Members of new NYRA board named; NYTHA has voting rights

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: June 8, 2017

The New York Racing Association June 7 announced a new 17-member board of directors in the wake of a new law that “privatized” the organization.

Among the members of the board are New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Rick Violette Jr. and New York Thoroughbred Breeders Executive Director Jeff Cannizzo; both were on the previous board but now have voting rights.

Eight members of the board were appointed by the NYRA Executive Committee. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Senate and the state Assembly each have two appointees; Cuomo selects the chairman. The final member is NYRA President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Kay.

The new board was created via language in the 2018 New York State budget. The idea is to give NYRA majority control of its board rather than the having NYRA Reorganization board in charge, but state government will still wield some power.

The NYRA appointees are C. Steven Dunker, Bobby Flay, Mark Holliday, Stuart Janney III, Timothy “Chris” Mara, Andrew Rosen, Joseph Spinelli and Stuart Subotnick. The NYRA CEO, Kay, automatically gets a board seat.

Cuomo appointed Michael Del Giudice, who will serve as chaiman, and Vincent Tese.

The Senate selected Earle Mack and Michael Dubb, while the Assembly picked Georgeanna Nugent. Another Assembly selection is pending.

NYTHA and the NYTB selected Violette and Cannizzo, respectively.

“On behalf of the men and women of the New York Racing Association, we are very pleased that many of the people that succeeded in moving NYRA forward as board members of the Reorganization Board will now be serving as members of the new NYRA Board of Directors,” Kay said. “These board members helped our organization achieve meaningful progress in strengthening NYRA’s financial foundation, which is so important in light of the fact that NYRA is the cornerstone of an industry that generates over 17,000 jobs and over $2 billion in economic impact here in New York.”

Robert Megna and Leonard Riggio have left the board.

(Rick Violette Jr. photo by NYTHA)