Reg Ash, Western Fair District CEO. File photo courtesy of the Western Fair District.

Western Fair District names new CEO

There is a new man at the helm of the Western Fair District.

Reg Ash, who has served as the Western Fair Association’s chief administrative officer for the past six years, was announced Friday as the new chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately.

“The Board is very pleased after an extensive review to have found its next leader within the organization,” said Joe Dales, Chair of the district’s board of governors. “Mr. Ash has served as the Association’s chief administrative officer for six years and within his 18-year career has overseen several business units, as well as corporate administration, finance and human resources. His varied experience with and knowledge of the association’s agriculture, business and community initiatives, plus his dedication and passion for its mandate will bode well for the future of Western Fair District, its employees, members and communities it serves.”

Ash replaces Hugh Mitchell who retired from the post last summer after nine years.

He takes over as the board and senior management work to develop a re-envisioned master site plan and agriculturally focused business plan.

“It’s important to remain progressive and relevant to customers and communities we serve. That is the challenge in front of us,” said Ash. “I’m happy to be part of the Association’s next chapter, so proud to have dedicated my career to this historic, community organization and am thankful for the opportunity to carry on its leadership and legacy.”

The district was dealt a serious blow last December when Gateway Casinos and Entertainment confirmed plans to move to a new site in southwest London. The gaming giant had been in negotiations with the district to build a $140 million casino, hotel and restaurant complex at the Western Fair District.

Western Fair District officials have previously stated that Gateway’s relocation plans put harness racing in the city in jeopardy.