President & CEO
David O’Rourke is the Chief Executive Officer & President of the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), the operator of Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of racing’s Triple Crown; Saratoga Race Course, home of the most prestigious racing meet in the U.S.; and Aqueduct Racetrack.
As one of North America’s premier thoroughbred horse racing organizations, NYRA in 2018 generated $2.1 billion in annual all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.7 million. It is the cornerstone of New York State’s thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact to New York State.
O’Rourke joined NYRA as Director of Financial Planning in 2008 and was named Vice President for Corporate Development in 2010. In 2013, he was appointed Chief Revenue Officer and Senior Vice President. In that position, O’Rourke was responsible for NYRA’s business development strategies across a range of disciplines including industry relations, simulcast markets and contracts, television strategy, advance deposit wagering (ADW) operations and capital projects.
During his tenure at NYRA, O’Rourke served as the lead on all content-related negotiations, achieving an increase of more than $20 million in annual revenue. He played a signature role in spearheading the development and growth of NYRA Bets, NYRA’s national Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW) platform, now available in 30 states.
O’Rourke also developed and led the strategy and investment in cloud-based video streaming technologies and Apps (NYRA Now), which have enabled NYRA to broadcast directly to various devices from TV to mobile and desktop; and transmit video to traditional TV networks such as FOX Sports and MSG. In doing so, he helped shepherd the dramatic expansion of NYRA’s flagship television broadcasts, the critically-acclaimed Belmont Park Live and Saratoga Live, which feature live coverage nearly every race day from Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
Prior to joining NYRA, O’Rourke was a member of the Zolfo Cooper and Capstone Advisory Group Corporate Restructuring Practices, specializing in multiple operational and financial reorganization efforts in the real estate development, gaming, auto manufacturing, retailing and shipping industries. He also served as Vice President of Operations at Datek Online and was instrumental in helping the company develop into the world’s fourth largest online brokerage.
O’Rourke is a member of the NYRA Board of Directors. He serves on the board of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of America, and the Management Committee of Equibase Company. He is also a board director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), and serves on the RMTC Executive Committee and Finance Committees.
O’Rourke is a graduate of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and earned an MBA from Tulane University.
President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Joi L. Garner provides leadership and counsel on all legal matters relating to NYRA’s operations, strategies and activities. Also, she plans and manages the activities of the Legal Department in giving legal advice, preparing and reviewing legal documents and representing NYRA in legal proceedings.
Garner joined NYRA in 2021 after serving as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at THINK450, the marketing and licensing subsidiary of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), where she was responsible for group product licensing, developing brand collaborations and commercializing the likeness rights of the collective group of current NBA players.
At THINK450, Garner was the lead negotiator in several of the NBPA’s most significant licensing deals, including agreements with Take-Two Interactive (NBA2K), Fanatica and Dapper Labs. Garner was also instrumental in creating the NBPA’s partnership with Anheuser-Busch; and in social-justice initiatives, including DoorDash’s #PayItForward challenge that supported Black-owned businesses and Kia Motors’ holiday campaign that provided relief to families impacted by the pandemic.
From 2016-2018, Garner was at NYRA as associate general counsel and was responsible for commercial and technical contracts, commercial litigation, sweepstakes and contests. She also served as production counsel for NYRA’s television shows, including oversight of the landmark media rights agreement with FOX Sports.
Prior to her tenure at THINK450 and NYRA, Garner was a member of the Sports and Entertainment group of Garvey Schubert Barer, advising media, companies, athletes and entertainers on corporate and entertainment matters. She also served at Morrison & Foerster LLP as an attorney; at the National Basketball Association as an international PR associate; and at MediaLink Worldwide, a broadcast public relations firm.
Several industry organizations and media outlets have cited Garner for her work, among them Black Sports Network, which featured her in its “Women in Sports” series; and Marcom Weekly, which named her to its ranking of “28 Powerful Black Leaders in Marketing & Media.” Garner has also been honored by the National Black Lawyers in its list of “Top 40 Under 40” and by SuperLawyers as a “Rising Star” in the Sports and Entertainment field.
Garner is a native of Philadelphia. She earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media Communication from New York University.
Senior Vice President, Racing Operations
As Senior Vice President, Racing Operations Frank G. Gabriel, Jr. is responsible for leadership and oversight of racing functions at NYRA, including the overall development, planning and execution of its premier stakes offerings, marquee events and daily racing programs.
Gabriel joined NYRA in early 2022 and is deeply experienced in thoroughbred racing, having served as CEO of Dubai Racing Club from 2005 to 2014 and, more recently, as the Executive Director of Racing for Dubai Racing Club from 2014 to 2020. Prior to Dubai, Gabriel spent 16 years at Arlington Park and worked in various capacities at Timonium Race Track, Keystone Racetrack [now Parx Racing], Atlantic City Race Course, Meadowlands Racetrack, Garden State Park, Hialeah Park and Gulfstream Park.
As CEO of Dubai Racing Club, Gabriel oversaw the project to construct Meydan Racecourse, which opened in 2010 featuring a 60,000-seat grandstand, five-star hotel and numerous restaurants and amenities. Gabriel then led the transition of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and Dubai World Cup from Nad al Sheba to Meydan Racecourse. Since its completion in 2010, Meydan has become one of the world’s premier racing and entertainment venues.
In his more than four decades in the thoroughbred industry, Gabriel has served as a member of the Breeders’ Cup Selection Committee; on the Asian Racing Federation Executive Council; as Vice Chairman of the International Grading and Racing Planning Advisory Board; as Chairman of the Asian Pattern Committee; as representative for the Emirates Racing Authority at the International Federation Horse Racing Authority Conference; and as Chairman of the UAE Pattern Committee.
Executive Vice President, Operations and Capital Projects
As Executive Vice President, Operations and Capital Projects Glen Kozak oversees the New York Racing Association’s facility and track operations, which encompasses a $50 million operating budget for the maintenance of Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course and Aqueduct Racetrack, including all 14 racing surfaces and fleet equipment. In addition to his daily operational responsibilities, Glen is responsible for directing $34 million worth of annual capital improvement projects which are geared towards improving NYRA’s safety measures, operational efficiencies, and revenue generating areas.
Prior to joining NYRA in 2008, Kozak worked for the Maryland Jockey Club where he served as Vice President of Facilities & Racing Surfaces. In this role, Kozak was responsible for the maintenance and planning of facility operations, as well as the fleet and racing surfaces at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course and Bowie Training Center. At Laurel Park, Kozak was part of a group that took part in a $30 million project that rebuilt the turf and dirt tracks. At Pimlico, home of the Preakness Stakes, he was involved in the construction of the track’s turf-side dining pavilion, Corporate Village, Top of the Stretch, and the Clubhouse Turn Suites. Before joining the Maryland Jockey Club, Kozak served as the Track Superintendent at Suffolk Downs in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Kozak also serves on various industry boards and committees. He is a member of the Jockey Club’s Grayson Welfare and Safety Committee for Racing Surfaces and also serves on the board of directors for the Racing Surfaces Laboratory.
Chief Revenue Officer and President of NYRA Bets
As Chief Revenue Officer and President of NYRA Bets, Tony Allevato oversees all revenue-generating activities at NYRA, including sales, pricing, marketing and customer support as well as NYRA Bets, NYRA’s national Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW) platform.
Allevato joined NYRA in 2016 from High Hand Media, based in Los Angeles, where he served as Owner and President of the Sports Television, Racetrack Marketing and Digital Media Production company. His clients included NYRA for which Allevato oversaw the launch and rebranding of NYRA Rewards to NYRA Bets, which debuted at Saratoga’s 2016 racing meet.
For NYRA, Allevato was responsible for obtaining regulatory gaming licenses in various states and for transitioning the regional MSG Network television programs from taped shows to the critically acclaimed multiple “live” shows, Belmont Park Live & Saratoga Live. Also, he negotiated a national television rights deal with Fox Sports to air more than 80 hours during the 2016 and 2017 Saratoga race meets, which represents the most extensive national TV rights deal in racing history. Allevato also negotiated a 50-hour regional network TV rights deal with Altitude Sports network that aired Saratoga Live during the 2016 season; and launched Saratoga Live on the NYRA HD App that is available on IOS and Android and ROKU, and soon on Xbox, Playstation 4, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.
Allevato has spent much of his career building state-of-the-art wagering and television production platforms for a variety of sports organizations. While at High Hand Media, he oversaw ADW marketing, inter-track TV production and out-of-state wagering revenue at Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress, CA. Also, he introduced and implemented new strategy for video content for DRF.com; and served as Coordinating Producer for the launch of The Jockey Club Tour series for FOX Sports 1.
Previously, Allevato served as Coordinating Producer at the NFL Network, where he oversaw day-to-day operations of the network’s flagship show, NFL Total Access. Prior to that, Allevato was the first production hire for TVG, rising to its Executive Vice President Television/Executive Producer. In other roles, he was Feature Producer at KCBS News of Hollywood, CA as well as Executive Producer/Broadcast Media Liaison at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, CA.
Allevato began his broadcasting career as Assistant to the Producer at ABC Sports in New York, where he served as Production Assistant, Researcher and Assistant Producer of two landmark shows, Wide World of Sports and Monday Night Football.
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
As Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Renee Postel oversees NYRA’s Payroll, Procurement, Finance and Accounting departments. Responsible for the company’s overall financial plans, policies, programs and practices, she is a key liaison on financial matters with NYRA’s senior management and with the audit and finance committees of Board of Directors.
Postel is a finance professional with a wealth of experience across diverse industries and geographies, ranging from multi-billion-dollar international organizations and large publicly traded companies to dynamic start-ups.
She joined NYRA in 2020 from Resideo Technologies, a publicly traded spinoff of Honeywell International, where she managed a global team of 160 in serving as Vice President, Global Operations Controller. Prior to that role, Postel spent 13 years at Honeywell International, most recently as Controllership Transition Leader, where she managed all controllership initiatives to complete the successful spinoff of Resideo Technologies.
Postel has also held positions at Certpoint Systems, KPMG, Piaker/Lyons, LLP and Corning Inc.. A Certified Public Accountant, she holds a B.S. in Accounting from State University of New York at Oneonta and earned a Master of Science in Accounting from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Vice President, Chief Information Officer Harshal Kadakia leads all aspects of NYRA’s information technology (IT) strategy and ongoing digital transformation.
In his role, Kadakia directs the planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems in support of NYRA’s operations and use of IT to drive cost effectiveness, service quality and business development. In the last several years, Kadakia and the IT team have integrated technology-driven systems into many parts of the organization, from parking to food & beverage, merchandising, ticketing and guest services.
Kadakia joined NYRA in 2002 as Programmer Analyst in which he was responsible for application design and development. He was then promoted to Director of Information Technology, where he oversaw the development of NYRA’s platforms, applications, technology and Infrastructure. In 2018, Kadakia was promoted to Senior Director – Technology Strategy & Development, where he expanded his role into Network Infrastructure Strategies and System design while continuing to support and manage the IT requirements of the company.
Kadakia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from Bharati Vidyapeeth University in Pune, India. He earned a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Wayne State University.
Vice President, Marketing
As Vice President, Marketing, Don Scott oversees NYRA’s comprehensive marketing plan in support of its overall brand strategy. This includes all NYRA Bets and NYRA General Marketing efforts.
Scott was named to his current position in 2020, after spending four years as a marketing consultant with NYRA Bets. Working closely with teams from across NYRA, Scott was a critical part in creating a national launch strategy for NYRA Bets as well as developing analytics and reporting plans, and online and mobile iGaming products.
Thanks in part to Scott’s leadership, NYRA Bets continues to excel exceeding budget expectations and Corporate revenue goals and customer growth, including player wagering and player engagement, year-over-year.
Before joining NYRA, Scott served as Vice President, Marketing at TVG/Betfair, where he led the company’s integrated marketing programs, and worked with Betfair international marketing teams to develop global marketing solutions. Prior to that role, Scott lead all Marketing efforts for Youbet.com, where he and his team developed the first online, live horse racing venue with a significant US sports brand; including strategic alliances with leaders throughout the sports and horse racing industries.
Scott also served as a Management Supervisor at Ogilvy & Mather, where he developed B2B and BC advertising and marketing strategies to support acquisition and retention efforts for Youbet.com and GTE Small Business, Long Distance.
Scott is a Kansas native. He is a graduate of Kansas State University, where he earned a B.S. degree in Journalism & Mass Communications and a minor in Advertising & Public Relations.
Vice President, Human Resources
Tatiana Torres leads, manages, and directs the strategy for all NYRA’s Human Resources and Labor Relations functions. These functions include recruitment; compensation and benefits; employee relations; labor union relations with 24 unions; and the overall development, retention, and succession management of all NYRA’s employees.
Torres returned to NYRA in 2019 after working as an HR professional for a large residential real estate firm in Manhattan. She first worked for NYRA from 2016 to 2018, as an HR manager. In that role, she administered collective bargaining agreements and served as NYRA’s domain expert for HR analytics and employment issues.
Torres began her career while she was still an undergraduate, working at the Building Service 32BJ Benefit Funds, the benefit funds of the largest property service union in the U.S. There, she gained expertise on day-to-day issues related to the administration of benefits in health, pension, legal, profit sharing, 401(K) and training funds. Later, while working toward a Master’s degree, she served as the primary benefits analyst and administrator for a New York City-based cleaning contractor with 11 unions and more than 2,700 unionized employees.
Outside the office, Torres is the Founder and Executive Director of RIEcuador, a charitable organization that raises money to provide educational opportunities, school uniforms, shoes and supplies for children in rural Azuay, Ecuador.
Torres earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from the City University of New York’s Baruch College, where she also holds a B.A. in HR Management.
Vice President, Sales & Hospitality
As Vice President, Sales & Hospitality, Kevin Quinn directs NYRA’s Sales and Hospitality departments.
Quinn joined NYRA in 2015 and was named to his current position in July 2021. During his previous role as Senior Director – Sales, Quinn developed and led strategic ticket sales campaigns and directed season, group and individual ticket sales operations. Under his direction, the Sales team modernized its sales operations and improved customer service – This strategy led to an increased annual ticket sales revenue of more than 55 percent from 2015 to 2019.
Quinn directed the sales campaigns for several new hospitality areas in Saratoga, including The 1863 Club, which surpassed all revenue targets for its inaugural season of 2019, and the new premium club, The Stretch, which was the first grandstand renovation in 60 years. All of these initiatives were crucial in helping Saratoga surpass attendance of more than 1 million each year from 2016 to 2019.
For the Belmont Stakes, Quinn directed ticket sales efforts for the 2015 and 2018 Triple Crowns, each of which were attended by sellout crowds of 90,000. The 2015 Belmont Stakes earned the Sports Business Journal’s “Sports Event of the Year” award.
Quinn joined NYRA from St. John’s University, where he served as Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing & Ticketing and oversaw marketing and branding efforts for St. John’s University’s 17-sport NCAA Division I athletics’ program. At St. John’s, he created and implemented comprehensive marketing and ticket sales plans for revenue-generating sports and planned several award-winning advertising campaigns. While at St. John’s, Kevin served as a Marketing Director for the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional at Madison Square Garden, which marked the return of the NCAA Tournament to The Garden after a 50-year absence.
Previously, Quinn held positions with the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League as Manager of Group Accounts; and with the Adirondack Frostbite hockey team in Glens Falls, NY as Director of Corporate Sales & Game Operations.
Quinn holds a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Sports Communications from Marist College and earned a Master of Professional Studies, Sport Management, from St. John’s University. He is a resident of Yorktown Heights, NY.
Vice President, Communications
As Vice President for Communications, Patrick McKenna develops and implements NYRA’s communications and media relations strategies. McKenna joined NYRA in 2016 as Director of Communications and was named to his current position in early 2022.
In addition to his role as a media strategist and chief company spokesperson, McKenna is responsible for overseeing racing communications and communicating NYRA initiatives and priorities to the public. During his tenure, these initiatives have included the national launch of NYRA Bets; the dramatic expansion of NYRA’s television product through the relationship with FOX Sports; the sustained excellence and continued growth of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course; the growth of the multi-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival and the return of NYRA to private control following five years of New York State oversight.
McKenna joined NYRA from Hunter College, where he served as Director of External Affairs. Previously, he was Communications Director at the Parkside Group, one of New York’s leading public affairs groups.
McKenna also has extensive experience in the political world, serving as Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and in several roles for former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
A native of Loudonville, NY, near Saratoga, McKenna is a graduate of New York University with a B.A degree in Political Science and Metropolitan Studies.
Vice President and General Manager, Operations
As Vice President and General Manager, Operations, Andrew Offerman oversees a variety of departments including mutuels, security, parking, programs, mailroom, and cleaning with additional responsibilities in horseman’s relations and facilities.
Prior to NYRA, Offerman served as Senior Vice President of Racing Operations at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. In this role, he was responsible for a majority of Canterbury’s operational departments, including a significant number of frontside racing operations functions. Offerman joined Canterbury Park in 2010 and served in a number of roles of increasing responsibility and seniority. He became the company’s top racing executive in 2017, and quickly implemented strategies that drove consistent and sustained increases in wagering handle and associated revenue.
Offerman holds advisory and governance positions in a number of horse racing organizations including the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) Advisory Committee; as Vice Chair of the Minnesota Racing Commission; and as Co-Chair of the American Quarter Horse Racing Challenge subcommittee.
A native of Minneapolis, Offerman earned an M.S. degree from the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) and holds a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Vice President, Government Affairs
As Vice President, Government Affairs, Jeffrey Cannizzo is responsible for establishing and overseeing NYRA’s legislative priorities to advance company-wide strategic initiatives. Most recently, Cannizzo spearheaded the successful effort to obtain the required New York State approvals and $455 million in funding to construct a new Belmont Park.
As a third-generation horseman whose family has been involved with Thoroughbred racing for a half-century, Cannizzo has considerable experience advocating for the industry in New York’s complex political environment . Cannizzo was named to his current position in January 2023, after two years as NYRA’s Senior Director of Government Affairs. He joined NYRA after 13 years as Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. (NYTB), which represents and advances the interests of Thoroughbred breeding and racing in New York State.
During his tenure at NYTB, Cannizzo was named to the Thoroughbred Times’ inaugural “40 Under 40” list of industry leaders in 2010. In 2014, the Albany Business Review’s “40 Under Forty” recognized him for making a difference in New York State businesses and communities.
Previously, Cannizzo served in a number of positions in industry, as a project manager at Razorfish; as senior project manager at Dell Technologies; and as staff project engineer at Lockheed Martin.
Cannizzo earned an M.B.A in Technology Management and has a B.S. in Business Administration from Le Moyne College.
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