Ex-NHL Director Leary Named USTA Director

Published: June 16, 2011 12:02 pm EDT

U.S. Trotting Association Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner today announced that veteran communications executive and racing publicist Dan Leary has been named the organization's director of communications


Prior to accepting his new position, Leary, 53, served as director of communications at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas since April 2008, and as director of communications at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois for eight years before that.

During a career spanning three decades, the Boston College graduate has held several key positions in the thoroughbred racing industry: He was assistant director of public relations and broadcast media services manager at the New York Racing Association, held media relations positions at both Gulfstream and Hialeah Parks, has been media centre manager for the last two Breeders' Cups and served consecutive terms as vice president of the Turf Publicists of America through 2010.

Leary also has an equally impressive list of accomplishments outside the racing industry: He was director of information for the National Hockey League, where he implemented fan all-star balloting and managed media operations for the Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All-Star Game and NHL Entry Draft; served as media relations director for the New York Knights of the Arena Football League, and was director of public relations for the American Bowling Congress, supervising media relations for the nation's largest participatory sporting, the ABC Tournament.

“Dan’s list of accomplishments is impressive, and fits very well with our communications mission and plans,” Tanner said. “His strengths include understanding the role of social media in promoting, meeting the needs of broadcasters and reporters, and sports marketing and sponsorship.

“I met Dan many years ago, saw his capabilities then and am now pleased to be in a position to put him at the head of the USTA’s communications team. Though not having worked in harness racing, his grasp of the racing industry and the problems all breeds face will translate perfectly to this position.”

“It's exciting to be a part of the USTA team and I'm really looking forward to working with Mike Tanner again,” Leary said. “As someone who became a racing fan growing up in New Jersey going to the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Monticello, I hope that I can contribute to the promotion and growth of the harness racing industry.”

Leary and his wife, Bonny, are in the process of relocating to central Ohio and he will assume his duties at the U.S. Trotting Association on July 12.