Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Barbara Neilan

Executive Director

What do you like most about living in Missoula? 

The people!  The sense of community in Missoula is palpable.  No one is a stranger for long.  It is especially strong during a crisis – people reaching out to help one another.  The creativity of the people drawn to this community is awe-inspiring.

What is your favorite thing to do in Missoula? 

Can’t pick one!  The recreation outside my door, the concerts and events all year long, the cultural opportunities, the food – oh my gosh, the food!

Why do you like working for Destination Missoula? 

I have been blessed to work for this organization for 17 years and have watched it grow and evolve.  I have always been surrounded by amazing, supportive and fun people – my staff, my boards, organizations and boards I work with across the State.  My job is so diverse and I get to touch so many parts of our community, region and State to try to make a difference in all Montanan’s lives. 


Sage Grendahl

Director of Operations

What do you like most about living in Missoula? 

Missoula is a great place to reside. The proximity to so many recreational opportunities is abundant. After getting out and about outside, there are so many tasty restaurants and watering holes.

What is your favorite thing to do in Missoula? 

Enjoying Missoula's culinary scene is one of my favorite things to do as well as enjoying the arts. Whether that be attending all the fabulous concerts we have or participating in First Friday Gallery Night, Missoula's visual and performing arts scene is on point.

Why do you like working for Destination Missoula? 

Destination Missoula promotes our cool little city to the world, so folks can come visit and create a memorable experience. It's a fun job.  


Mary Holmes

TBID & Partnership Development Manager

What do you like most about living in Missoula? 

I love having something pretty to look at no matter where I’m at - the mountains, rivers, colorful fall foliage, public art and historic buildings downtown, the list goes on. I also enjoy having four distinct seasons. I grew up in the pacific northwest where it rained a lot. Having noticeable season changes is a real treat for me and I feel like each season has something special to offer.

What is your favorite thing to do in Missoula? 

I simply enjoy being outside in Missoula. It doesn't matter if I’m at the farmers market, relaxing on the river, having a drink on one of the many beautiful patios/decks throughout town, or playing at the park with my daughter, it’s all good!

Why do you like working for Destination Missoula? 

I enjoy working at Destination Missoula for many reasons, but the biggies are the people and promoting Missoula. The staff and board are truly an enjoyable and inspiring group of people to be around. I also get fulfillment out of working for an organization that promotes and develops economic growth in a community that I love and call home.  


Kara Bartlett

Group Sales Manager (Sports/Domestic & International Travel Trade)

What do you like most about living in Missoula? 

I love Missoula because of its diverse culture, charm, and perfect blend of town and country. Missoula is a special place with rich culinary and music scenes, an abundance of parks, river access, hike and bike trails. Missoula truly offers something for everyone!

What is your favorite thing to do in Missoula? 

Exploring the restaurants and food trucks in Missoula is at the top of my list. They offer foods from all over the globe and I am consistently impressed with the talent here. I also enjoy going to the Farmer's Market and stocking up on local produce, crafts and goodies.

Why do you like working for Destination Missoula? 

Tourism, entertainment and hospitality are not only strong industries in Missoula, they are personal passions. Having the ability to share my love of this vibrant community with people from all over the world is a gift.  


Emily Rolston

Group Sales Manager (Meetings & Conventions)

What do you like most about living in Missoula? 

Missoula is an incredible city and, for me, it is our welcoming and passionate community that makes it such a special place. Couple that with our beautiful mountainscapes and access to recreation, and there is nowhere in the world like Missoula.

What is your favorite thing to do in Missoula? 

I love that Missoula has such diverse and seemingly endless options of things to do. My perfect day starts with a coffee and pastry from one of our amazing bakeries, then a hike in the Rattlesnake with my pup, Junip, next grabbing a beer and food truck fare at my neighborhood brewery, and to top it off, enjoying great music with friends at The Wilma.

Why do you like working for Destination Missoula? 

Working at Destination Missoula is truly rewarding as it allows me to invest my time and energy into my hometown and community. It also gives me the opportunity to share my love for this place with people from around the world.