Stan Bergstein, who recently entered his 50th year as Executive Vice President of Harness Tracks of America, is reducing his daily duties at the Tucson, Arizona-based organization.
Bergstein will continue to provide support to the staff at HTA as its first Executive Emeritus. Although the change signals a major restructuring of the organization, Bergstein will continue to advise HTA's board of directors on matters of importance to the industry, and will continue writing articles and commentary for HTA and his columns for Daily Racing Form, Hoof Beats, Canadian Sportsman and Gaming Today.
Paul J. Estok, who has worked for 16 years with Bergstein, will succeed him as Executive Vice President and maintain his current role as General Counsel and Secretary for the association of North American harness tracks. An honors graduate of the Race Track Industry Program of the University of Arizona and its College of Law, Estok has been with HTA since law school and has been general counsel since 1995, making the transition a smooth shift for the organization.
Bergstein, 86, has been honored worldwide in the horse racing industry. He has served as vice president of publicity and public relations of the United States Trotting Association; executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine; executive director of the Harness Racing Institute; president of American Horse Publications; and is a former television commentator, racing secretary, race announcer, auctioneer, owner and breeder. Bergstein is the only person ever named to both harness racing's Hall of Fame -- its highest honor -- and its Communicators Hall of Fame.
President Hugh Mitchell, the CEO of Canada's Western Fair Association, said, "Stan Bergstein has been one of the most influential figures in harness racing in North America, and he is the person many go to for insight and advice on a range of industry issues. He has dedicated his life to harness racing, and has mentored an amazing number of people in the industry. It is totally understandable that Stan is cutting back on his workload at HTA, and as a result, this is a good time for HTA to restructure."
"I'm very proud of what HTA has accomplished over the past 50 years," Bergstein said, "and am proudest of the young people who worked with me and now have major executive positions in North American horse racing. Having Paul Estok succeed me assures that our mission and goals will continue."
Under Bergstein's leadership, HTA has built a strong alliance with horse racing dignitaries. The organization will continue to provide collective data and serve as a reliable source for information on racing and gaming issues. In addition, HTA will maintain assistance to members in promoting and preserving the image of harness racing and obtaining economic objectives.
One of the important projects that HTA has participated in is the Symposium on Racing and Gaming held in Tucson since 1974. The annual event attracts attendees representing the Thoroughbred, Standardbred, quarter horse, greyhound, and racino industries from around the world. Beginning last year, HTA merged its annual meeting, an event that Bergstein built into a world-class educational and corporate meeting, into the Symposium, providing content for the prestigious event.
from Harness Tracks of America