Swihart to retire as CEO of Fonner Park

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) There will be a new person overseeing the operation of Fonner Park in Grand Island, that after long-time employee Bruce Swihart announced he is retiring as Chief Executive Officer.

Swihart has held that position since taking over from Hugh Miner in 2015. Prior to that, he has worked at Fonner Park for 43 years, including as assistant general manager. He began his career during the era that his dad, Al Swihart, was general manager.

A press release from Fonner Park referred to Swihart as being even-keeled, extremely organized and a meticulous bookkeeper.

Swihart said, “You’re only as good as the people surrounding you and I’ve had great people around me for decades.”

Swihart's retirement will be effective July 31.

Chris Kotulak, 57, will take over as Chief Executive Officer. Kotulak returned to Fonner Park as Chief Operating Officer in July 2018. He was track announcer there from 1986 to 1995, after which he worked at other horse racing facilities across the country.

“Bruce Swihart has been as terrific a boss to me in the last ten months, just as he was in the first ten years when I worked with him beginning in 1986,”said Kotulak. “I’m fortunate to have an outstanding staff to work with, supportive board members and a community of horse racing fans who love Fonner Park."