Derby Day

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Rotary Club of Okla. City Preparedness Plan

5-11-2021

Matt Vance has been in the horse racing business for the better part of his whole life. Born in Kentucky, the son of Remington Park’s original President and General Manager, David Vance, Matt was around racing and racetracks from an early age when his father was President of the Kentucky Jockey Club and General Manager of a small racetrack in Kentucky. His first job was in F&B at Remington Park. After working in various departments at the track through the good and bad changes in the Tracks ownership, Matt’s first management roll came in 2002 at Remington when he was promoted to Director of Operations. After being tasked with the tracks off-track business, he was later promoted to Director of Business Development. In 2008, Vance created a spin-off company RPDC, which provides horse wagering and broadcasting for the state’s Native American Casinos. This created interest in the Chickasaw Nation company that purchased Remington Park in 2010. Global Gaming has been responsible for a flourishing renewal of Remington Park after spending millions on renovations and improvements to the track and its casino. In 2015 Vance was named Vice President of Operations at Remington Park.

 

 

 

Tim Williams grew up in Mount Pleasant, MI and started his jockey career at the age of 15 riding unsanctioned races at the county fair in Michigan. He began riding official races at the age of 16 in 1978. From that time forward he rode races all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. He rode until 1989  at which time he hung up his tack to pursue a career in training race horses.  He and his wife Deb, along with their two sons, Dayton and Brock, made their home in Texas.  They spent many years training racehorses and operating an equine rehab facility. In 2002, instead of buying a Corvette like most 40 somethings, he lost 30 pounds and went back to being a jockey for a few years.  After breaking his neck for the final time, he decided to pursue a career on the administrative side of the racing office.  Starting out as an entry clerk, he’s done nearly every job a racetrack has to offer. Tim still maintains his status as an accredited steward, but enjoys his job as Director of Racing for Remington Park.

 

 

 

Kelly O’Hara, born and raised in New York, began her career as a professional jockey at
Belmont Park.

At the time riding for notable horse owners David Cassidy, Joe Pecci and A.J. Foyt.
Proclaimed as one of her best experiences was galloping 1987 Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba.
She raced all over the United States until a major spill at Fairgrounds Racecourse
ultimately ended her career. Her time spent at racetracks in Japan and Dubai have brought a broader understanding of the sport to her resume.

Currently Kelly is Remington Park’s paddock host. This position enables her to share her passion for the thoroughbred athlete as well as the sport of horse racing.

 

 

 

Moderator: Emily Taylor

Her knowledge includes traditional, non-traditional media and film. She has over 12 years of experience in advertising, marketing, traditional media, including electronic, OHH, and print, new media including digital, social media, paid advertising, website development, and fundraising.

Emily’s experience in digital marketing has benefitted her clients in all aspects of the marketing arena. One example of the range of her expertise was developing and leveraging an internal loyalty program that increased client revenues by 38% during Covid19.

She also has over two years experience as an Executive Producer. Emily has organized and executed production for several full-length feature films. One example was for a client from China filmed in both English and Chinese right here in Oklahoma. Also, of late, two films just wrapped using new technology called virtual production – tech that is so new, the competition isn’t stateside – it’s Russia, Spain and China.

Prior to Boiling Point, Emily worked as the Marketing & Director of Corporate Operations for a privately held organization which accounted for over twenty plus companies serving all aspects of marketing from content curation, brand development and direction to operating and contract negotiation.

Emily’s marketing experience covers a variety of business industries including automotive, film, financial, legal, gaming, health and beauty, hotels and hospitality, IT, medical, real estate, restaurant, retail, tourism and transportation.

Emily proudly serves organizations including, American Marketing Association, Automotive Women’s Alliance, Twenty Group North Texas, Club 29 Rotary, serves as an Advisor at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and volunteers for UR Special. Certifications include Google Adwords, Analytics and Hubspot.


Chair of the Day

Jill Merritt is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Penn Square Mall, operated by Simon Property Group, one of the world’s largest retail real estate companies. She is a native of Oklahoma, born and raised in Oklahoma City and is a tribal member of the Chickasaw Nation.
Merritt attended the University of Oklahoma where she received her B.S. in Mass Communications. She truly enjoys giving back to her community and has served on a variety of non-profit boards and committees over the years. Currently, she is on the boards of the Better Business Bureau and Court Appointed Special Advocates. She’s an alumnae of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, a sustainer with the Junior League of Oklahoma City, graduate of LOYAL Class 5 under Leadership OKC, member of the Downtown OKC Club, and of course, a member of Rotary Club #29.
Merritt attends LifeChurch and has two fur babies, her chocolate Labrador Retriever, Remi and Border Collie, Gus. She recently has taken up gardening and enjoys planting her own fruits/vegetables (even though she has a black thumb).

 

 

 

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