The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has reported that its board of directors has unanimously approved Christopher Kay‘s appointment as its new President and Chief Executive Officer from next month.
The NYRA is a non-profit organization that runs on behalf of the state the New York Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course. This fired manager Charles Hayward and senior vice president Patrick Kehoe in May 2012, after a New York State Racing and Wagering Board inquiry found that the pair knew bettors were overcharged to the tune of $8.5 million.
Sixty-year-old Kay most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for The Trust for Public Land where he oversaw the operations of the land conservation organization’s headquarters and 37 field offices. Before this, he worked as a consultant to Universal Parks and Resorts, serving as its International Business Development Managing Director.
“After a careful search involving many highly qualified candidates, we are delighted to select Chris as our new President and Chief Executive Officer. His wide range of expertise and skills including experience in the legal, regulatory and corporate governance environments will serve him extremely well in his new position at NYRA.” said David Skorton, Chairman for the NYRA.
For six years from 2001, Kay served as Chief Operating Officer for Toys ‘R’ Us and was previously the retailer’s Operations Executive Vice-President and General Counsel. The graduate of the University of Missouri and the School of Law at Duke University was also a minority owner of Orlando’s AA baseball team and a member of the ownership group that sought to obtain the first Major League Baseball franchise for Florida.
“Chris’s unique blend of experience in retail, theme parks, sports and legal helped set him apart during this extensive search,” said Michael Del Giudice, Chairman for the NYRA’s Nominations and Governance Committee.