New York Racing Association officials announced the addition of two executives to its senior management team Tuesday, including one hired to the newly created position of chief experience officer.
Lynn LaRocca, who formerly served as senior vice president of marketing for Modell’s Sporting Goods, was hired as NYRA’s first chief experience officer. In her new capacity, LaRocca will oversee NYRA’s sales, marketing, event planning, guest services, customer relations management and communications departments.
The Syracuse University graduate previously served in a range of senior management positions at Bob’s Stores, TJX Co. Inc. and Paramount Pictures.
“Lynn will help in our continued emphasis to connect with the great fans of our sport in new and innovative ways,” NYRA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Kay said in a statement.
NYRA also hired Joseph Lambert as its general counsel — a position that has been vacant since Ken Handal’s contract wasn’t renewed at the end of 2013. Handal was appointed counsel on an acting basis shortly after Patrick Kehoe was fired in May 2012 amid a state investigation into allegations he and former President Charles Hayward did nothing to stop an error that cost bettors millions of dollars.
Lambert, who comes to NYRA from a position as executive managing director of Unitedlex Corp., a legal services outsourcing company, will also serve as senior vice president and corporate secretary.
“Having Joe on board is crucial to affirming our legal and financial accuracy and integrity,” Kay said.
A NYRA spokeswoman said the salaries for both executives won’t be available for “a couple of days.”
The two executives come aboard as NYRA continues its state-ordered reorganization. Under public control since October 2012, NYRA is halfway through a three-year process aimed at transforming the agency in wake of the betting take-out scandal.