|Dear OHBPA Members,|
My name is Randy Evers and as of April 1 I serve as your Executive Director of the Oregon Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association. I am very excited about this new position and the opportunity to help racing in our great state.
Some of you know me. To others I may be a new face so briefly let me give a little background about myself. I served for almost thirty years in state government in Salem in a variety of management and executive level positions. That provided me with experiences such as working with the Legislature and Governor's office, dealing with significant budget matters and working on statewide and national policy issues. I hope to bring that learning and apply it here at the OHBPA to improve our Association. For the last five and a half years I served as the Executive Director of the Oregon Racing Commission. There I learned much about the racing industry as a regulator. But more importantly I learned that if racing is to improve in Oregon the Racing Commission needs to reach out and partner with the industry. Again I believe that my learning and experience at the Commission can serve me and all of us well in this position.
I have been an avid fan of horse racing since I was six years old and my father and Uncle Bob took me to the races. Since then I have been at tracks from Shelby Montana to Churchill Downs. Several years ago my wife and I owned two race horses and the thrill of winning at the Oregon Sate Fair and Portland Meadows are still some of my fondest memories in racing. Nothing beats a winner's picture with parents, brothers and sisters, best friends and a happy trainer. I have even been known to wager a buck or two!!
I want to repeat how excited I am to be here and do my part to help improve racing in our state. I am an optimist and believe if we all work together we can make a big difference. That is being proven true by the work of the Future of Racing in Oregon Group (affectionately known as FROG). That team is made up of the OHBPA, OTOBA, OQHRA, Oregon Racing Commission, Portland Meadows, the five summer fairs and the Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies here in Oregon. We have sponsored Horsemen's day at the races, produced an economic impact study for legislators and worked together to introduce legislation to help our sport and industry. We will continue to work together to make a difference.
At the same time a I am a realist. I appreciate how difficult it has been for owners, trainers. breeders and other individuals these past several years. It has also been a very difficult time for the race track. The reality is that if we don't work together and come up with some new strategic ideas and plans and challenge ourselves to change we may not be here in the future. I want to be a part of that effort to make things better.
On a very personal note I am a huge believer in partnering and communication. I want to get to know more of you and hear your concerns and ideas. I promise to communicate with you when the time is appropriate. Down the road I would like to work on an OHBPA newsletter, conduct face to face meetings in the backside kitchen and use e-mail as a frequent and effective communication tool. That will take a little time to implement. In the meantime please stop by the office when you are in the neighborhood for a chat.
Consistent with my promise to be a good communicator I know everyone has a question on their mind. "When are we going to race at Portland Meadows?" Here is what I know. The OHBPA Contracts Committee has been in contact with senior management of the Stronach group. As many of you know they are the current owners of the commercial race track in Portland. We are in the process of scheduling a meeting to discuss a contract that would include race dates, number of races, purse account and the opening of the backside. I understand everyone is anxious to get an answer and I promise to do all I can to accelerate this negotiation process and reach decisions that will benefit all of us. As soon as we have more information I will communicate that to you. In the meantime thank you for your patience.
I have included everyone we have e-mails for in this mailing. Please feel free to forward to others as you deem appropriate. If they would like to contact me I will make sure they are added to this list serve for future e-mails. As a precautionary suggestion, if you choose to respond to this e-mail, please do not hit reply all. Please reply to me only so we don't clutter our other members e-mail.
Thank you for listening. I look forward to working with you and serving you as your Executive Director.
Randy C. Evers
Oregon Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association