Speakers

Bart Barden
Paddy Power Betfair
Director, US Exchange
Bio

Bart Barden

Director, US Exchange

Paddy Power Betfair

Bart Barden is currently Director for Betfair US, focused on the Exchange Business Unit. He is responsible for the product launch, revenue, spend and channels related to Betfair's unique Betting Exchange for US markets. He is also responsible for sport product strategy, with a focus on Horse Racing, for Betfair's US Business Unit, including fantasy, Exchange and Para-mutual wagering.

Dionne Benson
Racing Medication and Testing Consortium
Executive Director
Bio

Dionne Benson

Executive Director

Racing Medication and Testing Consortium

Dr. Dionne Benson has been the Executive Director of Racing Medication and Testing Consortium since 2012. The RMTC is made up of 23 different industry stakeholder organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Quarter Horse and Arabian. Its purpose is to help uphold the integrity of racing. Dr. Benson’s duties include growing the National Uniform Medication Program, managing the RMTC’s program to accredit horse racing testing labs, directing funding for research in equine drug testing, and educating industry participants as well as fans on the subject of equine medications and drug testing. Dr. Benson, a Minnesota native, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Program. She completed an internship at the world renowned Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. During that internship she worked as a hospital intern rotating through surgery, medicine, and anesthesia. Prior to vet school Dr. Benson was a practicing lawyer for eight years both as in-house counsel and in litigation at a law firm. She graduated with her law degree from The William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. Dr. Benson completed her undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and she serves on the board of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Board.

Steve Byk
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Host- ‘At the Races with Steve Byk'
Bio

Steve Byk

Host- ‘At the Races with Steve Byk'

SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Race writer-broadcaster Steve Byk joined ‘At the Races and Beyond’ on SiriusXM Satellite Radio in 2005 and began hosting ‘At the Races with Steve Byk’ in 2007. Heard Monday-Friday 9:00am -12:00pm ET on Sirius 220 & XM 206, ‘At the Races’ is thoroughbred racing’s longest running national daily news and talk show and features a roster of the leading voices in the game from virtually every perspective. Steve enjoyed a 30 year career in Consumer Packaged Goods Sales and Marketing with Proctor & Gamble, Groupe Danone and TPK7 Marketing, his own brand development company. He launched DerbyTrail.com in 2003 where his feature writing, race previews and editorials attracted a loyal following which led to At the Races. He, trainers Chuck Simon and Gary Sciacca introduced Dee Tee Stables in 2006 as a way to bring fans into the game as owners at a minimal cost and have converted more than 125 casual fans and horse players into owners while winning races at Saratoga, Belmont, Aqueduct, Delaware, Turfway and Parx. Steve is a passionate advocate for the industry at all levels and strives daily on the radio and in all his activities to deliver a positive message about the sport to the stakeholders, horseplayer and casual fan.

Klaus Ebner
Woodbine Entertainment
Manager of Simulcast and Track Relations
Bio

Klaus Ebner

Manager of Simulcast and Track Relations

Woodbine Entertainment

Klaus Ebner is the Manager of Simulcast and Track Relations for Woodbine Entertainment Group. As Woodbine Entertainment Group's Manager of Simulcast and Track Relations, Ebner manages the sale and distribution of Canada's number one Thoroughbred and Standardbred signal to more than 1,000 outlets worldwide. In addition, he is also responsible for the sale and distribution of the Ontario Standardbred Alliance tracks and racing from Japan (JRA). His prior roles at Woodbine Entertainment have included Wagering Operations Manager and Commentator on HPItv, a nationwide television channel dedicated to Horse Racing. Klaus graduated from the NPC Institute in Toronto specializing in Information Technology.

Ann Gillette
Kennesaw State University
Professor of Finance
Bio

Ann Gillette

Professor of Finance

Kennesaw State University

Dr. Ann Gillette is Professor of Finance in the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M University. In 2014 -2016, she served on the faculty of the Equine Industry Program at the University of Louisville, were she leveraged her equine experience and passion to teach equine business courses as well as research issues in the equine racing industry. Dr. Gillette has also served as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for over ten years, and on the advisory board of a wealth management firm. She has also been on the faculties of Indiana University and Georgia State University. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Gillette worked as an economist in the Texas Governor’s Budget and Planning Office were she focused on forecasting state tax and energy revenues, as a management consultant with a utility sector focus for an engineering company, and as a senior economic analyst for the Texas Public Utility Commission where she served as an expert witness in electric utility rate cases. Dr. Gillette has published numerous articles in refereed journals including The Journal of Finance, The Review of Financial Studies, and Contemporary Accounting Research. She has twice won the Kennesaw State University Foundation Award for her research and has served as a reviewer for over 20 academic journals. Dr. Gillette has been involved in several TB racing syndicates and is an avid polo player who owns a re-trained OTB polo pony.

Marshall Gramm
Rhodes College
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Economics
Bio

Marshall Gramm

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Economics

Rhodes College

Dr. Marshall Gramm is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. He has over a dozen academic publications related to the sport of horse racing in journals including the Southern Economic Journal, Applied Economics, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, and The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics. This spring he will be teaching a course entitled the Economics of Racetrack Wagering Markets. An avid horseplayer, he has qualified the last three years for the National Handicapping Championships (NHC). Marshall has been an owner of race horses since he claimed his first horse in 2008. He was managing partner of High Point Thoroughbred Partners (HPTP), the 9th leading owner by wins in 2013. HPTP won the owners title that year at Parx Racing and Monmouth Park. He co-founded Ten Strike Racing this year with former HPTP partner Clay Sanders. Ten Strike Racing has 59 wins on year at 12 different race tracks and campaigns stakes winners Allied Air Raid and Financial Modeling. Marshall has also bred two stakes horses from his modest broodmare band. He is on the board of Horse Race Labs, LLC (Derby Wars, Horse Racing Nation). Marshall holds a B.A. from Rice University and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

David Haslett
Sky Racing World, LLC
President & CEO
Bio

David Haslett

President & CEO

Sky Racing World, LLC

David Haslett is President & CEO of SKY RACING WORLD which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tabcorp, Australia’s leading wagering and gaming operator. SKY RACING WORLD markets and distributes International Racing from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Palermo, Argentina throughout the Americas 7 days a week 365 days a year. This includes a simulcast production of Australian and New Zealand racing channels 7 days a week. Over the past 12 months, SKY RACING WORLD has distributed over 14,000 International races. David has over 30 years’ experience working in the International Wagering industry in South Africa, UK and USA. Born and raised in South Africa, David has held senior management positions at the TAB in South Africa, UK Tote, Scientific Games and most recently as Managing Director of Sportech Racing.

Derron Heldt
Prairie Meadows
Director of Racing
Bio

Derron Heldt

Director of Racing

Prairie Meadows

Derron Heldt has been with Prairie Meadows since 1996. As Director of Racing, his responsibilities include Racing, Pari-Mutuel, Grounds, Track Maintenance, and the Television Department. Derron previously worked in numerous capacities as a racing official at Oaklawn Park, Aksarben, Canterbury Downs, Lincoln State Fair, and Columbus Race Course. Derron is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with a BA degree in agriculture. He has been active in the racing industry since early childhood, working with race horses on his parents’ farm in Nebraska. Derron is a participating member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and serves on the board of the Prairie Meadows Track Chaplaincy and Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds (HART). Derron and his wife, Chris, have three children.

Walter Hessert
Derby Games
Chief Product Officer
Bio

Walter Hessert

Chief Product Officer

Derby Games

Walter Hessert co-founded Derby Games with his brothers, Tom and Bill, in 2012. He led the development of their social ADW, Derby Jackpot, which has generated tens of thousands of first time horse bettors and processed $50MM in wagers since launching in 2013. As Chief Product Officer, he is responsible for overseeing the design and development of new gaming products. Walter has a degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Ronald Jenson
NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance
Primary Veterinarian and Regulatory Consultant
Bio

Dr. Ronald Jenson

Primary Veterinarian and Regulatory Consultant

NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance

Dr. Ron Jensen has been the primary veterinarian and regulatory consultant for the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance since 2009. Dr. Jensen’s 42 year previous career as a regulatory veterinarian included 10 years as the Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) and 32 years as a commission veterinarian for the Illinois Racing Board. Dr. Jensen is an honor roll member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). He formerly served on the AAEP Board of Directors including terms as chairman of the Racing Regulatory Committee, and as a member of the Ethics and Infractions Committee. He also has served as a regulatory veterinary advisor for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and as a member of the Veterinary Advisory Committee for the Association of Racing Commissioners (ARCI). Internationally, Dr. Jensen was a founding member of the International Group of Specialists Racing Veterinarians (IGSRV), serving first as the North American Representative, and later as president and then treasurer. He recently was awarded the John Bourke Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Conference of Racing Analysts held in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Marsha Kelly
MSK Ventures
Principal
Bio
Michael Knapp
USFantasy
Chief Operation Officer, co-founder, and content creator
Bio

Michael Knapp

Chief Operation Officer, co-founder, and content creator

USFantasy

Michael Knapp is the Chief Operational Officer, co-founder, and content creator for USFantasy contests – a unique pari-mutuel based solution for the growing Daily Fantasy Sports business. Mike has over 35 years of experience work in gaming, race and sports books, sports handicapping, and odds making including: Director of New Product Integration with YouBet, General Manager, Surfside Race Place at Del Mar, and Director of Race & Sports Books at Harvey’s Casino in Lake Tahoe. Knapp started as an analyst, odds maker and office manager for The Vegas Wire, the most popular sports prognostication service in the race and sports industry. He also consulted on the designs of many Race and Sports Book venues in Nevada and Delaware. He served as Chairman of the Board for the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF), representing 32 networked off-track racing locations and nine annual live horse race events. Mike was a member of the California Marketing Committee representing the Southern Fairs.

Steve Koch
NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance
Executive Director
Bio

Steve Koch

Executive Director

NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance

Steve Koch joined the NTRA in 2015 as the Executive Director of the Safety & Integrity Alliance, the thoroughbred industry’s accreditation program for national uniform racetrack safety and integrity standards. The 23 Alliance accredited racetracks host 90% of graded stakes and 75% of wagering on thoroughbred races in the United States and Canada. Steve previously served 12 years at Canada's Woodbine Racetrack, where he was Vice President of Racing from 2008 to 2015. As vice president he oversaw all aspects of the Thoroughbred racing product as well as the company’s Racing Surfaces, Grounds and Stables, and Fleet divisions. From 2003 to 2008 his Woodbine career included Director of Racing and Director of Backstretch Operations. Prior to Woodbine, Steve worked for Keeneland and he was raised as a horseman at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Kentucky. Steve participates on various industry boards including the Racing Officials Accreditation Program, Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, The American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition, and the Welfare and Safety Summit's Racing Equipment & Safety Committee. www.linkedin.com/in/kochstephen Twitter: @NTRA

Tim Layden
Sports Illustrated
Senior writer
Bio

Tim Layden

Senior writer

Sports Illustrated

Tim Layden is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated magazine and SI.com, where he has worked since 1994. Layden is a general assignment feature writer with an emphasis on professional football, Olympic sports and horse racing. Layden has been a sports journalist for almost four decades. He first worked at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, New York; and the Times Union in Albany, New York; before joining the staff of Newsday and New York Newsday in the summer of 1988. At Sports Illustrated, Layden has covered 13 Olympic Games, three Super Bowls, five NCAA Final Fours and seven college football national championship games. Layden has written more than 100 cover stories for the magazine. He became SI’s horse racing writer in 2002 and has covered the sport for the last 15 years, including American Pharoah’s Triple Crown in 2015. Over the course of his career, Layden has won numerous writing awards, including an Eclipse Award in 1987, while working in Albany. In 2015, Layden was named the winner of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters’ Walter Haight Award, foir career excellence in turf writing. His work has twice been featured in the anthology, Best American Sports Writing.

Greg Martin
Woodbine Entertainment
Vice President
Bio

Greg Martin

Vice President

Woodbine Entertainment

Greg Martin is the Vice President, Wagering for the Woodbine Entertainment Group. Greg leads the wagering group that includes operations and development of racetrack, retail off-track betting and online wagering products for the WEG and Canadian markets. His career in racing started as a teenager in 1977 at small racetracks in southern Ontario and has worked in all capacities in mutuels management in addition to 10 years with Autotote as a systems manager. Greg has extensive knowledge of both the business and technical aspects of the racing business and in the past 14 years with WEG has advanced from roles of Wagering Operations Manager to Director and now Vice President. Greg has a BA and Business Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, and has obtained a CPA and CGA accounting designation. Greg also sits on the TRA 2020 committee, and is a member of Canadian Tote standards committee.

Chris McErlean
Penn National Gamin, Inc.
Vice President
Bio

Chris McErlean

Vice President

Penn National Gamin, Inc.

Since 2007 Christopher McErlean has served as Vice President – Racing for Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PNGI.) PNGI operates an industry high eleven pari-mutuel facilities in nine different jurisdictions (featuring Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Quarter Horse and Greyhound racing), plus four off-track wagering facilities and a new national ADW operation, Hollywood Races. PNGI conducted over 1,100 live racing dates and processed nearly $1 billion in pari-mutuel wagers on live racing and import and export simulcasting in 2015. PNGI is one of the largest gaming companies in North America with 22 gaming facilities in 12 different jurisdictions hosting over 33,000 slot machines, 800 table games, 4,500 hotel rooms and encompassing property square footage exceeding 10 million. Seven of PNGI’s pari-mutuel facilities have gaming associated with those properties. Prior to joining PNGI, Mr. McErlean worked at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) for nearly fifteen years and during that time held multiple senior management positions in the operation of the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks, eventually serving as Vice President and General Manager for Racing. McErlean also worked as executive assistant at Harness Tracks of America. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton with a degree in Economics/Finance and also holds a MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. McErlean is the only individual to serve as both President of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (2011-12) and Harness Tracks of America (2002-04.) He is currently a board member of the United States Trotting Association, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau and serves on the Management Committee for Equibase.

Jim Mulvihill
National Thoroughbred Racing Association
Director of Media & Industry Relations
Bio

Jim Mulvihill

Director of Media & Industry Relations

National Thoroughbred Racing Association

Jim Mulvihill is the Director of Media & Industry Relations at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, an industry coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests. As the head of NTRA Communications he is the primary media contact and spokesperson for NTRA initiatives and events, including the Eclipse Awards and the National Handicapping Championship. Mulvihill frequently lends on-site publicity support for major events hosted by NTRA partners and annually moderates post-race press conferences for the Belmont Stakes, the Travers Stakes, and all 13 Breeder's Cup races. He has held a variety of public relations and communications positions within and outside of racing including heading the press offices at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston. Mulvihill's first full-time job was at Lone Star Park, where he served as staff writer and media relations assistant for four years, through the Breeder's Cup season of 2004. As a freelancer her has contributed stories on racing to numerous outlets--including the Associate Press, Thoroughbred Times, and The Saratoga Special--and for several years provided daily handicapping selections to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He is a graduate of Emerson College and an alumnus of the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program. Mulvihill is president of the Turf Publicists of America.

Bill Nack
Author
Bio

Bill Nack

Author

Bill Nack is a journalist and author. He wrote about sports, politics and the environment at Newsday before joining the staff of Sports Illustrated in 1978 as an investigative reporter and general feature writer. Since leaving SI in 2001, Nack has contributed to numerous publications, including GQ and ESPN.com. His titles on racing include Secretariat: The Making of a Champion and Ruffian: A Racetrack Romance, both of which inspired films about those superstar horses. He has won the most Media Eclipse Awards of any individual and has also been the recipient of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Lifetime Achievement Award from Thoroughbred Charities of America and the A.J. Liebling Award from the Boxing Writers’ Association of America.

William Nader
Hong Kong Jockey Club
Executive Director
Bio

William Nader

Executive Director

Hong Kong Jockey Club

Mr. William A. Nader recently completed a 9-year stint as Executive Director, Racing for The Hong Kong Jockey Club, a company with no shareholders that obtains its net earnings from racing and betting. Total racing handle is US$14 billion annually. Mr. Nader was responsible for the entire racing portfolio, which included operations, regulation, licensing, stipendiary stewards, handicapping and race planning, international races, simulcasting, racing registry, equestrian affairs, sponsorship, racing marketing and public affairs. Prior to joining the Hong Kong Jockey Club in 2007, Mr. Nader worked for The New York Racing Association for 13 years. His last role at NYRA was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Nader served as Chairman of the Asian Pattern Committee and Vice President (representing Asia) on the International Race Planning and Advisory Committee for the IFHA over the past nine years. He also served on the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Equestrian Federation for the past four years. Mr. Nader is a past president of the Turf Publicists of America and was named the recipient of the Red Smith Good Guy Award in 2000 at the New York Turf Writers Association annual awards ceremony.

Hai Ng
Neomancer
Co-founder
Bio

Hai Ng

Co-founder

Neomancer

Co-founder of Neomancer, a unique technology consultancy and advisory firm, Hai is often described by his clients and peers as a Renaissance man; a polymath with a wide breadth of knowledge in a wide variety of fields and the ability to apply that knowledge to conjure solutions to problems. As a technologist, Hai currently focused on gaming and game design in regulated gambling, skill-based and general entertainment, media in digital, film and television; the social ecosystem, technology in the arts, security and privacy, and technical infrastructure. Beyond his regular duties at Neomancer, Hai advises both startups and multi-national corporations including Continent 8 Technologies, the iGaming industry's most awarded data center and network services company.

Andrew Offerman
Canterbury Park
Director of Racing Operations
Bio

Andrew Offerman

Director of Racing Operations

Canterbury Park

Andrew Offerman grew up outside of the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN in a horse racing family that started breeding and boarding thoroughbred racehorses at the inception of pari-mutuel wagering in the state of Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program with a Master's Degree in 2010 after earning a B.A. in both Business Management and Criminal Justice from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. He has worked at Canterbury Park in a number of capacities over the past eleven years in roles including: Media Relations, Marketing and Racing Operations. Currently, he serves as the company's Director of Racing Operations, overseeing both Live Racing and Simulcasting.

Ray Paulick
Paulick Report
Co-founder and Publisher
Bio

Ray Paulick

Co-founder and Publisher

Paulick Report

Ray Paulick is co-founder and publisher of the Paulick Report, an independent, multimedia news and information website covering the international sport and business of Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Created in 2008 with Brad Cummings, the Paulick Report has a full-time staff of seven editorial and business professionals, along with numerous free-lance contributors, and has won editorial awards in the United States and Canada. Paulick previously served 15 years as editorial director of Blood-Horse Publications and editor in chief of its flagship weekly magazine. That followed a year at the failed start-up Racing Times, three years as managing editor of Thoroughbred Times, eight years as an editorial staff member at Daily Racing Form in Los Angeles, and five years as an editor at Field Newspaper Syndicate in Chicago. Married 33 years and with two adult children, he divides his time among Lexington, Ky., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Del Mar, Calif. While the Paulick Report is a member of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and American Horse Publications, Ray follows the Groucho Marx philosophy that he personally does not want to belong to any clubs or organizations that would have him as a member.

Michael Peterson
University of Maine
Mechanical Engineering Professor
Bio

Michael Peterson

Mechanical Engineering Professor

University of Maine

Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D. is a currently a Mechanical Engineering Professor at the University of Maine in the USA. In January 2017, he will begin his new appointment as Director of Equine Programs and Professor of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Peterson’s research links traditional understanding of engineering mechanics and materials to the biomechanics of animals. His research emphasis is on the manner in which dynamic response can be used to characterize materials. He has been collaborating with the faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University for nearly two decades and is currently a visiting professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky. He has worked on a range of equine and animal biomechanics topics including: the impact of exercise on bone density, the development of biomechanical models, durability of cetacean epidermis, the measurement of inertial properties of the equine forelimb, biomechanics of whale interaction with fishing gear, cetacean acoustic response, marine hydroacoustics and the kinematics of equine gait on treadmills and tracks. Dr. Peterson greatest passion is for understanding of racing surfaces and equestrian surfaces. Originating in work 20 years ago on a new medical imaging technique this work has gradually grown from an interest in the effect of exercise on bone remodeling to a focus on applying concepts from manufacturing quality control to improved racing surface consistency for the protection of horses and riders. Dr. Peterson collaborated with Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith at Colorado State University to found the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. The laboratory is a non-profit organization supported by the racing industry which is providing research, testing and materials characterization services for the horse racing industry. Dr. Peterson currently serves as the Executive Director. He has published 80 journal articles, 3 book chapters, 81 conference proceedings, presented 67 additional papers at conferences and has received 6 patents.

Lonny Powell
Florida Breeder's and Owner's Association
CEO
Bio

Lonny Powell

CEO

Florida Breeder's and Owner's Association

Lonny Powell is the CEO of the Florida Breeders’ and Owners’ Association where his responsibilities include overseeing the operations of the FTBOA and its related entities, including Florida Equine Communications and Florida Thoroughbred Charities. Florida traditionally ranks second in the nation in foal crop and mares bred. A lifelong member of the Thoroughbred industry and long-time executive, Powell also oversees the political, regulatory, legal, public relations and promotional activities of the Association. Some of his past positions of particular note include serving as past director of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, President & CEO of Santa Anita Park, Turf Paradise Race Course and Longacres Racetrack, President & CEO of Racing Commissioners International and Executive VP/COO for Magna Entertainment. A graduate of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, Powell consistently remains committed to giving back to his industry and community as represented by his being appointed or elected in recent years as Florida Horse Park Immediate Past Chair, Secretary and Director for the Florida Society of Association Executives, Board Member of the Marion County/City of Ocala Chamber & Economic Partnership, Equine Technical Advisor to the Florida Farm Bureau as well as the State of Florida Animal Industry Technical Council.

Peter Rotondo
Breeders' Cup
VP of Media and Entertainment
Bio

Peter Rotondo

VP of Media and Entertainment

Breeders' Cup

Peter Rotondo has been going to the races since he was four months old with his first trip being to Saratoga, His Dad taught him how to read the Daily Racing Form at 6 years old and fell in love with the sport and game as well the challenge of handicapping the ponies. His passion for racing led him to the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program in Tucson, AZ where he earned a Bachelor's Degree. Following school, he worked for one year at Daily Racing Form before moving to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. In 2006, Peter moved on to work for the Breeders' Cup. Peter is now the VP of Media and Entertainment for the Breeders' Cup with his focus on making the event the best it could possibly be from all aspects including on and off site events, content, media coverage and, of course, betting handle. Twitter: @retro411 @breederscup

Terina Salerno
USFantasy Sports
Corporate Counsel
Bio

Terina Salerno

Corporate Counsel

USFantasy Sports

Terina Salerno spent nearly a decade as general counsel for American Wagering, Inc. before its merger with William Hill in 2012. During this time Ms. Salerno was responsible for the Company’s race and sports contracts, equipment lease and software license agreements, public and corporate filings, and human resources. The William Hill merger sparked Ms. Salerno interest in more complex business arrangements, and she obtained an LL.M in taxation from Boston University (2014). Before joining American Wagering, Ms. Salerno was with the firm of Morris Pickering & Sanner, where she had the honor of working with current Nevada Supreme Court Judge, Kristina Pickering, and renowned litigator, Steve Morris. Ms. Salerno is a proud member of the charter class (2001) of UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. Today, Ms. Salerno dedicates most of her time as Corporate Counsel to USFantasy Sports and its affiliated companies. She takes a few outside clients but those must have special interest value, either in nature or pro bono value. Ms. Salerno typically provides USFantasy Sports with legal guidance concerning its organization and financing matters, contracts, and gaming matters.

Victor Salerno
USFantasy Sports
President
Bio

Victor Salerno

President

USFantasy Sports

Victor Salerno is a 38-year veteran of the race and sports book industry in the state of Nevada. Mr. Salerno was the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of American Wagering, Inc., until the company was sold to William Hill in July, 2012. American Wagering, Inc. operated over ninety sports book operations in Nevada, in addition to Computerized Bookmaking Systems, which provided a computerized wagering and accounting systems to most of the casinos in Nevada. Upon the sale of American Wagering, Mr. Salerno became Chairman of the Board of William Hill US until February 2016. Mr. Salerno currently serves as President of USFantasy Sports. Launched in June of 2016, USFantasy Sports is the exclusive provider of state regulated Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests in Nevada and Colorado. USFantasy Sports is a skill-based daily fantasy wagering platform that combines elements of the traditional regulated pari-mutuel system with traditional DFS contests, which creates a fair, easy and transparent environment for all contestants. Just like in DFS, players score points based on their performance in a live game and participants can enter contests for athletes to Win, Place or Show among other multi-selection contests. Mr. Salerno is a legend in the race and sports book industry and is credited with initiating projects that grew Nevada sports wagering to its current success and popularity, including: first computerized book making systems (CBS), first sports bookmaking network hub operation in Nevada (Leroy’s), and recently expanded the sports wagering business with the launch of the very successful Leroy’s mobile sports wagering app. He also pioneered the development and use of self-service race & sports kiosks. On behalf of Nevada gaming industry trade associations, Mr. Salerno served as President of the Nevada Association of Race and Sports Operators, and as a member of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association’s Rates Committee. Mr. Salerno was recently inducted into the American Gaming Associations exclusive “Gaming Hall of Fame.”

Kenneth Sarnecky
Las Vegas Dissemination Company
Vice President of Systems Development
Bio

Kenneth Sarnecky

Vice President of Systems Development

Las Vegas Dissemination Company

Mr. Ken Sarnecky is the VP of Systems Development at Las Vegas Dissemination Company. LVDC supports all facets of pari-mutuel wagering for Nevada and other domestic and international locations. Mr. Sarnecky has been involved with the pari-mutuel wagering industry since 1978 when he started as a programmer responsible for Autotote Systems accounting systems. After a year he was given responsibility for other Autotote projects including racetrack payroll and IRS reporting systems. He eventually left Autotote after 17 years as Director of North American Software Development. In 1995, Mr. Sarnecky joined the Las Vegas Dissemination Co. team and moved to Nevada, where he has been ever since. During his time in the industry, he has been involved in the development of the ITS protocol and has been a member of the TRA 1995 & 2020 committees.

Bruce Seymore
MHRE - Arapahoe Park
Executive Director of Colorado Operations
Bio

Bruce Seymore

Executive Director of Colorado Operations

MHRE - Arapahoe Park

Bruce Seymore is a racing veteran, having previously overseen racing operations in Illinois, Massachusetts and Iowa. He has served in Colorado for the past 25 years and his current title is Executive Director of Racing Operations. He oversees 1 live horse track and 12 OTBs. The company Twin River he is part of has holdings in Colorado, Rhode Island, Louisiana and Mississippi. The company is diverse from live and simulcast racing, sports contests wagering to full casinos. Bruce was just elected President of the Colorado Horse Council, in which he previously served on the Executive Committee as Vice President. Bruce is also very involved in Colorado Politics and has a team of seven lobbyists. Bruce loves hunting, golfing and smoking his pipe. Bruce will celebrate his one year wedding anniversary on December 10 to longtime girlfriend Kim. They have a blended family of 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Bruce and Kim also have two dogs.

Patti Strand
National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA)
Co-Founder and President
Bio

Patti Strand

Co-Founder and President

National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA)

Patti is a co-founder and the current president of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), a mainstream, nonprofit animal welfare organization. Its mission is to provide media, lawmakers and the public with accurate information about complex and controversial animal issues; to encourage high standards of animal care and treatment; and to advocate for the preservation of the human-animal bond. She has served on numerous local, state and federal animal welfare advisory boards, committees and task force bodies. Her articles and views on animal welfare, public policy and animal rights have appeared in a wide variety of publications, ranging from the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post to the AKC Gazette and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She’s been a guest expert and panelist on scores of radio talk shows including National Public Radio, the BBC and CBC; TV networks including NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News, as well as a featured speaker at numerous conferences for animal-related association. Patti has authored numerous articles on dogs and animal issues, and with her husband, Rod, co-authored 2 books, one the first book published in the United State on animal rights extremism: The Hijacking of the Humane Movement. Patti and her husband have been Dalmatian breeders since 1969, focusing on good temperament, health and sound movement and breeding some of the top winning Dalmatians of all time. For her advocacy of responsible dog ownership and purebred dogs, Patti has been elected twice by her peers to their highest national awards. Patti holds a BS in Political Science from Portland State University

Angel Suarez
Red Circle
Executive Vice President
Bio

Angel Suarez

Executive Vice President

Red Circle

Angel Suarez is the Executive Vice President at Red Circle, a full service advertising agency that has worked with nearly 100 casinos and racinos around the country over the last 15 years. His team creates and executes marketing campaigns that include brand development, targeted media planning and buying, online marketing, database marketing, social media, website design, and more. Angel spent most of his career working for "Madison Avenue" advertising agencies and Fortune 500 Companies in New York City. As a Brand Manager at ESPN, he led the 2010 FIFA World Cup launch campaign of ESPN3.com, helping to bring live sports to the internet. In 2012, he and his team left ESPN to help start a new sports division for USA TODAY known as USA TODAY Sports. His prior experience with such innovative companies as Zimmerman Advertising, The Walt Disney Company, USA TODAY Sports, and ESPN has brought unique perspective to Red Circle, where the focus is and has always been data-driven advertising and marketing solutions for casinos and racinos. His accolades having been featured in Advertising Age magazine for a "Rising Star" award, Disney ESPN Media Network's "Most Creative Male" award, AdFed's "32 under 32 Executives to Watch for Minneapolis" and Sports Launch magazine's "40 under 40". Angel is the former Chairman of the AdColor Advisory Board, focused on diversity and inclusion in the advertising industry. Currently, he sits on the Executive Board and is next in line to be President of the Advertising Federation of Minnesota.

Mike Tanner
United States Trotting Association
Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer
Bio

Mike Tanner

Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer

United States Trotting Association

Mike Tanner is the executive vice president/chief executive officer of the United States Trotting Association, the Standardbred breed registry and harness racing’s organizing body. The USTA is based in Columbus, Ohio and Tanner is the ninth EVP in the organization’s 76-year history. Tanner came to the USTA following a stint as the director of racing operations at Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack (October 2005-December 2008). During his tenure at Chester, Tanner put together and directed a team that brought world-class Standardbred racing back to the Delaware Valley while renewing such industry fixtures as the Battle of the Brandywine and the Colonial Trot. Those races, together with the introduction of the rich Ben Franklin Pace and a lucrative overnight program, served to establish the Pennsylvania oval as one of the elite venues in the sport. He currently sits on the board of trustees of the American Horse Council, the advisory board of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program and the board of directors for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Previously, Tanner held a variety of positions in Thoroughbred racing at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, from 1993-2005, including director of marketing, media, and simulcasting; assistant to the president, and director of communications. He performed special assignments at various Magna Entertainment Corp. holdings, did additional work for the Breeders’ Cup from 2001-2003, and was a member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Technology Group’s communications task force in 2002. He began his management career in 1992 at Ladbroke Detroit Race Course. Tanner graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1988. He completed graduate work in Clinical Psychology at Bowling Green State University from 1989-1991, and subsequently obtained a Master of Business Administration degree at The Ohio State University. He and his wife, Gail, reside in Blacklick, Ohio.

Tom Tuchschmidt
MGM Resorts International
Vice President of Regional Marketing
Bio

Tom Tuchschmidt

Vice President of Regional Marketing

MGM Resorts International

Tom C. Tuchschmidt II is the Vice President of Regional Marketing for MGM Resorts International. Tom is responsible for driving casino revenues from the biggest gamblers in the Southeastern United States to all of our 15 MGM Resorts nationwide. Tom is originally from St. Louis, Missouri where he grew up going with his parent and grandparents to Cahokia Downs and Fairmount Park Racetracks. He worked his way thru prep school and college at Washington University in St. Louis at of one of his families printing companies, Ultra Press Corporation. In 1988 Tom uprooted and travelled West, enrolling into the University of Arizona’s Race Track Management Program to pursue his passion in horse racing. Thankful to the RTIP, Tom was fortunate to land positions in racing at Tucson Greyhound Park, The Birmingham Race Course and The Beulah Park Jockey Club. Tom worked his way up and thru most every racing official position on the backside and ultimately served as The Director of Admissions, Programs, Reservations and Ushers at Beulah Park Jockey Club and Racing Secretary at The New Birmingham Race Course. In 1995 Tom moved from the Thoroughbred Racing Industry into the Casino Industry - working for Majestic Star Casino, Harrah’s Entertainment, Park Place Entertainment, Seminole Hard Rock Casino and today MGM Resorts International. Tom continues to enjoys attending the races with his family, with his casino clientele and as a thoroughbred owner.

Yenni Vance
Remington Park & Lone Star Park
Director of Digital Communications & Social Media
Bio

Yenni Vance

Director of Digital Communications & Social Media

Remington Park & Lone Star Park

Yenni Vance currently serves as Director of Digital Communications and Social Media for Remington Park and Lone Star Park, both owned by Global Gaming Solutions, a branch of the Chickasaw Nation, based in Oklahoma. She began her career at Telesat, Colombia’s largest Internet provider, before moving to the United States in 2002 and founding GotSaga.com, a travel site which was the first website on the Internet to offer a multilingual chat feature. Ms. Vance was involved in digital communications, social media and Hispanic marketing for the Marketing Department at Remington Park before assuming her current role with the company. She recently received the World Community Award at the World Food Day Event 2014 in a ceremony at the Oklahoma State Supreme Court Judicial Center, honoring her charitable efforts. She serves as co-chairman of the board for 1040i, which does work in Africa, and holds the same position with the NEEDS Foundation, a newly created program that feeds the hungry in Oklahoma. In addition, Ms. Vance has been active with Niños De La Calle De Cali, a charity founded by her mother to provide food and education for the children of the streets of Cali, Colombia. In addition, Ms. Vance was recently named one of the 40 Under 40 recipients recognizing leadership and community involvement. The award is presented annually by Biz.com to honor success in business for people under 40 years of age.

Amy Zimmerman
Santa Anita Park
Vice President and Director of Broadcating
Bio

Amy Zimmerman

Vice President and Director of Broadcating

Santa Anita Park

She has won every major award associated with television and horse racing - most more than once: 22 Eclipse Awards as Executive Producer, Producer or Associate Producer (1996, 1999, 2001-15); two national Emmy Awards (1992 – Best Live Sports Special & 2008 – Outstanding Live Event Turnaround); 12 Regional Emmy Awards for original productions on HRTV (2008, 2010-13), including an individual Regional Emmy Award as the program writer (2010); and four International Simulcast Awards (2000-01, 2015-16). Ms. Zimmerman is currently on staff for NBC as a producer for their horse racing coverage, including all three Triple Crown races since 2001, and as a producer for the network’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup, which is a position she has held on every Breeders' Cup telecast since 1988 (including five years with ABC/ESPN). She produced the Equestrian events for NBC Sports for the 2016 Rio Olympics and was the Executive Producer & Senior Vice President, Production & Programming of HRTV from that network’s inception in 2002 through its sale to TVG in February 2015. Ms. Zimmerman was honored earlier this year as a Distinguished Citizen of the Year by Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority (180,000+ women). Previously, she was honored as the 2014 winner of the Old Hilltop Award for covering Thoroughbred racing with excellence and distinction; as the 2011 winner of the prestigious Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing Award; and by the California State Legislature as an Outstanding Woman in California Thoroughbred Racing in 2004, the first year the state honored such individuals. She was among the inaugural Thoroughbred Times Women of Influence of Top 25 Women” in 2010; is a voting member of the National Racing Museum Hall of Fame; is a member of the selection committee for the annual Secretariat Vox Populi Award; is a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Thoroughbred Foundation (2015-present); is a past member of the Board of Directors of the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation (2012-14); and included among Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of American Women (2000-present).