Shewmaker reappointed to 22nd DAA

DEL MAR — Stephen Shewmaker was reappointed May 15 by Gov. Jerry Brown to the 22nd District Agricultural Association board of directors, which governs the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

He has served on the nine-member panel since 2012.

“My time onboard thus far has been very enjoyable and rewarding,” Shewmaker said.

“The work is much more than simply attending monthly board meetings as we all have committee assignments and various community duties to attend.”

Stephen Shewmaker.  Courtesy photo

Stephen Shewmaker. Courtesy photo

Shewmaker is leading a special committee to possibly repurpose Surfside Race Place to generate long-term revenue for infrastructure improvements for the race track and fairgrounds.

Surfside is an approximately 100,000-square-foot satellite wagering facility built in 1991 to accommodate 5,000 people.

At one time it attracted about 2,700 people daily, but a decrease in offsite betting has resulted in daily attendance of less than 350. Current plans are focused on turning the facility into a microbrewery and tasting room.

Shewmaker is also chairman of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee, which is tasked with ensuring the 22nd DAA can retain and recruit quality people in the future.

“I am proud that during my two-and-a-half years on the board we have much better relations with our neighbors than in past years,” Shewmaker said, referring to Del Mar and Solana Beach.

“Although the board members have very diverse backgrounds, we work together well as a team and much of this is due to the leadership of Fred Schenk, our current board president,” he added.

“I look forward to working with the team to build a strategic plan for the future so that we can keep our fair and race track at a best-in-class level into the future.

“We also are hosting the Breeders’ Cup in 2017, which presents us an opportunity to show off our fairgrounds and race track internationally,” he said.

Shewmaker is currently president of Cubic Transportation Systems, which provides payment and information solutions and related services for intelligent travel applications.

He is a member of the American Public Transportation Association and the California Chamber of Commerce board of directors and is treasurer of the Don Diego Foundation.

His colleagues, fairgrounds staff and the public helped him celebrate his 65th birthday at the May 12 meeting, presenting him with cupcakes and singing “Happy Birthday.”

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