Harness Horsemen International's annual meeting is set to begin on Thursday (Dec. 1) at the Embassy Suites Resort and Spa in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The three-day agenda culminates with the HHI 2011 annual harness racing awards banquet on Dec. 3 at the same venue.
A registration and a welcome reception will take place on Thursday, followed by meetings on Friday and Saturday.
Keynote speakers during the Friday morning general session include: HHI President Gene Oldford; USTA President Phil Langley and USTA Executive Vice President Mike Tanner; Jay Hickey of the American Horse Council; and Illinois lobbyist Steve Brubaker.
Friday afternoon committee meetings feature Bill Whitman of Smith Brothers, USA and Tony Romano speaking on insurance issues; Mike Izzo (budget, dues, finance); Gabe Prewitt (scholarship); Sal DiMario (legal); and Ron Battoni (convention).
Saturday's agenda includes a general session with guest speaker Ellen Taylor of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, and North American racing secretaries in attendance, as well as elections, association updates, committee reports and new business.
The annual awards banquet will begin Saturday evening at 7 p.m., with HHI honoring a quartet of harness racing's most outstanding personalities for 2011.
Jeff Gural is the recipient of the Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year Award, while Tom Luchento and Gerry Connors are being honored with the HHI Appreciation Awards, and Sam McKee with the Clyde Hirt Media Award.
by Kimberly Rinker, for Harness Horsemen's International