Gulotta Looking To Make A Difference

Published: December 3, 2017 10:34 am EST

Mike Gulotta, the CEO of Deo Volente Farms and SBOANJ Treasurer, was recently on his way to Trenton to attend a meeting of Governor-elect Phil Murphy’s budget transition committee, and he was feeling a range of emotions.

“It’s exciting,” said Gulotta, who in mid-November was appointed a member of the committee. “I’m humbled, I’m honoured, I’m flattered; I’m all those things at one time to be in a position to help.”

Gov.-elect Murphy was endorsed by Gulotta’s Deo Volente Farms during this year’s gubernatorial race, which concluded November 7 with Murphy defeating Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno by 13 percentage points in the election to succeed Gov. Chris Christie.

“Whenever you’ve got new leadership it’s exciting,” Gulotta said. “I think he is the right guy for where we are today in the state. The state has some significant financial stresses that need to be addressed. At the same time, there are so many ways of improving the situation.”

During the campaign, Murphy spoke of the need to reinvigorate the state’s racing and breeding industries.

“I think our best days in the racing industry, whether it’s Standardbred or Thoroughbred, and the best days in the equine industry are ahead of us,” Murphy said during a July visit to the Meadowlands to present the Meadowlands Pace trophy. “But we do need leadership that appreciates that, that understands what you have to do to move that needle, and I’m honoured to be raising my hand to do that.”

Earlier in the year at a fundraiser sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey and TrotPAC, the organization’s political action committee, hosted by Deo Volente Farms, Murphy said it was time for the equine industry to get back on its feet to the benefit of all residents of the Garden State.

“He felt the industry was important to the state,” Gulotta said. “He also thought there was an absence of leadership that caused us to decline. I think all those are well-stated sentiments.

“You have to take him for his word. And I take him for his word. He’s a humble guy. He comes from a middle-class family on good days. He started working when he was 13. He knows what it means to grow up with financial challenges and he’s made himself. He’s basically a humble guy and I think he’s a truthful guy. I’m confident in that.”

(With files from the SBOANJ)