Yonkers, NY --- The annual general membership meeting of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York was held on Saturday (Dec. 1) at the organization's office in Yonkers, N.Y.
After declaration of a quorum, the election committee reported that the following individuals were re-elected in uncontested fashion to directorships expiring in 2015: Irv Atherton, Henry Gargiulo, Michael Kimelman and Peter Venaglia in the owners category and John Brennan in the trainer/drivers category.
The following directors were then elected to the respective officer positions for 2013:
Joseph A. Faraldo-President
Peter Venaglia-First Vice President
Irv Atherton-Second Vice President
John Brennan-Third Vice President
The following directors were elected as trustees to the pension and welfare funds:
Joseph A. Faraldo
Ray Schnittker, First Alternate
Chris Wittstruck, Second Alternate
The bulk of the discussion at the meeting involved the strong and continuing work performed by the SOA in conjunction with other Standardbred and Thoroughbred horsemen and breeders' groups and the New York State Farm Bureau in trumpeting the tremendous contribution made by the racing industry to New York State's economy and agriculture. The various threats posed by those who would seek to expand their bottom lines at the expense of our industry, not to mention New York's taxpayers, was exhaustively discussed.
The SOA's main goal in 2013 is to educate the general public about the economic dangers posed, given the expressed desire by some to deny the racing, breeding and agricultural industries a continuing revenue stream from proposed enhanced gaming operations while also seeking to reduce the state’s well conceived tax rate that is so beneficial to the important goal of funding education.
Following the meeting, the SOA Personnel Committee chaired by Peter Venaglia continued to interview a number of candidates for the position of Executive Director to replace George Casale, who is retiring. According to Venaglia, "The search committee hopes to make a selection by January but the clock will not halt the search for the best qualified candidate for the position. That is the ultimate goal."