Mundelein Park District honors its employees

  • 2021 Mundelein Park & Recreation District's Employees of the Year, from left, Marcus Kivisto, Chris Cronkhite, Nina Bye, and Bill Brolley. Not pictured is Matt Wells.

    2021 Mundelein Park & Recreation District's Employees of the Year, from left, Marcus Kivisto, Chris Cronkhite, Nina Bye, and Bill Brolley. Not pictured is Matt Wells. Courtesy of the Mundelein Park & Recreation District

Updated 3/16/2022 1:15 PM

Five Mundelein Park & Recreation District employees were awarded the honor of Employees of the Year at the district's annual employee recognition event recently.

Nina Bye was recognized by the Administration Department for her strong and dedicated work ethic, including staying after her shift, working from home to complete the project or coming in early.


Chris Cronkhite was recognized by the Parks Department for making extra efforts to visit areas to update staff on significant matters regarding maintenance, all while juggling three jobs.

Matt Wells was recognized by the Recreation Department for increasing gym rental revenue, growing participation in many programs, including the youth basketball program to more than 275 children, and launching several youth sports camps.

Marcus Kivisto was recognized by Steeple Chase for showing not only his knowledge of the job, but his adaptability to change operations as situations dictated, all in his first year.

Bill Brolley was recognized by the board of commissioners for his dedication to the golf operation to beat all-time revenue records, motivating staff to work long hours, while keeping customers happy with the COVID-19 challenges.

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In addition to Employee of the Year awards, a special recognition was added for 2021. This recognition focused on employees who stood up and/or led the agency to help a critical population, community, staff and/or participants through COVID-19. Those honored include Laura Cavazos, Elizabeth Bedolla, Christine Lopez, April Lee, Cheri Rehor, Deb Engdahl and Tracie Ouimet.

Also recognized were Kathy Staufenbiel for 25 years of service; Deb Engdahl, Anne McKenna and Scott Schleiden for 20 years of service; Michaelene Amedio and Heather Burnes for 15 years of service; Ken Ning for 10 years of service; and Joann Blennerhassett, Debbie Chin, Debbie McInerney, Daniel Marcos, John Marcos, Kathleen Myers, Stephanie Niece and Tracie Ouimet for five of service.

"I am incredibly proud of our award winners, as they went above and beyond demonstrating our districtwide values. They were chosen by their own colleagues and board, which demonstrates respect and outstanding performance," said Ron Salski, executive director of Mundelein Parks & Recreation District.

"Congratulations and thank you to Nina, Chris, Matt, Marcus and Bill, as well as many others who made a major contribution throughout the pandemic. In my opinion, we have one of the best park systems in the state of Illinois, and it is due to its employees and community."


Located in north-central Lake County, Mundelein Park & Recreation District has 33 park sites offering more than 735 acres of open space, playgrounds, ball fields, lakes and trails. More than 650 seasonal programs are offered, including dance, youth sports, tennis, karate, golf, gymnastics, adult and youth leagues, swim instruction, art, fitness and wellness, culinary, adult day trips, science classes, and day camps. In addition, over 20 annual events are offered, many free to the public.

Facilities include the championship 18-hole Steeple Chase Golf Club, multifunction Community Center, Health & Fitness Center, Diamond Lake Beach, outdoor water park Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center, Spray Park, Lions Field Skatepark, Regent Center for adults ages 50 and older, Big & Little Child Development Center, Learning Center Preschool, and Diamond Lake Sports Complex, a unique nature and recreation destination.

For more information about Mundelein Park & Recreation District, visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram (@MundeleinParks).

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