Jan Arnold Elected to the AAPRA   

Jan Arnold Elected to the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration


Contact: Executive Director Jane H. Adams 

(206) 823-3164

October 6, 2023

Jan Arnold, Executive Director, Park District of Oak Park, has been elected as a Fellow into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. Jan was recently inducted at the Academy’s virtual General Membership Meeting October 4, 2023.  

The Academy is an organization of distinguished practitioners and educators who are leaders in the parks and recreation profession. To be elected into the Academy, the individual must have served for at least 15 years in a high level of administration in a park and recreation agency or as a recognized educator in parks and recreation administration or they must manage a park and recreation department for a community with a population of more than 500,000. They also must have demonstrated outstanding ability in administration, management or education in the profession; displayed broad interest with a direct service benefit to the advancement of public parks and recreation or assumed leadership with a keen desire to contribute to the advancement of the field. The Academy is limited to 137 active members. 

Established in 1980, the Academy was formed to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to support and encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and/or sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. 

“The Class of 2023 is a great addition to the Academy,” said President Janet Bartnik, Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation, Virginia, “The Academy is honored to induct Jan Arnold into its ranks.  The Academy represents a diverse group of professionals and educators – all with superior career experience and a dedication to improving the quality of life through the provision of high-quality parks and recreation opportunities. We welcome our distinguished class of 2023 Fellows.” 

More information on the Academy is available at www.aapra.org. A biography of Jan Arnold follows and a photo is attached. 

Jan has an extensive career in the field of parks and recreation with over 25 years of experience. Before joining the Park District of Oak Park, Jan served as the CEO for the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association. She has worked in government, not-for-profit, as well as the private sector, including serving as the Vice President of Programs and Membership for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago; Superintendent of Recreation for Wheeling Park District; Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation; and Senior Manager for KPMG.

Jan earned a M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, a M.S. for Indiana University in Sports Administration, and a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation and Not-for-Profit Management from Murray State in Kentucky.  Jan and her family reside in Oak Park, Illinois.

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