Kevin A. Yates has served as Executive Director of the Chillicothe Park District (CPD) for nearly 17 years, supervising all parks, programs and facilities; developing and monitoring enrollment and financial reports; maintaining its website, social media and marketing plan; and overseeing a budget of more than $1 million.
When Yates took the reins of the CPD at age 22, the district encompassed just 40 acres, with one dilapidated pool, a pavilion and an aging clubhouse. Under his leadership, it has grown to include 196 acres and nine facilities. Since 2005, he has supervised the design, development and construction of the Shore Acres Pool aquatic facility; acquisition of the 48-acre wooded bluff known as Coal Hollow; and development of the Walnut Dog Park, Chillicothe Skate Park, Santa Fe Park and Stone Water Park, as well as the centennial renovation of the historic Shore Acres Clubhouse.
In addition, Yates has been instrumental in promoting Chillicothe as a volunteer for the Chillicothe Optimist Club and member of the Marketing and Tourism Committee, Chillicothe Riverfront Development Committee, and Friends of River Beach Drive Steering Committee. Since 2002, he has been a trustee for the Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association—including four stints as president—and volunteer for March Madness Access, helping to make the event accessible for individuals with disabilities. He also coaches Chillicothe Elementary’s basketball, baseball and cross-country teams, and volunteers for Tri2Beat MS, a children’s triathlon to raise awareness and funds for MS research.
One of just 250 National Recreation and Park Association-certified directors in the country, Yates has earned the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Junior High Coach of the Year Award and the Pearce Center Community Ambassador Award, among other honors. With a deep-seated passion for parks and a unique talent for bringing out the best in others, he is leaving a strong and durable legacy for future generations. iBi