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Park District’s Jackie Gonzalez Receives Berousek Distinguished Alumni Award

At the annual state park and recreation conference in Chicago on January 25, Western Illinois University (WIU) alumni surprised Naperville Park District’s Aquatic Manager Jackie Gonzalez with a prestigious award. Gonzalez is the recipient of the 2019 Jim Berousek Distinguished Alumni Award given to a park and recreation professional who exemplifies the character, dedication and excellence of Jim Berousek, a WIU alumnus who had a tragically short but impactful career as director of the Wood Dale Park District.

Gonzalez joined Naperville Park District staff in 2018 as aquatic manager, a role that includes managing historic Centennial Beach. Prior to her Naperville position, Gonzalez served as aquatic manager and risk manager at Park Ridge Park District. Throughout her 19-year career, she has been recognized multiple times for her leadership roles in state and national organizations such as the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and the National Park and Recreation Association National Aquatics Network.

According to Diane Stanke, the 2018 Berousek Award winner who presented the 2019 award, Jackie Gonzalez “has many remarkable achievements, such as a 2017 award from the Department of Defense for her relationships with service men and women on her staff, and IPRA Facility Management Section Professional of the Year in 2011 and 2015.”

“Any recognition or award is always great to receive but it’s even better when it comes from an outside organization that sees value in what you do for the community,” said Executive Director Ray McGury. “Jackie is the consummate park professional who joins a long list of Naperville Park District employees that have been recognized for their great service and work.  I couldn’t be prouder of Jackie and all our Park District staff.”

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