WCFPD Board of Commissioners names new executive director

WCFPD Board of Commissioners names new executive director

The Winnebago County Forest Preserve District Board of  Commissioners has hired its new Executive Director Michael Holan. He replaces retiring Executive Director Tom Kalousek as of April 10.

Holan has more than 30 years of professional experience in forest preserve district operations. He most recently served as director of Operations and Maintenance at the Kane County Forest Preserve District, a position he has held since 2003. Previously, he was employed for 21 years at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, where he began as a seasonal employee, advanced through various positions, and ultimately served as the West Section Operations Supervisor whereby he managed approximately 14,500 acres. Holan’s educational qualifications include a bachelor of science degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University with major focus in wildlife management, and minors in botany and chemistry, aqs well as post-degree work in Environmental Studies.

Holan says the opportunity to continue and build upon Winnebago County Forest Preserve District’s valuable legacy attracted him to the leadership role with the 90-year-old organization. Holan says, “I would like to focus on leading WCFPD in carrying out their mission to provide public access to natural lands for recreation and education, to promote District involvement in Winnebago County communities, and to encourage the communities’ involvement in the WCFPD.” Further, he will make a determined effort to secure funds to allow WCFPD to acquire and preserve additional high-quality natural lands for the benefit of current and future generations of  Winnebago County citizens.”

Jon Duerr, retired executive director of the Kane County Forest Preserve, worked with Holan and says he comes highly recommended. He especially noted Mike’s skills in public relations, financial management, and in working with and maintaining good communications with staff. Justin Frederick, director of Land Management for the DuPage County Forest Preserve, says that he followed in Mike’s footsteps due to his ability to inspire staff and to connect people with nature. Melissa Taylor, a   Kane County Forest Preserve commissioner, says Mike has stepped up to the challenge of operating within the same budget constraints and with no additional staff in the face of difficult economic times and in spite of the addition of substantial new properties to the District.

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