Toronto, ON – September 29, 2022 – Woodbine Entertainment announced today that it has realigned its senior leadership team as the organization targets future growth.
As part of the realignment, the organization has promoted Michael Copeland to President, Commercial, and Tom Via to President, Operations, both reporting to CEO Jim Lawson.
“We have a tremendous amount of opportunity before us to grow our business and the horse racing industry in Ontario,” said Lawson. “I strongly believe we have the right leadership and people in place – and now we have the right structure that will enable us to maximize and fully leverage those opportunities.”
As President, Commercial, Copeland will lead revenue and brand-driving functions including horse racing, wagering, technology, marketing, broadcast, customer experience and events.
Copeland joined Woodbine Entertainment in 2021 as Chief Commercial Officer, after holding several leadership positions in the Canadian sports industry, which most recently included founding and leading his own consulting business focused on issues of growth and transformation in sports and entertainment. Prior to that, Copeland was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Argonauts (2015 to 2018), who under his leadership won a Grey Cup championship in 2017. Before joining the Argos, Copeland was the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Football League for nearly 10 years (2006 to 2015).
As President, Operations, Via will lead operations at both Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park, while also overseeing hospitality, finance, human resources, legal and project management.
Via originally joined Woodbine Entertainment in 2016 as Chief Operations Officer after several successful senior leadership positions in retail operations. Prior to joining Woodbine, Via was President and CEO of the USA retail store chain Brookstone. He also held several senior leadership positions at Toys R Us, including President of its Australian operations, SVP General Manager Babies R Us, USA, and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, Canada.
Property Development will continue to be led by Chief Development Officer Will Fleissig, reporting to Lawson.
“While horse racing will always be at the core of everything we do, our business is becoming more and more complex and having strong leadership at the helm of operations and revenue positions us for the future growth we have in our sights,” added Lawson.
An Ontario corporation without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment operates a multi-dimensional entertainment business with a core mandate of sustaining and growing the horse racing industry in Ontario.