Maureen Lewi Elected Chair Of Concerned Citizens For Saratoga Racing

by | 05.10.2016 | 6:35pm
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Maureen Lewi has been elected the Chair of the Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing by the members of the committee as well as the Board of Directors of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

The Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing was formed in 2004 under the auspices of the Chamber as a means to organize the Saratoga community to advocate predominantly in Albany for or against initiatives involving the Saratoga Race Course. Maureen Lewi is the first volunteer to serve in the role of Chair of the Concerned Citizens of Saratoga Racing as the organization takes a lead role in advocating for the reprivatization of NYRA as a not-for-profit corporation before the end of the 2016 Legislative session, in June 2016. Prior to the election of Lewi as Chair, the Chamber's Presidents – – Joe Dalton from 2004 to 2010 and Todd Shimkus from 2010 until this year – – facilitated meetings of the group.

Maureen Lewi was a partner, with her husband Ed, in the public relations firm Ed Lewi Associates, for 35 years, before selling the company in 2010. The firm's clients included the New York Racing Association, the Great Escape, Price Chopper Supermarkets, the U.S. Figure Skating Association, the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, in Lake Placid, and more. The firm also owned and ran consumer shows and produced ceremonial events. She also served as the Chair of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors in 2003.

“With just a few weeks left in the 2016 Legislative Season, it is imperative that stand-alone legislation be passed this year to reconstitute NYRA as a not-for-profit corporation as was agreed upon and approved by New York State and NYRA four years ago,” says Lewi. “We've sent a formal letter to Governor Cuomo asking for his support of the plan approved by the NYRA Board of Directors last month. We've also been working very closely with local legislators in both the Assembly and Senate from both parties to ensure that all parties honor their commitment to get this done this year.”

In a letter sent last week to Governor Cuomo, the Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing endorsed the NYRA Board reorganization plan which offers shared governance with four members of the new Board being appointed by New York State's elected leaders and ten members by the current NYRA executive board. Members of the Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing signing the letter includes: Maureen Lewi, John Hendrickson, Charles Wait, Joe Torani, Cindy Hollowood, Tom Roohan, Dr. William Wilmot, Jack Knowlton, Todd Shimkus along with other notable local business leaders. The group met last summer with the Assembly Speaker and Senate President who agreed to work with their local members to support legislation that is being drafted.

“Maureen Lewi is an amazing ambassador for the Saratoga Race Course and she is well respected because of her great work as a partner with Ed Lewi Associates by everyone involved in Thoroughbred Racing locally and around the country,” said Matt Jones, 2016 Chair of the Board of Directors of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. “For the past four decades, Maureen has helped to create one of the most successful and best attended race meetings at Saratoga in the world. Our Board of Directors could think of no better person to lead this committee at this important time as we seek to secure a new governing structure for NYRA in partnership with New York State's elected leaders that will preserve and protect the Saratoga Race Course and New York's Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry for the next four decades.”

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