Distinguished Alumni Awards

John R. Endwright Alumni Service Award
Robert (Bob) Nickovich - 2015

Portrait of Robert Nickovich Robert (Bob) Nickovich began his career with the Lake County Parks and Recreation department as recreation supervisor in 1972. He later became director of the planning and development division prior to his appointment by the board of directors to the position of CEO in 1981.

During his 42 years of service to the community, his efforts toward the development and promotion of parks and recreation and quality of life issues for Northwest Indiana have been well recognized. Since being appointed CEO, five park sites, two multi-use trails, the acclaimed Deep River Waterpark, and regional attraction Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center have been added to the now twelve park system.

But Mr. Nickovich’s impact extends far beyond one county. Through his work with IPRA and many other professional organizations, he has been a strong voice in support of parks and recreation for decades. He has been a mentor to dozens of young professionals, some of whom began their careers at Lake County fresh from college and later moved into leadership roles of their own. He views current conditions as a challenge as to how best we can meet the public demands for quality active and resource- based creation opportunities while confronting tax cap and other storm clouds.

Each of the parks in the Lake County system are a testament to his leadership, and the many friends he has made over the years in the professional are a reflection of his willingness to help wherever he can. His past awards include recipient of the Professional of the Year award by the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1998, Recipient of the Department of Natural Resources Conservationist of the Year Award in 2000, and Indiana Park and Recreation Professional of the Year in 2008.