Saratoga County

COO Ellen McClain replaces Hayward as NYRA president

The New York Racing Association announced Monday that its chief operating officer, Ellen McClain, ha

The New York Racing Association announced Monday that its chief operating officer, Ellen McClain, has been elected NYRA’s president.

Kenneth Handal, newly appointed acting general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer, has been elected secretary, according to C. Steve Duncker, chairman of the NYRA board.

Duncker announced Handal’s appointment Monday morning and McClain’s election Monday evening.

NYRA, which operates Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park in Elmont, and Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, recently fired its president and chief executive officer, Charles Hayward, and chief counsel, Patrick Kehoe, in wake of a controversy over money withheld from winning bettors.

McClain joined NYRA in 2009 as a senior vice president and chief financial officer and in 2011 was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer.

She has a 25-year record in management and media finance and operations.

She has a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University.

Handal is an expert in corporate ethics and compliance, governance and risk management, with almost 40 years of experience as an attorney, according to a NYRA statement. He most recently served as president, governance, risk and compliance, for Guidepost Solutions LLC, a specialist in investigations, compliance, monitoring and risk management solutions.

Previously, Handal was the executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of CA Technologies Inc. (formerly Computer Associates), which he joined in 2004.

He later headed up the company’s global risk and compliance group.

“Ken is a crucial addition to the NYRA senior management team and has the expertise to help guide our company through the current crisis and beyond,” McClain said in a statement provided by NYRA.

Handal, in an earlier career, was a partner with the law firm of Arnold & Porter, an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Criminal Division, and also served as a law clerk to Judge Robert A. Ainsworth Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Handal earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was managing editor of the Law Review, and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

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