Bruce Garland, the senior executive vice president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority who began his career in racing with the New Jersey Racing Commission, will retire at the end of this year.
Garland, 55, joined the NJSEA in 1991 as general manager of Standardbred racing at Meadowlands. In 1998, he was promoted to senior executive vice president of racing for the NJSEA, which also owns and operates Monmouth Park.
Previously, Garland served as deputy director and then executive director of the state racing commission. He is largely credited with helping Meadowlands and Monmouth Park maintain their stature in the industry during difficult times for New Jersey racing.
"We are sorry to see Bruce go; he has been a great leader for the industry and racing interests in New Jersey," NJSEA chief executive officer George Zoffinger said. "When he came here, racing faced significant issues. There was a real concern about not just the future of racing in New Jersey, but the future of racing in America. He was instrumental in changing the course of an industry by maintaining the leadership position of racing in New Jersey."
Garland represents the Eastern region on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors. He holds or has held leadership positions with the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, Harness Tracks of America, and United States Trotting Association.
"I've been privileged to work with the professional staff at the NJSEA," Garland said in a release. "They are the best in racing."
Dennis Dowd, currently vice president of off-track wagering for the NJSEA, has been promoted to senior vice president of racing. Chris McErlean, general manager of Meadowlands, will now serve as vice president of racing operations for Meadowlands and Monmouth.
"I'm happy that Bruce will assist in the transition," Dowd said. "We are preparing for the Breeders' Cup (at Monmouth) in two years, so he will be a key element and active nationally on behalf of New Jersey racing."
Garland was instrumental in negotiating an agreement with Atlantic City casinos last year that will provide $86 million for purses. He also helped hammer out a four-year deal that guarantees purses and racing dates.