Blake Tohana, a former executive with defunct Magna Entertainment Corp., has been appointed to the Woodbine Entertainment Group board of directors while David S. Willmot, Mark Frostad, and William Graham will leave the board.
Tohana, of Toronto, Ontario, is a senior corporate executive and a chartered accountant with extensive financial management experience in the media, entertainment, gaming, and horse racing industries. He served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of MEC from 2003-10.
Tohana serves as chief financial officer of Tricon Films & Television, one of North America's leading independent television production and distribution companies. He also is on the board of directors and is chair of the audit committee of the Ontario Media Development Corp., an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
"With the ongoing integration of racing and gaming in Ontario, Mr. Tohana's extensive experience in entertainment, gaming, and horse racing, combined with his financial management expertise and track record as a corporate executive, will make him a valuable addition to Woodbine Entertainment Group's board," WEG chairman Jim Lawson said in a release.
Frostad, a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame, was on the WEG board for 26 years.
"We will miss Mark's wealth of experience as a horseman and backstretch voice on the board," Lawson said. "We look forward to benefitting from his participation and support on Thoroughbred racing matters in the future as the industry strives to meet the new challenge of sustainability."
Graham, who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 75, served on the board for 17 years and has been a leader in the horse racing and breeding industry for decades. Willmot, president and chief executive officer of Kinghaven Farms, served on the WEG board for 30 years and opted not to seek re-election.
As per tradition, Frostad, Graham, and Willmot will become honorary directors of WEG.
WEG officials said the entity has a "vital role to play" as it enters a new phase of its business, including a renewed relationship with the Ontario government and the integration of horse racing into the province's gaming strategy. The company said it expects to announce further additions to its board.
"As Woodbine Entertainment Group continues its evolution as a premier entertainment company and a pillar of the Ontario horse racing industry, we are committed to ensuring our company is positioned to effectively address the challenges and opportunities of the future," Lawson said.