Starting a new job is tough enough under the best of circumstances, but when you throw a pandemic into the mix – which prevents you from getting to personally know the people you’re working with every day – it adds another layer of challenge.
But, such is the predicament for Sash Dumanovic, who started in his new role as assistant to Brookfield Village Manager Timothy Wiberg on April 7.
“It’s a weird feeling,” said Dumanovic of his introduction to Brookfield during a statewide stay-at-home order. “I’m getting to know staff that’s still reporting to work here [at village hall], getting the lay of the land and understand the work flow day to day.”
While Dumanovic’s title is assistant to the village manager, he reports directly to Assistant Village Manager George Issakoo, who at present is out on paternity leave after the birth of his second child earlier this month.
But, Dumanovic has had plenty to do in the two weeks he’s been on the job, settling into his primary role as the person overseeing human resources for all village employees.
“Most of my career has been in public service, and the major area of that work has been in human resources and risk management,” said Dumanovic in a phone interview last week.
For the past nine years, Dumanovic has worked for the St. Charles Park District, and for the past five years has been that agency’s human resources/risk management director. He started out in St. Charles in the parks and planning department.
He holds HR certification from the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Elmhurst College.
Dumanovic serves on the Yorkville Park Board, which serves as an advisory board to the Yorkville City Council in the Kendall County community where he resides.
Prior to St. Charles, Dumanovic worked for three years as an administrative manager for Indian Prairie School District 204 in Naperville/Aurora.
Growing up in Chicago, Cicero and Berwyn, Dumanovic said he’s very familiar with Brookfield and surrounding communities. Prior to moving to the management side of public service, Dumanovic was a physics paraprofessional and student council advisor for nine years at Lyons Township High School.
That kind of background made Dumanovic something of a non-traditional candidate for his present role in Brookfield, but Wiberg said his human resources background made Dumanovic a good fit.
“He’s primarily going to be doing HR work; that’s where his experience has been,” Wiberg said. “He’ll be stepping into doing all of things [former Human Resources Director] Michelle Robbins used to do.”
Once Dumanovic gets up to speed on the HR end of things in Brookfield, said Wiberg, he’d also like Dumanovic to take on other projects, including village communications efforts on social media and other special projects.
“He’s got a really easy-going temperament, and has a passion and interest in public service, which is one of the most important traits,” said Wiberg of the decision to hire Dumanovic.
As for his move from a park district to the municipal side, Dumanovic said he was looking for a new challenge.
“On one hand, it’s professional growth,” Dumanovic said. “On the fiscal side, it’s very different on the municipal side of things. There’s also the union experience [Brookfield has three separate unions representing police, firefighters and public works employees], and I wanted to grow that way. This position and the description also lined up very well with what I was doing with the park district.”
Dumanovic’s starting annual salary is $71,500.