TORONTO, September 6, 2013 – Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Blake Tohana to its Board of Directors. Mr. Tohana was also appointed as a member of WEG’s Audit Committee.
As well, WEG announced that three long-serving directors – David S. Willmot, Mark R. Frostad and William D. Graham – are departing from the Board after many years of service.
Blake Tohana of Toronto, Ontario, is a senior corporate executive and a Chartered Accountant with extensive financial management experience in the media, entertainment, gaming and horse racing industries. From 2003 to 2010, Mr. Tohana served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Magna Entertainment Corp., one of North America’s largest horse racing and gaming companies at the time.
Currently, Mr. Tohana is the Chief Financial Officer of Tricon Films & Television, one of North America’s leading independent television production and distribution companies with a robust slate of award-winning television programming and digital media projects. In addition, he currently serves on the Board of Directors and is chair of the Audit Committee of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport which is a central catalyst for the province’s cultural media cluster.
“With the ongoing integration of racing and gaming in Ontario, Mr. Tohana’s extensive experience in entertainment, gaming and horse racing, combined with his financial management expertise and track record as a corporate executive, will make him a valuable addition to Woodbine Entertainment Group’s Board,” said WEG Chairman of the Board Jim Lawson.
After 26 years of service, Mark Frostad, a renowned thoroughbred trainer, multiple Queen’s Plate winner and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, stepped down from the WEG Board of Directors.
“We will miss Mark’s wealth of experience as a horseman and backstretch voice on the Board,” said Mr. Lawson. “We look forward to benefitting from his participation and support on thoroughbred racing matters in the future as the industry strives to meet the new challenge of sustainability.”
Also stepping down from the WEG Board of Directors, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 75, is William Graham. Mr. Graham served on the Board for 17 years and has been a leader in the horse racing and breeding industry for decades. In 2012, Mr. Graham was named Canada’s Breeder of the Year.
David Willmot, who served on WEG’s Board of Directors for 30 years, did not stand for re-election. Mr. Willmot is President and CEO of Kinghaven Farms of King City, Ontario.
Mr. Willmot is a former Chairman of Woodbine Entertainment Group and acted as WEG’s Chief Executive Officer for 15 years. As per tradition, each of Messrs. Frostad, Graham and Willmot will become Honorary Directors of WEG.
“David, Mark and Bill have earned not only our thanks for their service to WEG, but also our admiration and respect for their long-standing commitment and contributions to horse racing,” Mr. Lawson said. “Over their many years as board members, Mark Frostad and Bill Graham have made significant contributions to our organization and to our industry. David Willmot’s achievements as a breeder and owner, including back-to-back winners of Canada’s Triple Crown in 1989 and 1990, along with his past leadership of WEG as an executive and as chairman, have made an enormous impact on our industry and our company.”
Woodbine Entertainment Group and its Board of Directors have a vital role to play as WEG enters a new phase of its business, including a renewed relationship with the Ontario government and the integration of horse racing into the province’s gaming strategy. Accordingly, WEG expects to announce further additions to its Board going forward.
“As Woodbine Entertainment Group continues its evolution as a premier entertainment company and a pillar of the Ontario horse racing industry,” Mr. Lawson said, “we are committed to ensuring our company is positioned to effectively address the challenges and opportunities of the future.”
Woodbine Entertainment Group is an Ontario Corporation without share capital. WEG is the largest horse racing operator in Canada offering world class horse racing at both Woodbine (Toronto) and Mohawk (Milton) racetracks. WEG operates off-track wagering operations through its "Champions" teletheatre network, which include WEGZ Stadium Bar in Vaughan, Turf Lounge in downtown Toronto and Greenwood in the Beach area of Toronto. WEG also operates Horse Player Interactive and HPItv.