The contacts Tony Arredia made over a decade as mayor of Des Plaines should come in handy as the veteran public servant lobbies local, state and federal lawmakers on legislation and funding for child care for Maryville Academy.
Arredia was named director of government relations for Maryville Academy a day after he handed over the city's reins to Mayor Martin Moylan earlier this month.
Maryville officials declined to release Arredia's full-time salary and benefits. Arredia was making roughly $9,000 yearly in his part-time mayor's job.
Arredia did not return several phone calls requesting comment for this story.
Arredia's new job requires him to schmooze some of the same public officials he sat across the table from as mayor negotiating to alleviate Des Plaines' flooding problems.
Maryville Academy is funded 60 percent through state contracts with agencies like Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Department of Public Aid. Forty percent of its funding comes through private grants and foundations.
Maryville Academy serves roughly 200 children out of six sites, including two in Des Plaines. The group's primary mission is working with abused and neglected children and children with special needs. It runs programs for mentally ill and intellectually-delayed children, as well as substance abuse.
Arredia is replacing a hired lobbyist for the nonprofit agency in an effort to be more effective in getting funding, said Cheryl Heyden, Maryville Academy associate executive director.
"There's certainly been cutbacks across the whole child welfare field," Heyden said. "You always think there's something else out there but you've got to know who to talk to to get it. With Tony's contacts, we are hoping to find some of those untapped funds. He's done so well for Des Plaines."
She said Arredia himself offered his knowledge and resources to help Maryville.
"He has been a good friend of Maryville for years, so this is not a new relationship," Heyden said. "He has such a love for children so this is something he was really interested in doing."
Arredia, 72, formerly football and baseball coach for St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights for 13 years, also will help Maryville with its Catholic Youth Organization, a program it runs for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
"He's also going to be helping us with some of the community outreach we do in the area of sports and recreation," Heyden said. CYO works with parishes to get kids involved with after-school activities to keep them off the streets.