Business Development Manager – Forest Preserve District of Cook County, IL

Job Summary

Under general supervision of the Director of Permits, Rentals and Concessions, is directly responsible for increasing non-tax revenue for the Forest Preserves of Cook County through contracts with concessionaires and other third-party partners. Identifies and pursues new business opportunities for the Forest Preserves, while also generating new concepts and ideas. Oversees all aspects of the District’s concession program, including recruitment, contract negotiations, ongoing contract compliance and financial oversight. Partners with other Forest Preserve Departments to expand and monitor innovative new revenue streams utilizing Forest Preserves assets. Provides a high level of financial oversight, technical proficiency and operational support to ensure all partners comply with contractual obligations. Supervises staff.


Typical Duties

Oversees and manages the portfolio of existing concessions contracts, including golf, boat rental, bike rental, equestrian stables, aerial adventure course and more. Acts as the District’s point of contact to invoice and collect revenue, support operational needs and monitor reports.
Creates and implements a plan to generate additional non-tax revenue for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, including entering into new revenue-generating partnerships with businesses and other partners as well as expanding concessions.
Assesses and analyzes District assets to identify strategic new business opportunities to drive revenue growth. Participates in the RFP process to secure new vendors, and serves as the main point of contact with new and existing partners.
Proposes new concessions or other revenue generation opportunities by surveying, interviewing and communicating regularly with District staff, partners, comparable organizations, and the general public. Works extensively with both vendors and District departments to open new concessions operations.
Assigns projects and tasks to the Concessions Aide and Administrative Assistant II, monitors and evaluates their performance.
Coordinates communications with other county/city agencies regarding logistics, marketing, supply and equipment needs, and technical information pertaining to concession operations and other initiatives.
Supports the development corporate sponsorship and advertising opportunities with new partners on behalf of the Preseves
Performs agency liaison functions and conducts coordinating meetings which include vendors, the public, and other county/city agencies.
Supports and chairs various committes, or subcommittees, as assigned.
Determines work priorities, and develops work schedules to complete tasks and meet operational needs.
Represents District interests and facilitates the interaction of all keystakeholders engaged in the planning and execution of new concessions and revenue generating initiatives.
Educates partners on District requirements, licenses, insurance and permits as well as providing operational support to new partners.
Reviews contracts and other legal documentation to ensure that partners comply with local, state and federal regulations.
Works with Facilities Department to ensure that District-owned facilities are in good working order for concession operation.
Plans and prepares calendar for annual concession operations, renewal of existing contracts and posting of Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
Performs other related duties as assigned or requested.

Minimum Qualifications

Must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and five (5) or more years of full-time work experience in finance, marketing, business administration, real estate broker, sales or a substantially similar area
OR must possess a high school diploma or GED and fifteen (15) or more years of full-time work experience in finance, marketing, business administration, real estate broker, sales or a substantially similar area.
Must possess a current valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications

Possession of a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics

Experience with profit and loss statements, pro formas and other financial management tools. The business development manager must have the ability to analyze new business opportunities with potential and pursue them.
Excellent client and customer service skills, as well as sales and negotiation skills.
Project management skills, including the ability to develop goals and implement procedures for their accomplishment.
Proficiency in computer applications including MS Office.
Ability to communicate with employees, vendors, client representatives and the public in a positive and professional manner.
Ability to work well under pressure with minimal supervision.
Exceptional problem-solving, analytical, decision-making and interpersonal skills.
Strong written and verbal communication.
Ability to manage effectively in a diverse, fast-paced environment with a focus on delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction.
Ability to work a variable operationally-driven schedule including evenings and weekends when necessary.
General knowledge and basic understanding of government procedures, current issues and public resources.
The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee’s normal line of work.

Veteran’s Preference

When applying for employment with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, preference is given in the application process to honorably discharged Veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States for more than 180 consecutive days or during War Time. To take advantage of this preference, a Veteran must:

Meet the minimum qualifications for the position.

Identify themselves as a Veteran on their employment application by answering Yes to the question “Are you a military veteran?”

Attach a copy of their DD 214, DD 215, or NGB 22 (Notice of Separation) at the time of application by uploading it as part of your application. If there are multiple DD 214s, DD 215s, or NGB 22s, please submit the one with the latest date. Coast Guard must submit a certified copy of the military separation from either the Department of Transportation (before 911) or the Department of Homeland Security (after 911).

Veteran must provide original applicable discharge papers at time of interview.

Benefits Package

Medical, Dental, and Vision Coverage
Basic Term Life Insurance
Pension Plan and Deferred Compensation Program
Employee Assistance Program
Paid Holidays, Vacation, and Sick Time
You May Qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)
For further information on our excellent benefits package, please click on the following link:

General District Employment Requirements


The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is an equal opportunity employer and ensures against discrimination in employment on the basis of a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, source of income, housing status, or gender identity.


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