Cindy Yelich

When Brookfield Recreation Supervisor Ben White left the post for another job early this summer, the timing couldn’t have been worse. With summer programs just about to start, Recreation Director Stevie Ferrari was up to her eyeballs in extra work, first having to hire camp staff and then having to relocate the camps after heavy rains in late June flooded the lower-level recreation area at the village hall, taking it offline for five weeks.

So it came as a great relief on July 19 when veteran parks and recreation pro Cindy Yelich started as the department’s new recreation supervisor.

Ferrari said that after posting the job opening in May, she received more than 110 applications for the recreation supervisor vacancy. Yelich’s name stood out and, after two rounds of interviews, she had the job.

“It really came down to Cindy’s notoriety in the field,” said Ferrari, who ticked off Yelich’s accomplishments, from her involvement in the Illinois Park and Recreation Association, to spearheading committees and leading professional field development training.

“I was excited to see her name,” Ferrari said.

For roughly the past nine years, Yelich has served as recreation supervisor for the Des Plaines Park District, organizing various special events, community celebrations and festivals. Yelich also managed the department’s social media outreach.

Before that, Yelich was recreation director for seven years for the Pleasant Dale Park District, leading day camps and events such as the Fourth of July celebration. She has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in recreation administration, a master’s in business administration from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and is working on a Ph.D. in economics.

As the No. 2 person at Brookfield Parks and Rec, Yelich will be tasked with managing all recreation programming for elementary school age children through teens. She’ll also be in charge of the department’s STARS (Students Together in an Active Recreation Setting) before- and after-school program, which was a new initiative last year and serves families with kids in first through fifth grades.

According to Ferrari, Yelich’s starting salary is $61,000 annually.