09/06/2013 2:54PM

Woodbine Entertainment Group reshuffles its board


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The board of directors of the Woodbine Entertainment Group has undergone a major reshuffling as David Willmot, Mark Frostad, and Bill Graham did not stand for re-election.

Blake Tohana was voted in as a new director and also was appointed as a member of the group’s audit committee.

The changes were announced in a press release early Friday afternoon.

Willmot, 63, had served on Woodbine’s board of directors for 30 years. A former chairman of Woodbine Entertainment Group and chief executive officer for 15 years, Willmot is president and chief executive officer of Kinghaven Farms of King City, Ontario, and has served with distinction in numerous other roles in the industry.

The 64-year-old Frostad, who had 26 years of service on the board, trains a private stable at Woodbine and, like Willmot, is a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Graham, a prominent owner and breeder and the Sovereign Award-winning breeder for 2012, reached the board’s mandatory retirement age of 75 this year.

A member of the board of directors for 17 years, Graham operates under the name of Windhaven Farm.

“They’re obviously wonderful guys who have put their lives into the industry and will continue to be major players,” said Jim Lawson, chairman of the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s board.

Tohana is a senior corporate executive and a chartered accountant with extensive financial management expertise in the horse racing, gaming, media, and entertainment industries.

From 2003 through 2010, Tohana served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Magna Entertainment Group. He currently is the chief financial officer of Tricon Films & Television, an independent television production and distribution company.

Lawson said the board needed to add a chartered accountant, and could add more board members.

“But until such time as we have a real good understanding of our role in the Ontario horse racing industry and the integration of Woodbine into the gaming industry in the province, we’re just kind of keeping our powder dry to see exactly where we go,” he said. “For example, we may need someone with a whole lot of gaming experience. We’re playing that slowly and making sure that we fill our needs on the board consistent with our business of the future.”

In keeping with tradition, Willmot, Frostad, and Graham were appointed honorary directors of Woodbine Entertainment Group.