Board of Directors

RTCA Leadership

The RTCA Board of Directors is comprised of men and women with a heart for God and a passion for serving the workers in the horse racing industry. Many of them have personal ties to the equine world and each of them serves faithfully in their local chaplaincies. The Board consists of an Executive Committee of four officers and five elected representatives from key groups within the organization.

  • Elliott walden

    President

    Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar Farm, has been involved with RTCA for several years, including working closely with both the KY and NY Chaplaincies. Elliott uses his platform as a well-respected figure in the Thoroughbred racing industry to expand awareness and promote the ministry of RTCA and our Chaplains.

  • Rich Gimmel

    Vice President

    Rich Gimmel is the owner and chairman of Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc., a fourth-generation family industrial machinery manufacturer. He currently serves as the Executive Director for the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy (KY-RTC) whose network of chaplains and volunteers serve four tracks in the state. Along with his wife Angie, Rich currently lives and serves in Louisville, KY. Rich's heart for service is evidenced by his heavy involvement in organizations with missions bent toward helping the citizens of Jefferson County and Central Kentucky including the KY-RTC, KY Board of Education, and the Global Church Missions Team of his local church.

  • Darrell Winter

    Secretary

    Darrell has spent the past seventeen years as the Senior Chaplain at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico during which time the Lord has grown the ministry in size and influence. Darrell received the Lord at age thirteen at a summer camp in Minnesota, after which he chose to live with his uncle who headed up a ministry there. He remained active as a "staff kid" until going off to college and then entering the business world. Darrell spent the next twenty years owning two businesses and working for a fortune 500 company before retiring to Ruidoso. Darrell believes that his mission work as a teenager and his business background were both God's preparation to give him the unique skill set to do His good work.

  • Humberto Chavez

    treasurer

    Humberto was born in Mexico City and later came to New York, where he lives with Karen, his wife of sixteen years, and their sons David, Johnathan, and Lukas. Together they have a passion for empowering others to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that will eventually help them to become better workers, spouses, and parents.

    Since being called to full time ministry in 2003, Humberto has served as the official Chaplain for the New York Racing Association (NYRA). Humberto and his team of volunteers with the New York Race Track Chaplaincy (NYRTC) provide ministry and programming for the workers at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga race tracks. Chaplain Humberto ministers and advocates on behalf of the stable workers, horse racing staff, jockeys, trainers and the surrounding communities.

  • Dwight Brown

    Chaplains' Representative

    Dwight is the chaplain at Evangeline Downs Race Track and the surrounding training centers. He and his wife Angelic live and serve in Opelousas, LA along with their three children Dentzel, Delynsha, and Destini. Dwight loves that he has the unique opportunity of being a spiritual leader at the same track where he grew up as a “backside brat”. Dwight’s background includes twenty years training horses at Evangeline Downs, twelve years as an ordained minister, and a career in law enforcement with the Opelousas Police Department, giving him a wide range of skills and experiences to draw upon while doing the Lord’s work on and off the track.

  • Allyn mann

    racing industry representative

    The Director of the Animal Health Division of Luitpold Animal Health, Allyn has dedicated the past 29 years to the equine health industry.

  • Marie Friesema

    Women's ministry representative

    Marie is the Academic Coordinator of the English Department at Wheaton College, and is also an adjunct instructor in the English Language Program at Moraine Valley Community College. She has taught adult ESL for eight years, and currently teaches the migrant adults who work at Arlington and Hawthorne race tracks in Illinois, which was also the context of her master's thesis on English teaching at the backstretch of America's race courses.


    Born in the Philippines, Marie immigrated the US with her family as a teenager in 1971, where they settled in the San Francisco Bay area. Marie accepted Christ at the age of 10, spent 16 years as a Navy wife, and eventually settled near Chicago. She became involved with the workers at Arlington and Hawthorne during her graduate studies and worked to re-establish the Chaplaincy programs there. She has served as the Council President for RTCA Chicagoland since 2016. Marie enjoys playing the piano, sewing, and writing both fiction and creative non-fiction.

Region directors

Our Board of directors is supported by a network of Region Directors who stay in contact with and represent the interests of the Chaplaincies within their geographic region. Region Directors are elected by the General Assembly during our Annual Business Meeting and serve a 3-year term.

  • Susan Atchison-Day

    Region #1

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  • Bill Erwin

    Region #1

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  • Thelma Lynn

    Region #1

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  • Charlotte Clavier

    Region #2

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  • Tim Friesema

    Region #2

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  • Janet VanBebber

    Region #2

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  • Rick Hooper

    Region #3

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  • Paul Ransdell

    region #3

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  • Pam Sears

    region #3

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