The US Trotting Association (USTA) has added two employees to its staff in Columbus, Ohio. One, Allison Conte, is a new member of the team, while the other, Bruce Brinkerhoff, rejoins the organization after 16 years. Conte will assume the newly-created role of social media and publicity manager and Brinkerhoff returns to the USTA as information and research associate.
"Allison has been involved in harness racing her whole life,” said USTA Director of Marketing and Communications Dan Leary. "During college, she was able to work with the sport's leading trainer, Ron Burke, and also outside the industry to develop her knowledge about and skills in social media. It's an impressive combination that will be very valuable to the USTA and harness racing.”
"We're very pleased to welcome Bruce back to the USTA,” said Information and Research Manager David Carr. "With his vast knowledge of pedigrees and the breeding industry as well as his previous experience working with us, Bruce is the perfect person for the job.”
Conte graduated from the School of Communications and Information at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Media Studies last summer. While working for Burke during college, she had the opportunity to act as caretaker for equine stars Foiled Again and Fred And Ginger.
Conte also gained valuable experience during school by working for the Philadelphia-based, non-profit group Media Mobilizing Project where she was responsible for social media campaign promotion and newsroom management. MMP focuses on the use of social media to promote news stories of disadvantaged groups and minorities to get their issues recognized and covered by the mainstream media. She worked in the forefront of their biggest campaigns, including prevention of public school closures and the protection of the rights of teachers, firefighters and undocumented workers. After a year, Conte was selected to lead MMP's educational seminar for incoming interns and free clinic for media enthusiasts, providing them with the skills necessary to create and promote their own media.
"I'm thrilled to work for the USTA where I'll be able to use my degree and professional interest in social media and writing and combine it with my love and passion for harness racing, which has been very important to me throughout my life,” said Conte.
After working in the USTA's Information and Research Department from 1989 to 1998, Brinkerhoff accepted a position with Kentucky Standardbred Sales Company where he wrote pedigrees and was a member of the yearling inspection team for 16 years.
"I'm excited to return to the Information and Research Department,” said Brinkerhoff. "I look forward to contributing to the USTA, especially in the area of pedigree research and development.”
Prior to joining the USTA the first time, he held management positions at Hobby Horse Farm, Grafton, Ohio; Brent Stables, Chagrin Falls, Ohio and Concord Stud, Cream Ridge, N.J.
Brinkerhoff is a graduate of The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, with a degree in Horse Production and Management. (USTA)