Friends of New York Racing Names Five New Members to Business Advisory Council

Edited FNYR release

Friends of New York Racing, the horseracing planning and advocacy group, announced Tuesday additions to its Business Advisory Council (BAC). The BAC is chaired by former New York State Budget Director R. Wayne Diesel. Its purpose is to provide FNYR with expert advice in specific technical and policy areas relevant to the future of horseracing in New York.

New members named following FNYR's August board meeting in Saratoga Springs were: Daniel F. Collins, vice president of Corporate Communications, Corning (and founder of Bona Venture Stables); Humberto Chavez, the racetrack chaplain for Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct race tracks; James T. Maney, executive director of New York Council on Problem Gaming; Jonathan Sheppard, president of the National Steeplechase Association; and Dr. Dean DeLuke, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and Thoroughbred owner with Dogwood Stable, formerly on the board of directors of OMSPAC, the national political action committee of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

"The mission of the Council is to bring additional perspective and expertise as we work to refine the policy blueprint for horseracing in New York State," said Council Chairman Diesel. "I am pleased to welcome these new colleagues to our group."

FNYR President Tim Smith said, "Along with the original Business Advisory Council members, these individuals add valuable experience in several important policy areas. Jonathan Sheppard brings the perspective of a Hall of Fame trainer. Humberto Chavez has first-hand knowledge of the specific needs of backstretch workers. Jim Maney is the state's foremost expert on problem gaming. Dan Collins brings the perspective of a smaller-scale owner as well as a senior-level corporate communications professional. And Dean DeLuke has experience both in non-profit political advocacy and as a New York owner and breeder."

Other members of the BAC include: Jeff Perlee, former director of the New York State Lottery; Thomas Hartnett, former New York State Commissioner of Labor; Ian Highet, partner, Citigroup Ventures Capital; Cliff Erlich, senior vice president Monticello Raceway Management; Jeffrey LaGueux, partner, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP; John Leonard, former president, CIGNA Group Insurance; and Robin Malatino, former CEO of Saratoga Beverage Group.

FNYR issued its preliminary report and recommendations in June. Its final report, including draft racing legislation, will be issued in October.