With more than 35 years of experience ranging from venue management to special event planning, Charles Wheeler Jr. has been named facility manager at Saratoga Race Course by the New York Racing Association.Wheeler replaces George Hathaway, who will retire at the end of the current Saratoga meet. Hathaway has been a full-time NYRA employee for 32 years and Saratoga's facility manager for the last six years.A graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University, Wheeler received multiple honors for his service in Vietnam as a U.S. Army first lieutenant. His past positions include serving as director of Empire State Plaza Convention and Arts Center in Albany, N.Y., as well as director of convention and tourism administration.
Wheeler comes to NYRA after eight years of additional experience as executive director of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. He had previously spent two years as the center's pre-opening director, planning and supervising its construction. He has four children and three grandchildren. "Charlie has a broad range of experience and a strong background in facilities management, as well a long history and solid reputation for his involvement with the tourism and hospitality industries in Saratoga and the Capital District," said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. "George Hathaway did an outstanding job during his years with NYRA, maintaining Saratoga Race Course, while being mindful of its historical significance to the town and to racing. We have no doubt that Charlie will build upon that solid foundation."