The Rillito Park Foundation (RPF) was formed in 2011 to provide a solution to an impasse between local soccer and horse racing interests that has stymied the future of Rillito Park for years. RPF believes that through a public/private partnership with Pima County Government, private donations and investments can enhance County assets to provide amenities the public deserves, while preserving Tucson’s heritage for future generations.
At over 90 acres located in the heart of Tucson, Rillito Park consists of Rillito Downs Race Track, the J. Rukin Jelks Stud Farm Historic Site, and eight Pima County Parks and Recreation soccer fields. The Park also serves as a festival site year-round. In 2012, Rillito Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ed Ackerley, Ed.D., Ex Officio, Director of Marketing – Since 1976, Dr. Ackerley has been an executive with Ackerley Advertising. For over twenty-five years, he has taught at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. He has also held local and national leadership roles in the American Advertising Federation.
Bayard Auchincloss, Director – Mr. Auchincloss is a realtor at RHL Referral Company specializing in upscale homes in the Tucson foothills. He is and has been a regular at Rillito Race Track for many years, and is an avid supporter of quarter horse and thoroughbred racing.
Ed Bloom, Director – Mr. Bloom is a thoroughbred owner, racing in many states and owning all or partnership of 70 horses from 1970 to present. He did consulting for the Oklahoma State Racing Commission on their formation in 1982, advising on legislative approval and drafting rules of racing.
Roman Campuzano, Director – Mr. Campuzano is a VP for the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A public servant whose portfolio includes Hispanic market outreach, and commercial insurance and business credit. He is a former Trustee of the Tucson Presidio and Current Board member at the Arthritis Foundation.
Frank DeFazio, Director, Secretary/Treasurer – Mr. DeFazio is a businessman, former overseas staff member of the United States Defense Department and racetrack manager in Florida and Arizona. He is a member of Historic Rillito Racetrack, the nonprofit responsible for listing the Rillito Historic District on the National Register.
Jaime Dickman, Director - Ms. Dickman is a marketing professional that specializes in brand programming, event planning, and corporate sponsorships. She is currently the Marketing Director for Hensley Beverage Company for Southern Arizona.
Dale V. Pederson II, M.Ed., FSA Scot, Director – Mr. Pederson is President of Tucson Celtic Festival Association, retired Police Sergeant and Information Support Analyst. He is a Board member for the University of Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System. He is currently a guest speaker in Celtic history at Pima College.
Manish Shah, Director – Mr. Shah is the owner and operator of the Maya Tea Company. He serves as Co Executive Director of Heirloom Farmers Markets, with Tucson markets at Rillito Park, Trail Dust Town, and Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley. He sits on the editorial board of Fresh Cup Magazine.
Russell True, Director, Chairman – The True family has owned the White Stallion Guest Ranch in Tucson since 1965. Russell is former two-time president of the Dude Ranchers’ Association, former president of the Green Fields Country Day School Board of Trustees, and is a former board member of Visit Tucson.
Robert Villamana, Director – Mr. Villamana is with the Tucson law firm, Waterfall, Economidis, Caldwekk, Hanshaw & Villamana, P.C. He has a long history of working with Tucson charities, including six years on the board of the Boys & Girls Club, the advisory board of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Youth On Their Own.
Michael Weiss, Ex Officio, Liaison to the Racing Industry – From 1996 to 2010, Mr. Weiss served as GM of Beulah Race Track. He is a former Board member of Equibase and the Thoroughbred Racing Association. In 2006, the University of Arizona awarded him the John Goodman Alumni Award for his contribution to the racing industry.
Jaye H. Wells, President/CEO – Mr. Wells is a designer and developer whose portfolio includes historic preservation projects and museum work, as well as apparel design and manufacturing. He is a former Trustee and Treasurer of Green Fields Country Day School. He is Chairman of the Board of Heirloom Farmers’ Markets.