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NTRA ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AFTER OPERATIONAL COMBINATION WITH BREEDERS' CUP
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced changes to the company's organizational structure, effective with its operational combination with Breeders' Cup Limited on Jan. 1, when all Breeders' Cup personnel became employees of the NTRA.
Under the new structure, NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith retains the title of NTRA Chairman and Commissioner; Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr. assumes the title of NTRA Vice Chairman and Breeders' Cup President.
NTRA Deputy Commissioner Greg Avioli, who also serves as the NTRA's general counsel, will oversee the NTRA's business affairs and legal matters, including membership, contracts, legislative and regulatory issues, NTRA Investments, the NTRA's Drug Testing Task Force and TheGreatestGame.com, an industry initiative for attracting new owners to Thoroughbred racing. Jim Gallagher continues in his role as executive director of the Drug Testing Task Force; Reed Farley also retains his title as executive director of TheGreatestGame.com. Ben Haggin continues to serve as director of membership development.
Ferguson Taylor, Breeders' Cup director of finance and administration, assumes the title of NTRA chief administrative and financial officer, overseeing finances, administration, information systems and human resources. Pamela Newman, an 11-year employee and former senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, joins the NTRA as controller. Former Breeders' Cup Assistant Controller Martin Mathews has been promoted to director of accounting and Jim McCabe, formerly in the NTRA's New York office, will relocate to Lexington, where he will serve as budget director. Judy Meredith continues as financial assistant. Tim Schram and Kim Justus will serve as director of human resources and director of operations, respectively. Dennis McDaniel and Ayse Nahum continue as director of software engineering and director of information systems, respectively, while Bryan Pryor continues as network engineer.
Pam Blatz-Murff, director of racing and nominations for Breeders' Cup, has assumed the title of senior vice president of Breeders' Cup operations. Blatz-Murff continues to oversee Breeders' Cup racing, nominations, horsemen's services and eligibility programs. Dora Hughes becomes the director of Breeders' Cup nominations and will continue to be responsible for administering foal and stallion programs, with Tracie Dunn serving as nominations assistant. Sally Baugh continues as Breeders' Cup National Stakes coordinator.
Debbie Blair has been promoted to vice president of customer service. In addition to managing ticketing for the Breeders' Cup Championship day, Blair will take on new duties in NTRA customer service and hospitality programs, assisted by Jamie Carter, ticketing operations manager, and Penny Bentley, ticket accounts manager. Additionally, Debbie Lynch, executive assistant to D.G. Van Clief Jr., will continue in her role as Breeders' Cup event services director, responsible for VIP hospitality at the Breeders' Cup Championship headquarters hotel. Ken Kirchner remains the Breeders' Cup director of simulcasting.
Keith Chamblin continues in his role as NTRA vice president of industry relations and marketing, with overall responsibility for NTRA advertising, television and promotions as well as membership programs and services. Alison Thompson-Murphy, former assistant to Deputy Commissioner Greg Avioli, now serves as Chamblin's assistant. Bryan Pettigrew, former special assistant to the Commissioner, was named vice president of sponsorships and will manage the NTRA's relationship with Host Communications, its new sponsor agency. Continuing in their roles at the NTRA's Lexington office are Betsy Vandevender (executive assistant to Commissioner Tim Smith), Jamie Haydon (promotions manager), Jodilyn Mendelsohn (NTRA Charities manager), Terri Battle (membership development assistant), Heather Brown (racehorse adoption assistant) and Lee Capaldo-Hoffman (human resources and operations assistant).
Peggy Hendershot, former director of communications, has assumed the title of director of industry communications and is based at the NTRA's Lexington, Ky., office. Eric Wing continues in his capacity as director of media relations in the NTRA's New York office. Chip Tuttle, former NTRA vice president of communications, has become a consultant to the NTRA, based at the Conover-Tuttle advertising and public relations agency in Boston. Continuing to serve in the New York office are Joan Lawrence (communications manager), Justin McDonald (advertising and design manager), Peter Rotondo (marketing and special events manager) Amy Boccuzzi (advertising and promotions manager) and Bonnie Cooper (office manager).
Ben Cambra continues in his role as vice president of NTRA Productions, based in Tulsa, Okla.
Damon Thayer, who recently was promoted to vice president of Breeders' Cup marketing, will be responsible for all Breeders' Cup marketing programs, including television, advertising, media relations, new media and merchandising/licensing. McKay Smith has been promoted to manager of new media and will be responsible for managing and developing both the NTRA and Breeders' Cup Web sites, while retaining some duties in connection with Breeders' Cup marketing programs. Peggy Gdovka continues as Breeders' Cup merchandising and licensing manager and Kathy Heitz as Breeders' Cup art director; both will assume additional duties relating to NTRA programs. Kathy Conroy joins the NTRA as graphic designer. Sara Helfrich and Carol Paulick, marketing assistant and communications assistant, respectively, and courier John Relford, continue in their roles.
NTRA and Breeders' Cup expect to consolidate their Lexington-based offices within the next several months. Details regarding the company directory and e-mail addresses will be announced at a later date.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of Thoroughbred interests, which in addition to racetracks, includes owners, breeders, off-track betting organizations, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and sales companies, among others. Through membership dues and funding from other horseracing interests, like the American Quarter Horse Association, the NTRA markets, advertises, promotes and televises horseracing in North America, and also serves as a catalyst for industry-wide programs benefiting members in group purchasing, telecommunications and technology, consumer research and legislative initiatives.
As part of its mission to build positive public awareness of Thoroughbred racing and expand opportunities for enhancement of the Thoroughbred industry, the NTRA conducts the Breeders' Cup-Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championship consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, as well as the Breeders' Cup National Stakes Program, worth millions in combined purses from Breeders' Cup and participating racetracks. The industry's breeders and owners fund purses for the Breeders' Cup Championship as well as the Breeders' Cup National Stakes Program. With the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form, the NTRA also presents the Eclipse Awards, the annual awards recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup Championship, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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