Over the past 37 years, one familiar face of the Rockford Park District has been Ron Butler, deputy director of Operations. Butler started working for the Park District in 1976 as a seasonal employee at the Alpine Park maintenance shop. His career quickly took off, and he became a full-time employee June 10, 1977, joining the Support Services Department, where he held the position of General Maintenance I, then became foreman and eventually supervisor.
For about 10 years, Butler was the man behind all major concerts and special events at the Rockford Park District, including an event featuring at the time, Vice President George H.W. Bush. Butler took on more responsibility as supervisor of Support Maintenance and Support Services. By that point, he had worked in every position he was supervising. Butler was appointed deputy director of Operations in November 2006, and is responsible for overseeing the golf courses, sports facilities, district-wide park and maintenance services, Support Services, Security/Police, conservation, City of Gardens, and Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens.
“Ron was a huge part of building the Rockford Park District to be the ‘best’ urban park and recreation system in North America, as judged by those we serve,” said Rockford Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke. “He developed important and long-lasting relationships with many of our partners and community members over the years. Ron is someone who believes in finding new ways to reach the top, and challenges others to strive to take their work to the next level. We certainly are grateful for his years of service, and I think I can speak on behalf of our Rockford Park District family and say his knowledge and passion for this organization will be missed.”
Retirement will allow Butler to spend more time with his wife, Kris, their two children, Kara and Erick, and his grandson, along with hunting wild turkey and deer, fishing, playing softball and bowling. He retires Jan. 18, 2013.
From the Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2012, issue