Coz Sisneros, after 43 years of improving the quality of life and building community in Montrose through the Montrose Recreation District (MRD), has retired. This marks a significant event in the life of the MRD. Coz was the MRD’s second full time employee and he set a good tone. Montrose is fortunate to have a team of exceptional core and part-time staff members who work creatively and passionately to best serve the community. Their professionalism and commitment makes MRD the great organization it is. The new facilities help, but it is the people. This fact is exemplified by Coz.
Coz’s experience with MRD spans every program area, including youth, adult and seniors, and sports, fitness and wellness, leisure, outdoor recreation, aquatics and maintenance. Coz has had a hand in the development of every MRD facility thus far. For example, he responded to increasing demands for programs he was central in founding and building by pursuing facility development for, as he put it, “the bread and butter of recreation programming.”
This involved creating the Ute Field softball complex in 1985, which now serves over 700 adults per softball season. Additionally, Coz helped bring the McNeil Youth Fields to fruition in 1995, which is now the site of youth baseball with over 500 kids per season and youth soccer with over 600 kids per season. Ute and McNeil continue to evolve, with renovations enabled by a GOCO grant in 2013. Coz was also very involved bringing the Aquatic Center online in 1987.
The day before the Community Recreation Center (CRC) groundbreaking in 2016 and a few months before his 40th work anniversary, Coz reminded our team that at the CRC grand opening, MRD would also celebrate our 60th anniversary as an organization. That timing was intentional, of course. Although Coz has retired, his devotion to the MRD and the community we serve has become ingrained in our company culture. Being raised with a farmer’s work ethic, we know his schedule will not change, just the location.
As Recreation Coordinator Cindy Marino recently predicted at the retirement party that sent Coz off right, instead of being the first to arrive and the last to leave the MRD office, he’ll be the first to arrive and the last to leave the river. And we hope we will still see Coz on a regular basis at the CRC, but this time as a patron.
Coz is married to Vivian, a lifelong resident of Montrose, and together they have two children who have families of their own. A couple of days before his retirement, Coz showed me some newspaper clippings from the ‘70s. The articles that will continue to live at the CRC showed several pictures of Coz and Vivian as Vivian played volleyball and softball that Coz had organized. The connection they forged at MRD activities, just like so many, was a lifelong one. Coz, above all, enjoys spending time with his family including his grandchildren, which will no doubt be an increased focus as he retires.
Coz’s final effort as a MRD staff member was the training of the new Recreation Manager Jeremy Master, who started work this past week. Jeremy comes to us by way of Nevada, Alaska, and Massachusetts, where he has served as a park and recreation director, an assistant director, a facility manager, a facility supervisor, an event manager and as an after-school instructor with several different organizations. He graduated with a degree in psychology and minor in biology from Syracuse University and has completed coursework for his master’s degree in recreation management from Springfield College. He possesses a slew of certifications including certified parks and recreation professional, aquatic facility operator, certified playground safety inspector, disaster frontline supervisor and certified pool operator. Bottom line, Jeremy joins the MRD team with a strong professional background and education. But most importantly, he possesses a great attitude, energy and desire to help make the MRD the best organization it can be … kind of like Coz.
Ken Sherbenou has served as the MRD executive director for the past 8 years.