Gilbert to step down from Park Board, leave job with Boy Scouts in Quincy to take similar position in North Carolina

20 under 40 recipient David Gilbert is the Eagle Ridge District Executive for the Mississippi Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

David Gilbert | Photo courtesy of Boy Scouts of America

QUINCY — David Gilbert is taking a step up in his professional life, accepting a position as the director of field services for the Old Hickory Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Stepping away from Quincy, however, will be difficult.

“Quincy has been a great community to live in for 10 years. I’ve definitely engrained myself in the community and made a lot of friends,” he said. “It’s exceptionally morose to me that I’m going to be stepping away from this community, but it’s a good step forward. It’s the next step in a career and the next opportunity to serve more kids.”

Gilbert, who grew up in St. Louis, came to Quincy 10 years ago to join the Mississippi Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has held several positions during his time in Quincy, the most recent as field director. 

He leaves Quincy, where he had a $1.2 million budget and served about 1,500 kids, for Winston-Salem, which has a $4 million budget and serves about 4,000 kids.

“A couple of people told me I should look (at the job). After I did a little research, I got another couple phone calls from people saying, ‘You really ought to look at that,’” Gilbert said. “Enough people were encouraging me to look at it, so I did. (Winston-Salem) is like Quincy with a southern accent.”

Switching cities to work for the Boy Scouts also means Gilbert must resign as a Quincy Park District commissioner. He was one of four people to run for four open seats on the Park Board in April 2021.

“This decision was not made lightly, because I’m really enjoying the Park Board stuff,” Gilbert said. “I really love working with the six other commissioners. I really love working with (executive director) Rome (Frericks) and his staff. The two hardest emails to write over the weekend were to the Park District and to the Noon Kiwanis.”

Gilbert’s last day with the Mississippi Valley Council is July 7. Until then, he will continue as the camp director for the Saukenauk Scout Reservation. He expects about 1,000 Scouts and Camp Callahan attendees to stay on site this summer. Another 3,000 people are expected to stay as guests.

The vacancy on the Park Board created by Gilbert’s resignation likely will be filled by someone appointed by the remaining six commissioners. John Frankenhoff, president of the Park Board, said the vacancy typically is made public through the media and the Quincy Park District website. The commissioners will discuss how the position will be filled during the June 8 board meeting.

“What I anticipate is we’ll have a few simple documents (for candidates) to fill out with a few questions,” he said.

Candidates must be at least 18 years old and live within the city limits. Frankenhoff believes the board will probably ask candidates to turn in paperwork before the July 13 board meeting and submit to an interview.

Ideally, the commissioners would name Gilbert’s replacement before participating in their annual planning session on Aug. 1, Frankenhoff said.

“The planning session is a day-long meeting where we really dig into the big issues in the long term,” Frankenhoff said. “We planning the big projects we’re going to do in the next year or two or three, and how they’re going to be funded and how it all kind of fits together. I would like to give that person about two or three weeks to do some homework and get up to speed, then take part in the August planning session.”

When the Park Board previously had vacancies, Frankenhoff said the top vote-getter in the previous election often was asked if they were still interested. However, only Gilbert, Frankenhoff, Patty McGlothlin and Barb Holthaus filed for four vacant seats in the April 2021 election.

The last time the Park Board had to fill a vacant season was in June 2020. McGlothlin was first appointed to the board in November 2008 and elected to four-year terms in 2009 and 2013. However, she did not seek re-election in 2017. Bob Gough resigned in March 2020 and Commissioners appointed McGlothlin to fill the rest of his term.

Gilbert’s seat is up for election in April 2025.

Gilbert laughed when he recalled how he became involved with the Park Board.

“Barb Holthaus, our vice president of endowment (for the Mississippi Valley Council), says to me, ‘You really ought to join the Park Board,’” he said. “I was like, no. She kind of comes back about a month later and says, ‘You really should join the Park Board. Here’s the things we’ve done.’ I’m still like, no.

“She came back about a month after that. She says, ‘Here’s why you’re going to at least run for election to the Park Board.’ She convinced me to do it. I got the 180 signatures I needed, and four people ran for four positions. Hardest election I’ve been a part of.”

Gilbert complimented the people he worked with at the Quincy Park District.

“I don’t think there’s a bad person on the staff,” he said. “As far as governmental entities are concerned, the Park District’s kicking ass. I would have liked to have served three more years to serve my term and potentially run for another one. This job was not something I was expecting a year and a half ago.”

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