Russell retires after 15 years at WECMRD helm | VailDaily.com

Russell retires after 15 years at WECMRD helm

Steve Russell, executive director of the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District, and Gypsum Recreation Center manager Scott Ruff present Edwards resident Peggy LeBlanc with a 55-inch TV for entering the WECMRD Community Survey. Peggy was picked from nearly 400 survey respondents. WECMRD joined the town of Gypsum, town of Eagle and Edwards Metropolitan District to seek community input into recreation programs, facilities and future planning.

EAGLE — After 15 years at the helm of the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District, Steve Russell figures its time to enjoy some more personal recreation.

Russell will retire from the organization of May 5.

"Hopefully now I will play a little more golf and do some other things," said Russell. "Overall, my time with WECMRD has been a great experience."

The district's board of directors announced Russell's retirement earlier this month.

"The board is unanimous in its appreciation for the stable financial footing WECMRD currently enjoys and applauds Russell for a number of notable successes under his stewardship," said the official press release.

'Grateful'

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"As a community and board, we're grateful for Steve's considerable accomplishments as WECMRD's executive director," said board President Liz Jones, "Under his guidance WECMRD has truly prospered, growing from just one pool and a handful of ball fields to three wonderful facilities and countless programs that positively impact the lives of children and families across the valley."

Hired in 2002, Russell is among the district's longest-tenured employees. The press release noted he played a pivotal role in the district's growth, services and financial health.

"We made a lot of improvements with recreational opportunities over the past 15 years and we built a lot of partnerships around the valley," said Russell. "We were able to keep fees affordable and improve the quality of recreation options."

Throughout the course of his years with the district, Russell established relationships with government organizations, patrons, and communities that resulted in facilities including the Gypsum Recreation Center, the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink and the Edwards Fieldhouse.

"His success record on these fronts greatly enhanced WECMRD's ability to deliver superior value and service to the district's constituents," the press release stated.

Russell said he decided it was time to step back from his director role and noted that the district has a strong team in place to continue its recreation mission.

The district's search for a new executive director has already begun and Russell will serve in an advisory capacity from his Denver office until his official retirement date of May 5.

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