Board of Directors


A Board of Directors acts to improve the quality of life for people utilizing the park system.



Stephanie Bertelsen, President
Stephanie is a Vice President of Retail Banking at Village Bank & Trust and is an active member of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce and their Young Professionals Group, former Uptown Business Association Chairman and a member of BUZZ, a philanthropic organization. Stephanie has served many village-sponsored events, including the Arlington Heights Criterion, Frontier Days, and the Multiple Sclerosis Walk.

"I have enjoyed the Arlington Heights Park District and it's activities since I was a little girl, and am now in a position to give back to the place where I spent so much of my childhood. Getting my pool pass at the end of the school year and going to Camelot Park on my bike was the highlight of every summer day! It is great going to these places as an adult to see all of the improvements. I truly believe the Park District offers something for everyone."

Stephanie and her husband Dan live in Wauconda.



Amy Kitzmiller, Vice President
Amy Kitzmiller is the Director of Finance of the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), which manages the largest teaching residency program, as well as turnaround schools in low income, under-served neighborhoods of Chicago. Amy also serves on the Executive Committee of Northwest Cook County Sierra Club. Amy co-founded Arlington Heights Cool Cities Coalition, a consortium of Arlington Heights residents, businesses, churches, non-profits, and organizations interested in reducing local carbon emission levels for a healthy, sustainable community environment.

Amy was drawn to Arlington Heights after regularly participating in AHPD programs. "In addition to participating in or coaching AHPD programs each sport season, my family and I are constantly found at the parks. I'm excited about the incorporation of water management and sustainability practices at our parks. I'm also excited to be part of expanding the impact of the Foundation to more residents."



Mark Frighetto, Secretary
Mark resides in the Frontier Park neighborhood with his wife Nancie and their two children Reid (age 8) and Reese (age 6). Mark is a Senior Vice President in Commercial Banking at Glenview State Bank graduating from the University of Illinois Champaign in 1977. He is actively involved in the AHYAA Youth Baseball Program as both a Pee Wee Coach Pitch Manager (3 yrs.) and North Division League Rep. Mark has served on the Board of Directors of Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook and currently sits on the Board of the Chicago Sixteen Inch Softball Hall of Fame and North Suburban Kiwanis.

"With two children actively involved in the CAP, and multiple other AHPD programs, Nancy and I have a vested interest in both maintaining and improving the quality of our recreational resources here in Arlington Heights long term."

Mark has been actively involved in the Frontier Park Redevelopment Plan from Day1.



Donna Wilson, Treasurer
The Director of Finance and Personnel for the Arlington Heights Park District, Donna has over 30 years of experience in the parks and recreation field. In addition to supervising and managing the Park District's finances and computer system, she serves on the Metro Federal Credit Union Board and the Park District Risk Management Agency Board. She has served on various state and national association boards and committees. She was named Professional of the Year by the Administration and Finance section of IPRA in January 2001 and received the IPRA Chairman's award in 2004. Donna, her husband and son live in Arlington Heights.



Carol Gabrielsen, Member
Carol grew up in Arlington Heights and chose to live and work here, with her two children, as well as run her business; Unemployment Consultants, Inc. Carol is a member of the Greater O'hare Association, Northern Illinois Business PAC, Management Association of Illinois, Employer's Association of Illinois, and the Illinois Manufacturing Association.

"As a child growing up in Arlington Heights, and now as an adult, my family has enjoyed the parks and all the programs the district has offered. I feel it is time to give back to the area which has given me so much pleasure."


Mike Gordon

Mike Gordon, Member
Mike Gordon just completed his fifth season as the Wolves president of business operations after joining the organization as vice president of partnerships in February 2009.

During his tenure, the front office won the 2010 President's Award given annually to one American Hockey League organization to reward excellence in all areas off the ice. The Wolves won Sponsorship Sales Department of the Year awards in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as well. Over the past three seasons, ticket sales and sponsorships have grown significantly. The 2013-14 season marked the fourth straight year of increased revenue and the Wolves regularly rank among the top AHL franchises in sponsorships and ticket sales. Gordon was named the AHL’s outstanding executive for the 2012-13 season.

Prior to joining the Wolves, Gordon served as the vice president of sales for the Arena Football League's Chicago Rush and oversaw all of the team's corporate sponsorship initiatives. Under Gordon's direction, the Rush ranked among the AFL's top three teams in corporate sponsorship revenue for five consecutive years (2004-08). In addition to his sponsorship duties, he oversaw ticket sales during his first three seasons with the Rush. Attendance increased 56 percent during that time and the franchise drew its first sellout crowd. During his tenure, the Rush won the AFL Commissioner's award for Organization of the Year three times.

Gordon also spent seven years in the athletic department at DePaul University. He concluded his run at the Lincoln Park school as Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations, where he oversaw the licensing, marketing, ticket sales, and sponsorships for the athletic department. In addition to his departmental duties, he taught undergraduate classes in sports marketing.

A graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., Gordon received his MBA in Marketing at DePaul. He also performed consulting work for the Chicago Blackhawks, the 1994 World Cup, and several minor league baseball teams.

Gordon and his wife, Susan, have a daughter, Katie, and a son, Alex, and live in Arlington Heights, where he coaches various youth sports and serves on the Arlington Heights Park District Foundation.


Ben Jaffe, Member
Ben Jaffe has worked in a variety of Supply Chain Management leadership roles since 1999 and is currently a Global Procurement Director for a manufacturer of industrial packaging products. Ben moved to Arlington Heights with his wife and daughter in 2012 and lives near Festival Park. A native of the Chicagoland area, Ben grew up in the western suburbs and received an undergraduate degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. 
Ben is the current President of HANA (Historic Arlington Neighborhood Association), is active in multiple ministries at St. James Parish and is a 2013 graduate of the Arlington Heights Citizen Police Academy.
“Arlington Heights is a fantastic place to call home. I want to do my part to ensure that statement rings true for future generations.”




Tom McDonnell, Member
Tom is the president of the Surrey Ridge West Homeowner's Civic Association. Working closely with federal, state and local goernment bodies, Tom was instrumental in the development of the Arlington Lakes Golf Club and was heavily involved in the creation of Irish Fest, a local fundraising event benefiting the Arlington Heights Historical Museum.



H. William Ploger, Member
Will Ploger has been involved with the Arlington Heights Park District since 2005 and has two daughters with his wife of 16 years. His children are both involved in the dance, CAP, soccer, and swimming programs at the Park District. Commissioner Ploger lives in the Greenbrier area not far from Frontier Park. Will grew up in a farming community in Dekalb County and enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, soccer, and cycling. He attended Northern Illinois University..



Greg Padovani, Member
Greg is President and Founder of PENS Communications Systems, LLC which provides One-to-One newsletters for hospitals and medical schools around the country.  In 1998, he pioneered the technology that made One-to-One newsletters possible while also serving as entrepreneur in starting and growing his company.

Prior to 1998, Greg served for 12 years as the Director of Marketing & Patient Relations at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation in Chicago – a 650 physician medical group composed of faculty of the Northwestern University Medical School and on staff at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital. From 1982 to 1986, Greg was an Account Supervisor at Grant/Jacoby Advertising in Chicago working with hospitals as well as medical supply companies like Abbott and Baxter. Greg served in the US Army as a Medical Service Corps officer – 2 years active and 10 years in the Active Reserves retiring a Major.

Greg received his B.S. from the University of Illinois and his M.B.A. from De Paul University in Chicago. Greg and his wife, Char, have lived in Arlington since 1976 and raised two children here. Cassie and Greg, Jr. both attended St James Catholic School and graduated from Hersey High School. Both are studying pre-medicine at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Char is a Certified Health Educator working at the American Cancer Society in Arlington as Manger of Cancer Prevention Initiatives.

Greg is deeply involved in the community: Serving as Chairman of the Drive to Revive Memorial Park Committee for Arlington’s Memorial Park; member Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce; Co-Chair, American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Arlington; Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training; Manager, Sound of the Big Band (17 piece 1940’s swing band). He is also a nationally certified competition judge for the United States Climbing Association (Greg, Jr. is an advanced competitor) and has served as one of the US National Judges at international events.

He says "My entire career and passion has been in helping organizations better to serve people, and I am proud to be associated with this outstanding Park District."



Rick Hanetho, Member
Executive Director of the Arlington Heights Park District since June, 2016.  Rick Hanetho began his career in parks and recreation in high school, where he got his first job at the Palatine Park District.  Rick received his degree in Recreation Administration from Southern Illinois University in 1986.  He has worked for the Palatine, Schaumburg, Carol Stream, and Northbrook Park districts.  He is a member of the Board of the Illinois Park & Recreation Association and the Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA).

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