be when its people invest their time, talent and treasure to ensure that the community thrives. He wants to see the next generation benefit from the same access to excellent schools, parks and safe neighborhoods that he and his family have experienced in this award-winning community.
Term Expires 2027
Alison Thompson was elected to the Park Board in 2021. Growing up in Naperville, Alison experienced the excellent schools, parks and the community feel of Naperville. In 2018 she and her husband decided to settle here and were able to move into the same house where she was raised, after her father retired. She appreciates Naperville as a community of caring, passionate individuals of diverse backgrounds and loves how the city feels like a quaint town, but also has the resources and expansive power of a large city.
When considering how to serve the community, Alison decided that the Park District is the place where she could contribute the most. She is excited to bring to the board the perspective of a young parent who also has been familiar with the Park District throughout her life. She believes that the Naperville Park District can bring diverse communities together and that individuals can find common ground through play and recreation, bridging some of the societal divides that exist.
Alison serves as a volunteer with Home and School and is proud to be a self-taught photographer and a small business owner of Alison Thompson Photography, as well as working for Stern, Cassello and Associates. She is passionate about her career and enjoys finding new ways to enhance and expand her skills and business.
Term Expires 2025