DuPage Forest District has new executive director

John Lapinski
John Lapinski

Leadership at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has shifted again.

Less than eight months into his three-year employment contract, Executive Director Arnie Biondo will take the early retirement option administered by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and step down at the end of the month.

Biondo’s hiring late last year capped off a nationwide search launched after Brent Manning retired from the district’s top non-elected job in June 2012 at age 59. He had filled the post for nine years.

“Arnie qualified for the early retirement incentive and decided to take advantage of its availability,” said D. “Dewey” Pierotti, the district’s president, in a news release.

Most recently the 18-year executive director at the Carol Stream Park District, Biondo inked a contract with the DuPage agency last December at age 60, at an annual salary of $188,000.

“The early retirement incentive that’s (administered) by IMRF trumps anything that’s in his contract,” said Susan Olafson, the district’s director of communications and marketing.

Stepping in to take Biondo’s place will be John Lapinski, an attorney, longtime legal administrator and Oak Brook native currently working as a trial court administrator in the office of John T. Elsner, chief judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in Wheaton.

Lapinski, 53, also filled administrative roles for the Illinois Supreme Court, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office and other law firms prior to being named to his circuit court post in 2009.

He also works as an adjunct professor for the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he earned his law degree in 1987. With a three-year employment agreement and a $160,000 yearly salary, his first day on the new job will be Oct. 1.

“I’m excited to start a new chapter in my career,” Lapinski said in the news release. “The Forest Preserve District’s conservation and preservation mission is one I personally believe to be important and I look forward to leading the district into the future.”

Pierotti, who will end two decades at the board helm in November, expressed confidence in the agency’s newest top administrator.

“John is an outstanding administrator and well-respected throughout DuPage County,” he said. “He manages the high expectations of nearly 300 employees and judges throughout the county and I’m confident that he will be able to handle the high expectations of the DuPage community as well.”

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