Rachel Staats: Lisle Park District manager deserving of award
It was a normal meeting of the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, or so Jennifer Porrevecchio thought on Nov. 9. Surrounded by her co-workers and nominator, Superintendent of Recreation Michael Toohey, Jennifer had no idea she was about to receive the IPRA Facility Manager of the Year Award for her dedication to Sea Lion Aquatic Park and Community Park Fitness.
Jennifer is the facility manager of Lisle Park District’s award-winning Sea Lion Aquatic Park in addition to managing Community Park Fitness Center. She has been with the Lisle Park District for more than 11 years; she rose in the ranks as a lifeguard, head guard and then as manager of the aquatic park.
Since joining the district full time in 2006, Jennifer has turned both into profitable facilities in a few years. When Jennifer began, Sea Lion Aquatic Park operated at a $73,000 deficit. In 2009, the facility was netting a profit of $39,800, a 154 percent increase.
Since 2009, she has maintained that growth as well as increased enrollment in swim team and swim lessons. Jennifer’s focus on the safety and well-being of her patrons, with a bigger emphasis on lifeguard training, resulted in increased audit scores through Ellis & Associates. These unannounced audits have consistently changed from “Meets” to “Exceeds” across the board.
Jennifer also oversees Community Park Fitness where similar successes have been reported. She turned the Fitness Center into a profit center for the Lisle Park District in only two years.
In 2008, CPF went from operating at a deficit of $28,000 to a profit of $29,000 in 2010, a 203 percent increase. Under Jennifer’s influence, the fitness memberships saw a 25 percent increase to more than 500 members.
Jennifer’s hard work and dedication can be seen in the community as well as at the statewide level. She serves on the Village of Lisle Coalition, alongside the School District, Library District and Police and Fire departments, whose goal is to increase awareness and reinforce the positive choices of teens.
No doubt that Jennifer’s involvement in the district, greater Lisle community and Illinois Parks and Recreation Association made her the ideal recipient of the IPRA Facility Manager of the Year Award. As Jennifer took the stage to receive the award, she thanked her co-workers saying, “I am fortunate to work with an amazingly supportive staff. I love my colleagues, and working at the Lisle Park District takes the cake!”
Rachel Staats is a marketing and communications specialist with the Lisle Park District
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