Board of Directors

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



Carol Gabrielsen, President
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."


Sarah Svoboda

Sarah Svoboda, Vice-President
Sarah and her family moved to Arlington Heights in 2005 and have been “power users” of the AHPD from their very first days as Village residents.  Sarah believes her family’s experience with the parks is typical in Arlington Heights, and is interested in bringing the perspective of a completely engaged AHPD family to the Park Foundation. 

“The AHPD is an incredible asset to Arlington Heights. I look forward to working with the Foundation to encourage innovative use of our outdoor spaces and to create new opportunities for connecting with our neighbors.”

Sarah is the Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Communication for Lifeline Vascular Access, a subsidiary of DaVita Kidney Care.  She holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A in English from the College of Wooster.  She is a member of the Illinois Public Health Association and the nonpartisan Women in Government Relations national professional society. 



Mark Frighetto, Secretary

Mark is currently a Vice-President in the Commercial Banking Division of First American Bank headquartered in Elk Grove Village. He has been an Arlington Heights resident since 2000 residing in the Frontier Park neighborhood with his wife Nancie and two children (Reid 15 and Reese 13).

“Over the years, we have been actively involved in numerous AHPD programs including: CAP, the AHYBA, the AHYAA and the Arlington Muskies swim program, so we can definitely speak to their quality”. Both Nancie and I are committed to building upon that quality long term. 

Mark was actively involved in the Frontier Park Re-Development Plan and the Parks Referendum from Day 1.  He has been a Board Member of the Arlington Heights Park Foundation for six years.



Amy Kitzmiller, Member
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."


Frank Lesniak

Frank Lesniak, Member
Frank Lesniak is Vice President of Air-Flo HVAC, Inc., a family owned and operated company, established in 2002 in Arlington Heights. He has been in the heating and air conditioning business for over 45 years.

Frank and his wife Joanne have lived in Arlington Heights for over 40 years where they raised 3 sons, Frank, Michael, and Steven. The Park District of Arlington Heights has always provided wonderful opportunities for their family. Pre-school, swimming , soccer, baseball, basketball, football and golf are just a few of the wonderful programs their family participated in and continue to enjoy. While coaching his sons in many sports through the years, Frank was blessed to establish life-long friendships with many community members. Joanne continues to work for District 25 in Arlington Heights for over 20 years. Oldest son Frank is a Dean of Students at Lake Forest High School. He lives in Mundelein with his wife Kelly and 3 children . Michael is part owner and technician of Air-Flo , and lives near Frontier Park in Arlington Heights, with his wife Rose and 3 children . Steven was married in June, and lives in the city with his new wife Kristen. They are both teachers and coaches at Elk Grove High School.

Air-Flo HVAC, Inc. has been part of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years . Frank has served on the board for 6 years, and the executive board for 2 years . Frank is a current member and past President of St. Joseph's Italian American Club. The club has held  fund raisers and functions to help raise money for many individuals and organizations .

"It's all about giving back, the true satisfaction you feel when you roll up your sleeves and work hard for the good of others.  That is what I am looking forward to as I embark on this new venture with the Arlington Heights Park District Foundation."




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.



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, Ex officio 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).



H. William Ploger, Ex officio 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.



Jason Myers, Ex officio Member
Jason joined the Arlington Heights Park District as its new Director of Finance and Personnel in 2018.  Jason has worked in the parks and recreation field since 2000.  He most recently held the position of Director of Finance and Personnel for the Lombard Park District, where he was responsible for all business functions including Accounting, Payroll, Human Resources, Marketing, Compliance and Technology.

During his time with Lombard, he played an integral role in the District receiving the GFOA Award of Financial Reporting Achievement for 17 consecutive years, the GFOA Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation for four consecutive years, and the successful completion of the CAPRA and Distinguished Accreditation Programs.  In 2009 he was named IPRA’s 2009 Young Professional of the Year, and he has been an Illinois Trust Board Member since 2010.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Millikin University. 

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