Maureen McCarthy (right), Park District Superintendent of Recreation, accepts the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government on behalf of the Park District of Oak Park from Karen Thoreson, President of the Alliance for Innovation.
The Park District of Oak Park received this year’s J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government competition for their submission, “Launch Pad: Getting Good Ideas Off the Ground”. The District’s work was honored at the Transforming Local Government Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 21, 2017. The Park District of Oak Park successfully uses an online portal to engage employees in improving the organization. Staff uses this online portal to share their ideas, comment on other ideas and make improvements and plans to implement their ideas based on other employee feedback.
“It is truly an honor for the Park District of Oak Park to be recognized with the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation by the Alliance for Innovation,” stated Paul Aeschleman, Park Board President. “The Park District strives to try new methods and ideas, adapt services according to trends and continually improve processes to better our organization and provide the highest quality programs and services to our community.”
The J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government was conceptualized by The Innovation Groups’ (now the Alliance for Innovation) Board of Directors to honor Bob Havlick, founder of the Innovation Group. One local government, its internal champion(s), and the innovation are honored with the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government.
The Innovation Awards have evolved from their inception in 2004, to address a growing need to recognize and celebrate creativity, innovation and those who are pushing the bounds of creative excellence. These awards are presented each year at the Transforming Local Government Conference hosted by the Alliance for Innovation.
“The 2017 Alliance for Innovation Award winners are shining examples of how local government leaders are advancing emerging practices in their communities,” said Karen Thoreson, President of the Alliance for Innovation. “They are making innovation work for their citizens and making their organizations more effective as they put their best ideas into practice.”
The Alliance for Innovation is dedicated to connecting thought leaders. It administers this distinguished award competition with the goal of raising the awareness of cities, counties and individuals who have made a quantum leap of creativity to make a positive impact on their community or jurisdiction.
“Some of the ideas born from the Launch Pad program include the SOOFA phone charging stations in four of our parks, the installation of cisterns in three park locations, and the Parks Passport Program to be rolled out to all school-aged kids this summer,” Park District Executive Director Jan Arnold explained. “The Launchpad Program allows the District to think outside the box and implement ideas that otherwise may not be possible.” An informational video is available at the Park District’s website at www.pdop.org/innovation/ featuring the Launchpad program. The Alliance for Innovation stands apart by offering leading-edge conferences such as TLG to challenge conventional thinking and inspire change. Award entries are judged alongside those of their peers, representing a wide variety of communities and perspectives.