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Batavia Park District Honors Two Retirees

Fri January 1, 2021


At the end of 2020, the Batavia Park District said farewell to two dedicated and beloved employees as they embark on retirement - Jim Eby, Director of Capital Projects, and Tammi LaFleur, Payroll and Accounts Payable Coordinator.

Jim began his career at the Batavia Park District on September 23, 1991 as the Superintendent of Parks, overseeing planning, development, and operations. In 2000, parks and properties were split into two departments to increase the focus on fostering park development, and Jim transitioned to the Director of Planning and Development. Fast forward to 2016 and Jim landed with his final title of Director of Capital Projects where he has executed countless capital development and playground replacement plans throughout the District.

Beside being a valued leader at the Batavia Park District, Jim is highly regarded throughout the Parks and Recreation field. Jim is a Certified Pool Operator, Certified Playground Safety Inspector, the former president of the Midwest Institute of Park Executives (MIPE), and the recipient of the MIPE Park Professional of the Year Award in 1997. Most recently, Jim received the Emeritus Award from the Great Lakes Park Training Institute (GLPTI). To honor Jim’s capital development accomplishments over the years, the renovated Civic Center gymnasium is officially named the James “Jim” Eby Gymnasium.

Jim is looking forward to retirement so he can spend more time with his grandchildren along with making progress on his long list of woodworking projects, but he will miss serving the residents of Batavia. The Park District has also had a lasting impact on Jim. He says, “It has been my great honor and privilege to have worked alongside some of the most dedicated, hardworking, caring, talented, and fun people this profession has ever produced. We have raised the quality of life for our residents beyond measure, and we had a lot of fun at the same time. Even since I started, the Board of Commissioners has been one hundred percent supportive of the staff and programs. The bottom line is, I loved my job!”

Tammi began her career at the Park District on January 21, 1992, starting out in the gymnastics office. Tammi quickly realized her love of the Park District and transitioned to the Finance Department where she has been leaving her mark ever since. During her career, Tammi has navigated three different software systems, playing an integral part of updating the financial and payroll software for the organization.

As the Payroll and Accounts Payable Coordinator, Tammi enjoyed the opportunity to work with every employee in the District. Her caring nature, problem solving skills, and efficient work ethic were greatly appreciated by new and seasoned staff members as payroll and billing questions seem to arise daily.

In addition to Tammi’s kind, patient, and fun presence, her financial talents have been recognized for her major contributions to the Batavia Park District’s award for Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

While Tammi is looking forward to a healthier world so she can travel around the United States in her travel trailer, Tammi will miss her conversations in the hallway and lunch workouts with her colleagues and friends. “The Batavia Park District has been such a big part of my life that it will be weird not to be a part of it! There are a lot of new faces, but to the ones that have been with more for the last 20 years or more, I don’t know what I would have done without your support through one of the toughest times of my life,” says Tammi. “I thank each one of you for that!”

“It has been my honor and privilege to work with Jim and Tammi over the past 21 years,” says Executive Director Allison Niemela. “Jim has left behind a legacy with the development of new park sites and the playground replacement program. Tammi has also set a stage for long term success at the Park District by creating a more structured and efficient finance department. Jim and Tammi excelled in their positions but more importantly they are people of strong moral fiber and dignity. I speak on behalf of the Park Board and Staff when I say we will miss their talents and personalities tremendously.”

The Batavia Park District is extremely thankful for the lasting impact Jim and Tammi have created. Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement!