The New York Racing Association's board of trustees Wednesday voted for the additions of Leonard Riggio, Dennis Dammerman and NYRA president and CEO Charles E. Hayward to the board. "This is an incredibly talented, dedicated and accomplished group of trustees and the New York racing community should be proud and grateful that these extraordinary individuals will be working on their behalf," said NYRA board chairman C. Steven Duncker.Riggio is the chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc., a Fortune 500 company that is the world's largest bookseller. In addition, he is the chairman and principal shareholder of several privately-held companies, including Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, serving more than 500 college and universities across America. "I am absolutely delighted to be joining the board of NYRA, and to help in any way I can to ensure a bright future for racing in New York State," Riggio said. Riggio has received numerous awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Frederick Douglass Medallion. In November 2002, he received the Americanism Award from the Anti-Defamation League, its highest honor. The award cited his work "to celebrate diversity and make the dream of freedom and equality a reality for so many Americans." Riggio is the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Baruch College of the City University of New York and Bentley College. He has been inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs at Babson College and the Texas A&M Retail Hall of Fame. He also lectures regularly on college campuses, has delivered several commencement addresses, and has been the keynote speaker to numerous educational and business groups across the country. Riggio is married and has three children and three grandchildren. Dammerman, a resident of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Skidmore College. He worked for General Electric for 38 years, where he was named senior vice president –Finance and CFO in 1984 and vice chairman of the board and executive officer in 1998. He also served as chairman of GE Capital Services. In 1998, CFO Magazine awarded Dammerman its first Lifetime Achievement Award for CFO excellence recognizing him as "someone who... has effectively changed the perception of what finance is and what it can be, and who is universally respected and admired by his peers." "Deliberations this year and next will determine the future of racing in New York," Dammerman said. "By joining the board, I hope to help NYRA have a prominent voice in those deliberations." Hayward, former president and CEO of the Daily Racing Form, joined NYRA in December of 2004 as president/CEO. After a four-year stint, Hayward left DRF after it was sold to the Wicks Group. Prior to that, Hayward was the president and CEO of Little Brown Publishing.
Hayward served on the NYRA Board of Trustees from 1995 to 1999. He has been a horseracing fan for more than 25 years and a Thoroughbred owner for the last decade. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and a resident of Manhattan and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Additionally, it was announced that Michael D. Jarvis, citing schedule restraints, had resigned from the Board of Trustees. "It is because of my tremendous respect and admiration for the trustees of the New York Racing Association and for what they are tying to do for New York racing that I resigned from the board," said Jarvis, the former St. John's University basketball coach who is now a color analyst for ESPN. "As I told the Board, and to use a sports term, this is `crunch time' for New York racing and they can't afford to have a board member who cannot be there 100 percent of the time and my schedule did not allow for that. My decision to resign from the board was not so much about me but what was best for NYRA."