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Mari Steinbach, center, speaks with Montrose Recreation District board members Barbara Bynum and Mark Plantz at a meet-and-greet at the rec center in August. She was named the new MRD executive director.

Mari Steinbach was named the new executive director for the Montrose Recreation District after “a rigorous process including numerous interviews.”

In total, 44 applicants were narrowed to four and then narrowed to one

The MRD stated in a release that all four candidates were extremely qualified and capable of doing the job but that Steinbach rose to the top.

Steinbach has 30 years of experience managing recreation agencies and building partnerships in the communities she has worked. Steinbach is a certified parks and recreation professional, as recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and she has a B.S. in business administration with a minor in recreation resources management from Colorado State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

She has managed recreation agencies in Grand Junction; Anchorage, Alaska; Burlington, Vermont; and most recently in Greenville, South Carolina.

While in Burlington, Steinbach was a key player in making the Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation Project a reality, which rejuvenated a heavily used eight-mile trail system on the east shore of Lake Champlain, according to the MRD. During her nine years as recreation superintendent in Grand Junction she led the department to receive a National Gold Medal Award from the NRPA. During her most recent job in Greenville, South Carolina, Steinbach managed an organization with 35 parks, six community centers, a zoo, and an annual budget of $15 million.

Steinbach will begin her tenure on Monday, Oct. 21 and said via the release, “I am eager to return to Colorado’s West Slope after several years away, and look forward to getting to know and serve the Montrose community.’’

The board of directors is inviting the community to meet Steinbach on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 5-7 p.m. at the Community Recreation Center.

“We are confident that Mari will lead the MRD in continuing to provide quality facilities and programs,” said Board President Jason Ullmann, “while strengthening partnerships that enable the MRD and the Montrose community to accomplish new projects that improve Montrose’s quality of life.”

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