Staff Bios

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Mari Steinbach  MPA, CRP

Executive Director

Mari Steinbach began her tenure as the MRD Executive Director on October 21st 2019. Mari is happy to have returned to Colorado after several years away, having served the communities of Kankakee, Orland Hills, and Woodstock, Illinois; Brighton and Grand Junction, Colorado; Anchorage, Alaska; Scottsdale, Arizona; Burlington, Vermont; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Greenville, South Carolina. During her nine years as Recreation Superintendent in Grand Junction she led the department to receive a National Gold Medal Award from the National Recreation and Park Association, and enabled many successful partnerships and programs. During her most recent job in Greenville, South Carolina, Mari managed an organization with 35 parks, six community centers, a zoo, and an annual budget of $15 million, bringing about many successful improvements to that department and city. Mari is excited to bring her 30+ years of proven experience managing a diverse variety of parks and recreation agencies and building partnerships in the communities she has worked. Mari is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional as recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), 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 is also a Commission for Accreditation of Parks & Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) Site Visitor. Mari strives to build an inclusive and active community and is eager to play alongside all of you!

Jeremy Master photo for staff directory

Jeremy Master

Recreation Manager

Originally from New Jersey, Jeremy has been a parks and recreation administrator for over 10 years, having served 8 in Alaska, and 3 in Nevada prior to arriving on the Western Slope.  He has dedicated his career to building community through the development of recreational programs, facilities, and events.  He has studied Recreation Management at Springfield College and  Psychology and Biology at Syracuse University (go Orange!).  Beyond his formal education, Jeremy has earned trade certifications through the National Recreation and Park Association including becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Professional, Certified Playground Safety Inspector and an Aquatic Facility Operator.   Jeremy spends much of his free time on the trail or in the kitchen.  He also enjoys traveling, photography, live music and arts, baseball, golf, and hockey.  He is excited to join the MRD team, and to live, work, and play in the beautiful Montrose area.  Come say hello anytime! 

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Justin Mashburn

Facilities Manager

Justin grew up in and attended high school in Frederick, Colorado. After high school he attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. While at Cornell, he double majored in Sports Management and Economics, was captain of the baseball team and ran the school’s intramural department. He also met his wife Becky, an Iowa native, at Cornell. After graduating from college he came on as MRD’s Youth Recreation Coordinator a position he still has today. Becky is the Marketing and Communication Manager at DMEA & Elevate. Justin and Becky have two boys Holden and Cy who keep them on their toes, to say the least! Justin and Becky love Montrose and the countless opportunities it has to offer while maintaining the small-town feel. When Justin doesn't spend his evening and weekends on MRD fields and courts he loves hanging out with his family, hiking, backpacking and officiating high school and college basketball.

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Wade Ploussard

Community Outreach Coordinator

Wade started in September of 2007, after graduating from Emporia State University with a Bachelor in Recreation Management. As the Adults Rec Coordinator, Wade oversees adult sports and general interest classes. He was born and raised in Oberlin, KS until moving to Emporia, KS for college. After college he moved to Montrose to pursue a career in recreation. While here he met his wife, Emily, who teaches at Northside Elementary. Together they have 3 children, Boston, Emerson & Grayson. He enjoys coaching youth sports and being outdoors with his family. 


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Matt Imus

Recreation Coordinator - Adult Programs

Matt is a long time Rec coach who started working for the Rec district in 2017. He graduated from Vanguard University with a BS in Physical Education/Teaching and taught Physical Education in grades K-12 for 24 years before coming to the MRD. He has 4 children (Connor, JT, Sarah and Cooper) who all have participated (or will ) in many Rec sports programs through the years and also play school and travel sports. In his spare time he enjoys supporting his kids in all of their activities, being a soccer official. He and Tessa were married in 2018 and welcomed Cooper to the family in August of 2019.


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Liz Gracesun

Recreation Coordinator - Aquatics 

Liz’s family roots go back to the original pioneer settlers in the North Park Colorado area. She grew up in Austin, Texas, and received her BS degree from Texas A&M in Recreation and Parks Administration. Liz has also completed Master level studies in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Missouri. Her work experience has been primarily in the non-profit and public sectors.  Early in her career, Liz worked with both at-risk youth and at-risk senior populations, holding supervisory positions at the State, County and City levels. She has specialized in Aquatics for 16 years, 12 years have been with the Montrose Recreation District. Her certifications include, Aquatic Facility Operator, Lifeguard Instructor, Water Safety Instructor, Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor, Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program Instructor, and Aquatic Professional with Distinction. Liz has lived in Montrose for almost 20 years. Her three children all graduated from Montrose High School with honors, and have gone on to seek College degrees at Boston University, Colorado School of Mines, and the University of Northern Colorado. With some free time on her hands now, Liz plans on spending more time hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and taking photos in the Great outdoor areas that surround Montrose.

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Melissa Lords

Accounting Specialist

Melissa was born in Downey, California and grew up all over the southern California area enjoying the beach and going to the pool. Melissa and her husband Bill moved to Colorado in 1993 and have enjoyed raising their 4 kids here in Montrose. Pursuing a career in aquatics has been a good fit given her passion to help people enjoy their time around water. She has been in the aquatics field since 1997, and has served as the Aquatic Leader since 2009. She works closely with Liz Gracesun, the Aquatic Coordinator, to manage and operate the Aquatic Center. She is centrally involved in the large swim lesson program MRD offers and leading the legion of lifeguards. The Montrose Community is fortunate to benefit from Melissa's hard work and professionalism. Come say hello to Melissa next time you are at the pool!

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Cindy Marino

Recreation Coordinator - 50+ Programs

Cindy is a Colorado native who grew up in Hotchkiss. She attended Mesa College and Colorado State University. She graduated from CSU with a Bachelor’s degree in human nutrition. She worked in the Denver area for 3 years at a private wellness company and then worked for the largest health department in Colorado for over 16 years. Her favorite job at the health department was developing and implementing an employee worksite wellness program for over 250 employees. Cindy feels privileged to work as the Montrose Recreation District’s 50+/Activity Coordinator and says that this is the most enjoyable job she’s held. Cindy loves western Colorado and made the decision to return in 2009. Her parents still live in Hotchkiss – she is happy to be back home. She enjoys the outdoors with hiking, 4-wheeling and pickleball being her favorite activities. Cindy enjoys camping with her husband, Mike and their treasured dogs, Penny and Sammy.

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John Wagner

Recreation Coordinator - Outdoor Rec & Fitness

John grew up in Colorado Springs playing competitive soccer and enjoying the outdoor adventures that Colorado offers. These opportunities fostered a love for recreation and fitness and helped John decide to pursue a degree in Outdoor Recreation and Instruction and a minor in Sports and Exercise Science from Western State College in Gunnison, CO. After college, John's love of adventure and exploration took him from the mountains of Colorado to the depths of the Atlantic as he attended graduate school at East Carolina University and worked as a professional Underwater Archaeologist. Ultimately, the beauty and openness of Colorado and John's love for fitness and recreation won out and he decided to return and settle in Montrose where he can "Play Anywhere". He moved to Montrose at an optimal time and was able to join the MRD crew just before the CRC grand opening. John is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, and Functional Training Specialist as well as a MovNat Level 2 Certified Instructor and PADI Divemaster.

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Miguel Lopez

Maintenance Specialist

Miguel was born in Chicago, Illinois. His family moved to Montrose when he was 3 years old. Miguel worked for the MRD in concessions at the age of 14 and kept working other various positions until he graduated from the Montrose High School. He has been working in the maintenance department full-time since 2009. Miguel is happily married to his wife Ashley Lopez, and has 3 wonderful children, Kenzley, Brinxton & Ezma, . Miguel loves to be on the lake fishing and soaking up the sun, loves to travel, and hang out with family. He is very thankful to be involved with the MRD family, and enjoys living in such a wonderful community.


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Brad Distel

Maintenance Parks Supervisor 

Brad was born  and raised in  Montrose. He has been  married to his wife Cindy for over thirty years. They have a son and daughter and have four  grandchildren, three girls and one boy.  He enjoys  spending time with his family, hunting, fishing and camping with their two dogs.

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Jessica Workman 

Custodial Supervisor

Jessica grew up in Olathe, CO and moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in English. Upon meeting her husband David she decided to return to the western slope to live on her family’s farm and enjoy the great sense of community we have here. She has been working in the custodial field for eight years and has been with the MRD since February 2017. 

Julie Laube

Julie Laube

Lead CSR

Julie grew up on a family farm in rural Iowa and is a graduate of Iowa State University with a teaching degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. After teaching her moves to Wisconsin, Wyoming and Colorado provided her opportunities as a team challenge ropes course facilitator, YMCA camp program director, camp registrar and administrator, assistant to the Dean of Religious Life, YMCA membership coordinator, and currently Lead CSR at the MRD.

Julie enjoys meeting new people and is rarely found without a smile on her face. Her laughter is contagious and from the heart. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking, cross country skiing, reading, singing, and community theatre...perhaps you've seen her in costume at the front desk?

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Amy Russell

Lead CSR

Amy grew up in the Inland Empire area of California and attended Cal Poly Pomona. She gladly left California and moved to Colorado’s Western Slope more than 20 years ago and has never looked back. Work took Amy to the Denver area where she was a Business Development leader and trainer for Bonfils Blood Center for 17 years where her passion for helping others was utilized. The call of the western half of Colorado was always in her heart, however, so she and her husband, Doug, moved back in 2018 to enjoy everything that this wonderful area has to offer. Amy began working as a Lead CSR for MRD in April 2019 and still enjoys helping people every day she is at work.  While at the Rec Center you’ll find her at the front desk where the regulars refer to her as Smiley. When not working you’ll find her hiking, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, cooking, reading or playing with her dogs. Stop by and say hi!