Park District Prepares for New Leadership

The Sugar Grove Park District’s Executive Director, Greg Repede, announced his plans to retire on March 30, 2018, after leading the agency since its origination in 2003, when the community passed the district’s organizational referendum.

He began his tenure as the district’s first full-time employee and executive director. Greg later hired additional staff to help oversee the transfer of ownership and maintenance of village parks to the newly formed park district and to develop a roster of recreational activities for Sugar Grove and the surrounding communities.

To ensure the success of these programs, Greg negotiated and entered into several intergovernmental agreements with the Village of Sugar Grove, Kaneland School District #302, Fox Valley Special Recreation Association, Fox Valley Park District, Sugar Grove Township, Sugar Grove Fire District, and Kane County Forest Preserve.

Under his leadership, the district purchased an administrative building, was awarded a $400,000 matching grant from the Department of Natural Resources to assist in developing Harter Community Park, and facilitated a landmark agreement with Fox Valley Park District that traded future tax income for in-district rates for Sugar Grove residents at Fox Valley programs.

Most recently, Greg has been working towards the purchase of the Sugar Grove Sports Complex. The 20-year lease expires in 2018 and by working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the City of Aurora, and the Village of Sugar Grove, the park district expects to close on the property soon.

Before coming to Sugar Grove, Greg worked at other Illinois park districts including Mount Prospect, Hoffman Estates, and Franklin Park in a career that spanned more than 40 years. He held numerous offices and received many awards including a Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois Park and Recreation Association and was named Distinguished Man of the Year at the Village of Hoffman Estates.

No matter where Greg climbed in his career, he always made time to volunteer coach and be involved in youth sports. In high school, he began coaching little league baseball and basketball and continued throughout college. While his children were young, Greg volunteered to coach their soccer teams and today coaches high school sports long after his children have graduated.

“He has made hundreds of children better athletes and people by inspiring them to believe in themselves and to accomplish their dreams,” says park district board president, Sean Carmody.

After working with Greg for 15 years, Superintendent of Recreation, Karen Pritchard says, “His vision and hard work have resulted in improved programs, increased services, intergovernmental cooperation, and many positive personal connections.”

The Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Karen Pritchard as the new Executive Director and Secretary to the Board beginning April 1, 2018.

“No one can fill Greg’s shoes, but I will do my best to carry out his philosophies and the plans he put in place,” says the incoming director, Karen Pritchard.

Sean Michaels announces “Greg Repede Day” to be observed on March 30, 2018.

The Village of Sugar Grove president Sean Michaels writes, “I am thrilled with the park board’s decision to appoint Karen. Her passion led her to develop the Friends of the Parks and was instrumental in passing the district’s organizational referendum. Greg will be missed, but we know Karen will continue the mission to be the best park district we can have on a limited budget. I look forward to serving our community together in her new role.”

The Village of Sugar Grove has proclaimed “Greg Repede Day” to be observed on March 30, 2018, in honor of his countless contributions to our community.