Member Biography

Jan Arnold

Jan R. Arnold, CPRE has an extensive career in the field of parks and recreation with 20+ years of experience. Before joining the Park District of Oak Park, Jan served as 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.

The Park District of Oak Park operates a variety of facilities including a brand new $22-million-dollar community recreation center, two outdoor pools, an indoor ice rink, two historic mansions, a conservatory, a gymnastics center, an arts center, and eight neighborhood centers. In addition, the Park District operates 18 parks throughout the community. During her tenure in Oak Park, Jan oversaw the agency’s initial Illinois Distinguished Accreditation and the agency's initial CAPRA Accreditation.

Ms. Arnold serves as Co-Chair of the Community Works Advisory Board for the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation, serves on as Chair-Elect on the West Suburban Special Recreation Association Board of Directors and is a member of the Oak Park River Forest Rotary Club. She received the 2020 Honored Professional Award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts.

Jan holds a B.S. degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Murray State University, a M.S. degree in Recreation Administration from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Throughout her career, Jan has strived to develop and mentor staff at all levels. She has a true commitment to helping staff focus on the importance of innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability. She resides with her wife Mary and her son in Oak Park, IL.