The Illawarra Turf Club have commenced the beginning of a new era with the announcement of Steve Keene as the organisation's new chief executive.
Keene comes into the role following the retirement of former CEO at the Club for 25 years, Peter De Vries.
Keene takes on the job with an impressive CV. Most recently, he was CEO of Scone Race Club since mid-2021 and prior to that he held the same role at Murrumbidgee.
"Moving to a provincial club was my obvious next step after being a country CEO for the last five years. It's an exciting step for both myself and my family and we're excited to move to the region."
After a torrid last few years including COVID-19 and the wet weather event of 2022, the appointment of Keene into the role marks the start of something new.
Despite it being early days, Keene said he was looking to make his own mark in the region after the sensational work by De Vries over the past two decades.
"You don't accidentally hold a role like this for 20 years," he said.
"It's a great credit to Peter and the work he's done and he's got the club to the position it's in today.
"There will be a handover with Peter who has done a very good job over a long period of time. So I'll just get a bit of the lay of the land to start and have a bit of a look and see where I can add value.
Keene added his main points of expertise that can bring Kembla forward.
"I've had a lot of experience in race day events. Looking to grow those will be a good starting point," he said.
"Through my time here at Scone we've worked with Racing NSW on quite a large project with 300 boxes and a polytrack. So we'll be looking to work with Racing NSW and get some of those projects over the line and up and running and things like that.
"But around the events has probably been my strength."
Keene will officially start in the role on July 24.
There is a Kembla meeting this Saturday with local trainers Robert and Luke Price featuring heavily with Satness, Shaday, Noble Attack, Kimberley Rain and Monte Tiana all in action. Tickets: https://kemblagrangeracing.com.au/.
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