Bensenville Park District tabs DeMoss to lead recreation department

Leslie DeMoss brings more than 35 years of experience to new role

Bensenville, Ill.—The Bensenville Park District has hired a familiar face in the area to lead its recreation team. Leslie DeMoss comes to Bensenville after serving as Addison Park District’s superintendent of recreation and revenue facilities.

Leslie DeMoss
Leslie DeMoss

“We are thrilled to announce that Leslie has joined our team,” says executive director Joseph C. Vallez. “He brings many years of experience in community-based programming. Leslie’s experience will assist our staff in putting out great programs for our community.”

DeMoss says his passion for parks and recreation comes directly from his childhood in Chicago. He was raised by a single father after his mother passed away when he was 11 years old and spent his days at the local parks participating in sports and other activities.

“I had a wonderful childhood thanks to the Chicago Park District recreation staff. The local park was a haven filled with fun, challenges and opportunities,” DeMoss explains. “Early on, I decided to become a parks and recreation professional in the hopes of making positive contributions to others.”

Early in his career, DeMoss worked full time as a recreation supervisor for the Chicago Park District while at the same time pursuing his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. There, he developed a three-season youth sports program that started with 38 children and grew to 500 participants.

DeMoss worked for the Chicago Park District from 1981 to 1995 before being recruited to manage the 110,000 square foot, state-of-the-art recreation facility at the Elk Grove Park District. Later, as rental and corporate services manager, he created a rental services department that booked 2,500 rentals annually, including corporate events.

As the West Chicago Park District’s superintendent of recreation from 2007-2009, DeMoss supervised all aspects of recreational programming and special events for the district in addition to all marketing initiatives. He says he was able to expand athletic programs, day camps and rentals through strategic planning, team building and mentoring.

At the Streamwood Park District, DeMoss was responsible for management, sales and marketing for the Hoosier Grove Barn—a banquet and corporate event facility—for almost nine years as event and corporate services manager. There, he transformed the facility into an award-winning wedding destination, hosting more than 70 weddings per year.

DeMoss spent nearly four years at the Addison Park District, restructuring the recreation department and growing annual golf revenue from $425,000 to $1.23 million.

DeMoss describes his leadership style as flexible: “I coined the term, ‘liquid leadership’ to explain my adaptable leadership abilities. ‘Liquid leadership’ is the ability to adapt to a variety of settings, teams and conditions while infusing excellence into organizations to achieve goals.”

DeMoss says his first priority at the Bensenville Park District is learning the community, the park district and his staff in order to deliver impactful recreation programs to the community.

“I am fortunate to have had many successful experiences, but nothing has been as rewarding as instilling confidence into the lives of young people as they learn a new sport or activity.”

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