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Leadership Transition Announcement

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Rich Zielke to Retire After 30 Years in the Field of Parks & Recreation

Rich Zielke

After 17 years with the Oswegoland Park District and 30 years within the parks and recreation field, Rich Zielke will retire from the Oswegoland Park District on December 29, 2023.

Under Rich’s guidance, the District successfully secured over $3.5 million in OSLAD, DECO, PARC, and local TAP grant awards, which aided in completing various acquisition, construction, and renovation projects, enhancing facilities for the community.

Prior to Oswegoland, Rich was the Director of Recreation for the Plainfield Park District and started his career with the Village of Matteson Parks and Recreation Department.

During retirement, Rich is looking forward to spending much more time on the golf course and attending a “few” DMB concerts throughout the summer with his wife.

Oswegoland Park District Announces Tom Betsinger as New Executive Director

Tom Betsinger

The Oswegoland Park Board of Commissioners is delighted to announce the appointment of Tom Betsinger as the incoming Executive Director of the Oswegoland Park District, effective December 4 . This announcement follows an extensive nationwide search conducted by the consultants at GovHR, culminating in the selection of Betsinger from a pool of 51 applicants across six states.

Tom Betsinger, a familiar face within the Oswegoland community, currently serves as the District’s Director of Recreation. His journey began at the District in 1997 as a Recreation Supervisor overseeing athletics and special events. He has since demonstrated exceptional leadership, earning promotions to Superintendent of Recreation in 2008 and, most recently, Director of Recreation in 2018.

Betsinger’s responsibilities have expanded over the years to encompass a broad spectrum of areas and facilities, including gymnastics, dance, fitness, aquatics, As We Grow Preschool, and the Kid’s Connection programs. His deep understanding of the District’s values and his commitment to community have been further exemplified through his roles in various community organizations.

Beyond his service to the Oswegoland Park District, Betsinger was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Montgomery and served as a Rotary Foundation board member. Additionally, he has contributed to the Village of Montgomery’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, and served as a Board Member for the Village of Montgomery.

“As we bid farewell to our retiring Executive Director, Rich Zielke, we welcome Tom Betsinger with great enthusiasm to lead the Oswegoland Park District into its next chapter,” said Dave Behrens, Oswegoland Park Board President. “Tom’s wealth of experience, dedication, and deep community roots make him the ideal candidate to guide our organization.”

The Oswegoland Park District looks forward to a seamless transition as Tom Betsinger assumes the role of the 5th Executive Director in the District’s 73-year history. His appointment marks an exciting chapter for the organization, and the Board is confident in his ability to continue the legacy of “Creating Opportunities for a Healthy Community.”

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