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2020 IPRA/IAPD Conference Awards

January 27, 2020

IPRA Distinguished Member of the Year

Each year, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) confers an award on a Recreation Section member exemplifying leadership and collaboration. This year’s recipient for the Distinguished Member of the Year Award is Oswegoland Park District’s Cultural Arts Supervisor, Cori Veverka CPRP. Veverka’s enthusiastic passion for creating events and experiences for the Oswegoland area has been to the community’s delight. Beyond her community work, Cori is an industry leader in Cultural Arts and Events, chairing the IPRA Special Event Committee and participating in the Cultural Arts Committee.

“Cori’s creativity, intelligence, and passion for her work are woven through everything she does. We’re proud of her willingness to share her skill set at the state level,” shared Kristie Vest CPRP, Superintendent of Events and Cultural Arts. Vest went on to say, “The Oswegoland Park District has benefitted from the insight she has gained from her IPRA involvement as well, allowing us to employ the latest trends and practices to keep us on the industry forefront.”

Among her many responsibilities at the Oswegoland Park District, Veverka is the Artistic Director of the District’s Limelight Theatre Company and has been involved in the company since its inception 20 years ago. She deftly coordinates the Oswego Country Market, hand curating a field of vendors that fit with the Farm Market’s local objective. Each year she also recruits over 200 volunteers for the community festival, PrairieFest, in addition to coordinating a variety of other events like Park After Dark and the Earth Day Kite Fly. 

Our enthusiastic congratulations again to Cori Veverka for being selected as IPRA’s Recreation Section Distinguished Member of the Year!

Cori Award

IPRA/IAPD Agency Showcase Awards

The Oswegoland Park District has received recognition for their marketing efforts, taking home three third place Agency Showcase Awards during the annual IPRA/IAPD Soaring to New Heights Conference held January 23-25, 2020.

Agency Showcase is a spirited competition spotlighting bright ideas exhibited by park, recreation, and conservation agencies. This competition recognizes Illinois agencies for their marketing and communication efforts ranging from print to multimedia.

“Our ultimate goal in all marketing materials we create is to provide our residents with information about the many opportunities for the community to play, gather, celebrate, learn, and enjoy nature,” said Laura Finch, Director of Marketing & Customer Service. “It’s an honor to be recognized and to share best practices with professionals state-wide,” she added.

Over 250 individual submissions were made by over 50 agencies in the 14 award categories. The District received their awards in the categories of Large Format, Logo Design, and Promotional Item.

Large Format: Prairie Point Window Display

Logo Design: Fox Bend Golf Course Rebranding

Promotional Item: Brew at the Bridge Volunteer Shirt

Windows Fox Bend Logo Brew Shirt

IPRA Exceptional Workplace Award

The Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) awarded the Oswegoland Park District with the “Exceptional Workplace” award on Friday, January 24 at the IPRA/IAPD Annual Conference held in Chicago. The honor was given to recognize the District’s efforts to support employee health and wellness. The District will hold this distinction for a period of 5 years and may re-apply for subsequent consideration.

The District submitted an application and completed a detailed online survey consisting of 48 questions related to six health and wellness categories including physical activity, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and environmental. A point value is assigned to each question and the IPRA’s Health & Wellness Committee reviewed each application and supporting documentation to determine which agencies meet the award criteria.

This award is confirmation that the District’s policies and programs contribute to the overall health and wellness of all employees. “Not only is the District committed to ‘Creating Opportunities for a Healthy Community,’ but is it also dedicated to providing healthy opportunities for staff” said Kristen Desler, the District’s Wellness Committee Chair.

The District has held this designation since originally receiving the award in 2012.