Future Fonner Park CEO looking forward to new position

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A new CEO is getting ready to step up after Fonner Park's Bruce Swihart announced his retirement. Chris Kotulak is currently serving as the Fonner Park Chief Operating Officer. He will be taking over as CEO on August 1st when Bruce Swihart's retirement goes into effect.

Chris Kotulak walks around Fonner Park, showing Local4 staff the new buildings that have been built since he worked there in the 80s. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

Kotulak has been in his current position since last year but also worked for the park from 1986 to 1995. More than just his titled has changed in the time, including the park bringing in new buildings and new events. He says he doesn't plan on changing much at the park but he does want to see it continue to grow.

"Part of what has enabled Fonner Park to get as far as they are, and this was our 66th year of horse racing, was establishing some sort of stable entity in the community. We certainly are stable, like a glacier," Kotulak said. "But glaciers melt and we have to make sure we keep fortifying our presence here in the community. I have an incredible staff which been a major key to Fonner's success."

Kotulak and his staff plans to keep bringing new activities to the park, such as their Tractor Days event starting this week.

"If I had a personal mission statement for Fonner Park I think it's to provide entertainment to Grand Island, to feature horse racing and to showcase livestock and agriculture," Kotulak said.