TORONTO — Christine Magee was appointed as chair of Woodbine Entertainment's board of directors Friday.
Magee assumes the post immediately, replacing Clay Horner, who is retiring from the organization. Magee has been on Woodbine's board of directors since 2015 and is the chair of Sleep Country, a company she co-founded in 1994 and served as president until 2014.
"We are thrilled to have someone with Christine’s business acumen, experience and leadership be the chair of our board of directors while we continue to grow the sport of horse racing, support and sustain the entire industry in this province, and fulfil our vision of being the top horse racing destination in North America," Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, said in a statement.
"As we continue to advance our plans to diversify our business model to sustain the horse racing industry for decades to come, Christine's knowledge, experience and leadership will be invaluable to our efforts."
Magee, a resident of Oakville, Ont., is also chair of the Talent Fund Advisory Council. In addition, she served on the board of directors of Telus, Metro Inc., Trillium Health Partners and Plan International Canada and is a member of the Morrissette Entrepreneurship Advisory Board of University Western Ontario.
Magee was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada on July 1, 2015.
"It's an absolute honour and privilege to step into this role for an organization that has such a rich history and bright future," she said. "It's also humbling as I have come to appreciate how important Woodbine Entertainment is to an entire industry that is the way of life for so many Ontarians and a passion for horse racing fans throughout the world."
Horner had served as Woodbine chair since 2015 after becoming a director in 2002.
"My service on the board has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life," said Horner. "Woodbine is an industry leader in all aspects and is wonderfully positioned for further growth and success in horse racing and development initiatives.
"I am proud of the commitments and involvement of Woodbine and our employees to our broader communities. As I retire from the board, I look forward to watching Woodbine deliver in spades on its mandate to further the best interests of racing in Ontario."
Added Lawson: "Over the years, Clay's contributions to Woodbine Entertainment are significant and widely appreciated by the entire horse racing industry in Ontario. His passion for the sport of horse racing and his experience in business and law has served the organization well."
Woodbine also announced longtime board member John Fielding is also retiring as chair of the organization's Standardbred Racing Committee. He'll be replaced by Hugh Mitchell, a director with Woodbine and the former president of Western Fair District.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18 2020.