Shannon Luce, who has served as The Jockey Club's communications manager since January 2012, has been named director of communications, it was announced Dec. 15 by president and chief operating officer James L. Gagliano. The appointment is effective Jan. 1.
Luce will succeed Bob Curran Jr., who is retiring as vice president of corporate communications at the end of the year.
"Shannon has taken on a growing number of responsibilities over the course of the past 12 years or so, and she has handled them all with the utmost diligence," Gagliano said. "Her industry knowledge, her familiarity with various stakeholders, and her writing and editing skills will all help her thrive in this new assignment.
"Bob retires at the very top of his profession. His high integrity standards, intense work ethic, and dedication to his craft set him apart," continued Gagliano. "His daily presence will be missed by everyone at The Jockey Club and by his many colleagues throughout the sport."
Luce, a longtime resident of Versailles, Ky., was hired as a staff writer in March 2005 and was later promoted to communications coordinator before becoming communications manager.
Prior to joining The Jockey Club, Luce served as a writer/editor for SpecComm International and the Research Triangle Institute in Raleigh, N.C., and as a technical writer/editor for GE Interlogix in Corvallis, Ore. A native of Kansas City, Mo., Luce graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in animal science (equine emphasis). She also received a Professional Writer's Certificate from North Carolina State University.
In addition to the vital roles she has played in the production of both internal and external publications and conferences for The Jockey Club, Luce has managed production of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities' annual conference in Paris for the past three years.
Luce and her husband, Pete Swisher, own two retired Thoroughbreds on their Versailles farm.
Curran joined The Jockey Club staff in December 1998 after spending almost 12 years with Thoroughbred Racing Communications, an industry-funded national media relations office that was based in The Jockey Club's New York office. He was promoted to vice president of corporate communications for the organization in November 2001.
In addition to serving as president of the Turf Publicists of America (TPA) during 2001 and 2002, Curran was an active member of several communications committees in the Thoroughbred industry through the years. On Dec. 5 the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona named him the recipient of the Clay Puett Award at its annual Global Symposium. The award is bestowed upon a person or persons for outstanding contributions to the racing industry.
Curran will serve as a consultant for The Jockey Club during 2018.