PIEDMONT -- Sara Lillevand, the director of athletics at Cal State East Bay, has been chosen as Piedmont's new Recreation Department director, City Administrator Paul Benoit announced Monday.
Fifty people applied for the position. Lillevand rose to the top because of her extensive experience and background, Benoit said.
She will begin work Sept. 22, and her formal appointment will be made at the Sept. 2 City Council meeting. Her salary will be $150,000 per year, Benoit said. Barbara Selway was filling in as interim Recreation Department director since May 23. Recreation Department Director Mark Delventhal retired in December 2013.
The recruitment firm of Peckham and McKenney was hired to screen candidates and narrow the field to five or six top applicants. Five candidates were interviewed in closed session by a City Council subcommittee, the city administrator, a panel of residents and the city's management team. After that, the field was narrowed to two finalists.
Lillevand was educated at Stanford and UC Davis and holds a master of science in physical therapy from Boston University.
For the past 14 months, she has served as the director of athletics for Cal State East Bay. Before that, she served as associate director of athletics as well as head women's basketball coach and kinesiology instructor.
Before joining Cal State East Bay in 1997, she worked at UC Davis and Wellesley College as assistant basketball coach and at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford as a physical therapist. Lillevand grew up in Piedmont and is a graduate of Bishop O'Dowd High School.
"We are pleased that we had such a highly qualified pool of candidates, in particular Ms. Lillevand," Mayor Margaret Fujioka said. "I would like to express my appreciation to members of the council subcommittee, council members Bob McBain and Teddy Gray King; as well as the members of the interview panels including Recreation commissioners Nick Levinson and Kim Hebert, former Recreation Commissioner Dick Hunt, PHS Assistant Athletic Director Megan Hernandez, and Amy Wooldridge, Recreation and Park director for the City of Alameda."
"Each of the finalists was highly qualified," Benoit said. "Piedmont would have been well served with each of them, however Ms. Lillevand distinguished herself among this outstanding group."
"I am honored to have been selected as Piedmont's recreation director," Lillevand said. "Piedmont is a wonderful community with an excellent Recreation Department, and I look forward to serving the city."