Park District Board of Commissioners President Ian Linnabary receives
Top Commissioner Award from Illinois Association of Park Districts
Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners President Ian Linnabary received one of the top awards last week at the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD)/Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) annual conference luncheon held in Chicago. Linnabary received the Mike Cassidy Commissioner Community Service Award.
The award is presented to a commissioner who has demonstrated tireless assistance and leadership through contribution of time, services, or volunteer efforts for the community he or she serves. The award is named after long-time Freeport Park District Commissioner Mike Cassidy, who worked to improve the quality of life for those in his community.
Ian began his volunteer service with the Rockford Park District in 2011, when he was appointed to the Board of Commissioners. He then ran for the seat in 2013, and has been president of the board for the last three years.
Over the years, Ian has been instrumental in numerous projects such as the Atwood Silent Sports Trail, Rockford Bank & Trust Pavilion, and most recently, helped finalize an agreement between the Park District and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation to operate Magic Waters Waterpark. He has devoted countless hours on the collaborative Reclaiming First initiative to retain, regain, and grow amateur sports tourism in the region.
Last year, Ian was a big part of the District’s master plan process collecting survey results, leading multiple community engagement sessions, and meeting with various community members to discuss financial needs of the District, and budget decisions.
“It’s hard to stop talking about how much he’s done for our organization. The countless hours and service he has given to the community has improved the quality of life for citizens by providing a vibrant and relevant park system that increases property values, stimulates economic development, decreases juvenile crime, and improves the community’s health.
“Ian is the Rockford Park District. He will likely never recognize the impact he’s had on our organization, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without him,” said Jay Sandine, Rockford Park District Executive Director.
In addition to the hours he spends volunteering for the Rockford Park District, Ian also serves as the secretary and legal counsel to the Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. He is co-lead of the Healthy Lifestyles team of the Transform Rockford initiative. He’s been a volunteer, director, and advisor for Burpee Museum of Natural History, Rock River Valley Pantry, Rockford YMCA, Rockford Chamber of Commerce PAC, Rockford Global Alliance, Friends Forever Humane Society, Rockford Arts Council, Prairie State Legal Services, and countless state and local political campaigns.
By day, Ian is a partner at Reno & Zahm LLP, where his law practice is devoted primarily to the representation of businesses, individuals, and organizations (including public and private entities) in a wide range of civil matters.
He is an outdoor recreation enthusiast, and serves as a member of the Rockford Area Mountain Biking Alliance, Rock River Multisport, and Rockford Road Runners. Despite a busy career and numerous volunteer commitments, Ian is a family man, husband, and dad to three young children.

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