Big Changes in City of Elgin Departments, Personnel

Big Changes in City of Elgin Departments, Personnel

The city of Elgin has announced the appointments of Aaron Cosentino to director of neighborhood services, Maria Cumpata to director of parks and recreation and Barb Keselica to assistant director of parks and recreation director, all effective Dec. 28.

In addition, the parks and recreation department will absorb the special events and cultural arts divisions.

Aaron Cosentino will serve in the role of director of neighborhood services, overseeing both the 311 citizen services center and the code compliance division.

The department of neighborhood services centralizes non-emergency city services provided by 311, code compliance, rental licensing, public health and issues related to parking and traffic.

The department brings together many neighborhood-centric services and initiatives that require collaboration across multiple city departments in a coordinated effort to help strengthen and improve quality of life in all of Elgin’s neighborhoods.

Cosentino, with both his past city service and recent private sector experience, will work to achieve complex, strategic data-driven effectiveness that supports the core values and defined goals of the city. Cosentino will serve as a resource for day-to-day operations and provide long-term strategies that guide the city to find solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of the community.

“I am thrilled to take on this role. The city already has a strong foundation of communication and technology initiatives that have made it easier to connect with the city,” he said. “I want to build on that foundation to ensure our neighborhoods remain safe, vibrant and a point of pride for Elgin.”

In 2017, Cosentino was promoted to assistant city manager, and he briefly moved on from the city in early 2018 to pursue an opportunity with a private sector education company. During that time, Cosentino was a senior manager who lead a team responsible for production and development support on the Salesforce platform, which is the platform the city of Elgin uses for the majority of its internal operations.

During Cosentino’s 10 years with the city of Elgin, he played a vital role in the coordination, design and writing of the city’s annual budget, departmental performance reporting and the introduction of many new technologies implemented in the city.

When previously serving as the city’s sustainability and grants coordinator, Cosentino was instrumental in the development and adoption of city of Elgin’s first sustainability action plan, a public planning process which involved more than 100 community volunteers.

Cosentino earned a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in urban planning.

The city of Elgin also confirms the appointment of Maria Cumpata to parks and recreation director.

Cumpata has been serving as acting director since Sept. 4, when former Director Randy Reopelle retired.

As director, Cumpata will be responsible for the overall operations of the city’s recreation facilities including the outdoor pools, golf, the Elgin Sports Complex, Eastside Recreation Center and the Edward Schock Center of Elgin.  In addition, she will be responsible for park development and renovations and oversee the numerous programs, activities and special events offered by the department.

Cumpata currently serves as the department’s liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and also sits on the board to the Elgin Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Cumpata began her 28-year career at the city of Elgin in 1990 as one of only three recreation staff members. The department has more than quadrupled in size and has seen significant growth in both programs and services.

Cumpata was promoted to recreation and facilities superintendent in 1995. Since then, she has been instrumental in the renovations of many community facilities, including the Wing Park Family Aquatic Center, the Lords Park Family Aquatic Center, the Eastside Recreation Center, and the Elgin Sports Complex. Cumpata also played a significant role in the development of the Edward Schock Centre of Elgin.

In addition to the operational oversight she has provided, Cumpata also contributed to the development of the Recreation Youth Scholarship Fund in 1993. That fund subsidizes recreation programs for families in need and has allowed hundreds of Elgin children to participate who many otherwise not have the opportunity to.

“I look forward to continuing my work with the dedicated staff of the parks and recreation department and continuing to offer the highest quality programs, services, and facilities to the residents of Elgin,” she said.

Cumpata’s promotion opened up a leadership position in the department, in which Barb Keselica will now fill as assistant director of parks and recreation.

Keselica has served the city since 2006, where she started in the parks and recreation department to manage special events and community engagement. The special events division was then moved to the city manager’s office in 2009.

“I’m eager to get back to where it all started,” she said. “The Edward Schock Centre of Elgin is more than a recreation center and moving special events and cultural arts under the parks and rec umbrella helps reinforce its vision to be a true community center.”

Whether categorized recreational, cultural, holiday or niche (think zombies), Keselica has been responsible for providing the community with one-of-a-kind experiences. Beyond the logistics and execution of these quality of life-enhancing city events, Keselica has also been responsible for issuing upwards of 150 annual special event permits to support community-run happenings.

Earning her masters in business administrations in 2015, Keselica has since taken on additional responsibilities such as acting as the city’s liaison to its funded organizations including the Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin.

With Keselica’s move back to the parks and recreation department, the special events and cultural arts divisions will follow suit. Keselica will continue to oversee those divisions including facility operations at the Hemmens Cultural Center and the Elgin Art Showcase, in addition to the sporting venues, banquet rentals, community recreation programming and customer relations.

City Manager Richard Kozal said the changes and promotions represent “an especially auspicious moment for the city of Elgin.”

“Elgin residents, business owners and visitors will be duly impressed with Mr. Cosentino’s, Ms. Cumpata’s and Ms. Keselica’s abilities to not only effectively lead their respective colleagues, but to also be positive change agents for the organization and community,” he said.

For information or to sign up for notifications about available jobs at the city of Elgin, please visit this page of the city’s website. Information about the city of Elgin can be found at or by dialing 3-1-1, emailing or downloading the free mobile app available for Android and iPhone.

SOURCE: city of Elgin news release