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Florida HBPA Members Choose 2016-2017 Board of Directors

Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Elections Chairman Marcus Vitali
FHBPA Election Chairman Marcus Vitali Makes the “V for Voting” Sign

With the careful tabulation of an external accounting firm, ballots were tallied for the 2016-2017 Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Board of Directors today, March 15, 2016.
“We are pleased to welcome our new Board Members in what will be an even more critical year for Florida Thoroughbred racing,” said Florida HBPA Elections Chairman Marcus Vitali, who supervised the entire election process with the help of his committee, Daryl Clark, Larry  Bates and Steve DiMauro.   FHBPA Officer Kathy Davey was on hand for the tabulation process, along with Florida HBPA Executive Director Glen Berman and FHBPA Board Member Steve Screnci, both of whom are attorneys.
From the owner ranks, Bill White and Tom Cannell were re-elected; Herb Oster was newly elected, as was Joanie Needell, who will serve in the First Alternate capacity.
To represent trainers, David Fawkes and Phil Combest were re-elected, with former Board Member Carlo Vaccarezza returning to serve in the Second Alternate role.
“I’m confident our new members and returning ones will leave the starting gate on their toes for the amount of action we expect after our hard-fought short reprieve from the threat of decoupling,” Vitali added.
The new Board will meet next Thursday, March 24 to determine committee chairs and elect a President.
“Thank you to everyone for participating in the election,” Vitali said. “One of our accomplishments this year was the creation of an electronic voting system, which we plan to roll out for next year to make voting more convenient.”
With 529 ballots tallied out of nearly 6,000 mailed, the results (followed by the number of votes cast for each) are:

  • Bill White 342
  • Tom Cannell  247
  • Herb Oster  189
  • Joanie Needell 180 (1st Alternate)


  • David Fawkes  271
  • Phil Combest  182
  • Carlo Vaccarezza  177 (2nd Alternate)

Those who ran for the Board, but did not receive enough votes to secure one of the available positions were Joe Orseno, Ronnie Spatz, Larry Pilotti, Jenna Antonucci and Rohan Crichton.