Improving communities through sport

Team Member

Michael Kelly

Mike Kelly headshot 1

Michael Kelly

Michael has nearly 30 years of experience working in local government, including as the General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. With an operating budget of over $500 million, the Chicago Park District is one of the largest and most complex park systems in the United States. Through his leadership, “the District” has become a national standard for how parks and recreation departments can best serve citizens. Michael takes his undeniable passion for developing positive health and economic outcomes for communities and his ability to develop a large and diverse set of high-performing teams to his role as Executive Vice President for the Sports Facilities Companies.


In his role, Michael guides venue operations across all SF Network venues. He utilizes his expertise in developing strategic initiatives and program management, along with his deep industry experience to help each venue build and maintain a service-oriented culture rooted in best practices and our guiding principles. Michael oversees day-to-day operations staff management and development, legal and risk management, business strategy, and information technology for our facilities. Through his work, Michael drives our progress of making SFC the leading national organization for the day-to-day management of sports, recreation, and entertainment venues.


Michael is a noted speaker and advocate for the impact that parks and recreation assets have on the lives of people in Chicago and throughout the country. Kelly served on the National Recreation and Park Association Board of Directors for seven years and as Chairman of the Board in 2020-21. He was also elected as a Fellow into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.



  • DePaul University College of Law, Juris Doctorate
  • John Carroll University, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Government



  • National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management Winner (2014)- Chicago Park District*
  • National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management Finalist (2019, 2021) – Chicago Park District*
  • Chicago Plays*

       *Please note that an asterisk designates an accomplishment completed prior to joining SFC

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