Bill McAdam honored as Professional of the Year

Mon January 31, 2022

DOWNERS GROVE, IL—On January 28, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) honored Bill McAdam, Executive Director of Downers Grove Park District, for his commitment and excellent service to parks and recreation in Illinois. McAdam was recognized as Professional of the Year during the IPRA Awards Program at the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference.

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 and recreation 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. His incredible devotion and service to his professional and personal communities make him very deserving of the Professional of the Year Award. Since 2012, 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, McAdam has built a positive work culture that fosters innovative thinking and empowers staff to provide exceptional recreation, parks and facilities. He has led the District to achieve the 2020 Exceptional Workplace Award, GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting each year and Excellence Level A for the Park District Risk Management Association’s Loss Control Program Review. Most recently, McAdam was honored to lead the District to become an Illinois Accredited Distinguished Agency, which was recognized at the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference on January 28.

McAdam’s commitment to the District’s values and culture were evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. He diligently developed a unified community-wide response plan with local agencies during the pandemic. To maximize community resources and execute a multi-agency approach to serving Downers Grove, he has strengthened vital partnerships between the Park District, school districts, local agencies and organizations.

“Bill and his staff work tirelessly to provide the residents of Downers Grove Park District with the best possible programs and indoor/outdoor recreation experiences. The Downers Grove Board of Commissioners and residents thank him for his dedication and hard work,” said Cathy Mahoney, Board President of the Downers Grove Park District Board of Commissioners.

McAdam 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, he served as the IPRA Chairman of the Board. As a member of the Joint Coordinating Council from 2004-2008 and the Distinguished Park & Recreation Accreditation Committee since 2008, he has guided agencies to achieve the highest standards and provide exceptional park and recreation services to their communities. McAdam has mentored young professionals throughout the state, is currently Vice President on the Lemont Park District Board of Commissioners, is an Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation Trustee and serves as Board President for the South East Association for Special Parks And Recreation (SEASPAR).

Doug Damery, Chair of the Illinois Parks and Recreation Board of Directors, presented McAdam with the Professional of the Year Award on January 28.

“Bill is well respected for the work he has done for the Downers Grove community, his contributions to IPRA and the great career he has built. He has set a great example for current and future directors,” said Damery.