Local community leader George Russo was appointed to the New York Racing Association Board of Directors today.
Russo’s appointment was recommended by Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and confirmed by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
The appointment gives South Queens residents a voice on the Board that oversees thoroughbred racing at New York’s three major racetracks, Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
Russo graduated from St. John’s University in Queens in 1979 and obtained his law degree from New York Law School in 1982. He served as Assistant District Attorney for Queens County from 1983 to 1985. Since 1985, Russo has been in private practice, specializing in real estate law, foreclosure, immigration law, and more. From 1983 through 1989, he served on the Community School Board for District 27, including a stint as President from 1985 – 1986. He has served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens since 2001, serving as President from 2007 to 2014. He helped found and has served as co-President of the Intra-Community Civic Association since 2010.
“This is a true honor,” Russo said. “The Aqueduct is a vital piece of Queens’s economy, just as Belmont is for Long Island and Saratoga Springs is for the Capital District. It’s not a simple operation, but it’s a community institution and it’s one for which we need real caring and oversight. There are many things to gain from a strong partnership between NYRA and our communities, and I’m proud to be one of 17 directors tasked with making that happen. I’d like to thank Stacey, Speaker Heastie and the Assembly for their confidence, and I’m excited to get started.”