From a Virginia Racing Commission release
The Virginia Racing Commission announced today that Bernie Hettel has advised he will be stepping down from his post as the Commission’s Executive Secretary. An effective resignation date has not yet been announced but is expected to occur before the end of March.
Mr. Hettel stated, “I have very much enjoyed being part of Virginia’s horse racing industry and working with the VRC these past 5 years, and I regret that the time has come to say goodbye. With business and family interests in both Virginia and Kentucky, it was becoming clear I virtually needed to be in two places at once and thus had to make a choice. Virginia racing has come through a difficult period, but I believe it is now positioned to realize new growth. So, while I will miss being involved on a daily basis, I am confident that timing of this decision is correct. The industry is organized, enjoys the support of state government and has sustainable revenues in place.”
Virginia Racing Commission Chairman, D.G. Van Clief, Jr. responded to the news of Hettel’s departure. “Speaking on behalf of all the Commissioners, we are truly sorry to see Bernie depart, and will miss him. He is an experienced and knowledgeable racing official whose expertise, integrity, and work ethic served the Commonwealth admirably during an extremely tumultuous period. We wish him well as he returns to Kentucky. I have known Bernie since his days as a steward at Churchill Downs and can tell you he will not be easy to replace.”
The VRC is expected to mount a national search for its next Executive Secretary.