Lonny Powell, formerly a full-time executive with Magna Entertainment Corp. and currently a consultant whose clients include the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has been tabbed to replace Tony Chamblin as president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
The RCI's Lexington office confirmed the hiring of Powell. He is expected to be on the job by the time the RCI executive committee meets in late August. Other candidates for the job were said to be Roy Wood, executive director of the California Horse Racing Board, and Bennett Liebman, a former member of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
"Lonny brings so very much to the table in terms of industry experience, credentials, and knowledge," RCI chairman Arthur Khoury said. "His lifelong history in experiencing racing from every perspective, combined with his wealth of contacts and appreciable past record of industry service, leadership, and success, make him an ideal choice to serve as our association's chief executive during these both challenging and opportunistic times."
In recent years, RCI has lost members to the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association, which was formed in 1997 when some jurisdictions left the RCI because of conflict regarding president Tony Chamblin's contract. Chamblin retired in June from the job he held for 15 years. In April, when he announced his plans to step down, Chamblin said he probably would remain a consultant to the RCI, perhaps on international affairs.
Earlier this year, Powell was named as a consultant to the NTRA in the areas of legislation and regulation. He has a background in racetrack management.