ST PAUL, MN – As the new state year gets set to begin in Minnesota on July 1, Governor Mark Dayton announced the reappointment of Minnesota Racing Commissioner and Commission Vice-Chairman Jim Lane to another term on the Commission as well as the appointments of Barbara Columbo and Jerry Bell to the MRC to replace outgoing commissioners Mark Urista and Kristine Sunberg. All three will serve six year terms.
Columbo is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Health Care Compliance Certification Program at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, MN. She graduated with honors from William Mitchell College of Law and practiced with the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi. She is the President of the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition and co-founded the Minnesota Hay Bank in 2012 which has dispersed over $40,000 of feed and other assistance to Minnesota’s most vulnerable horses.
“Barbara Colombo is an avid equestrian and an outstanding lawyer,” said Commission Chairman Ralph Strangis. “Her work with the Humane Society and the Horse Welfare Coalition will provide another strong voice in the protection of our equine athletes.”
“Jerry Bell will bring a new perspective to the commission,” Strangis continued. “His work with the Minnesota Twins is a testament to his ability to think creatively, manage effectively, and generate success. Our industry will unquestionably benefit from his knowledge of major league sports.”
Bell recently served as Chairman of the Minnesota Twins Executive Board, also held the position of President of the ballclub from 1987-2002. Mr. Bell oversaw the development, design, construction and opening of Target Field. Mr. Bell also served as Executive Director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission which oversaw the Metrodome prior to joining the Twins’ organization and also serves on Rochester’s Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency (EDA) Board.
Lane has served on the Racing Commission since 2009 and has been active in listening to and acting upon the concerns and needs of horsemen.
“Jim Lane provides valued continuity to the commission, and has been an active participant in numerous committees since his original appointment,” said Strangis.
Chairman Strangis concluded, “I want to also thank both Mark Urista and Kris Sundberg for their dedicated service to the Racing Commission. They both played integral roles in moving the Commission and industry forward during their tenure.”