A longer version of this story was published by ParklandTalk.com here.
Among the leadership success stories continuing to emerge in the wake of last year’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting is 19-year-old Nick Vaccarezza, who was sworn in last night (April 11, 2019) as one of the newest Board members of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA), a trade group that represents over 6,000 active Thoroughbred racehorse owners and trainers statewide.
“We believe Nick is youngest person ever to serve as an HBPA Board member since the organization’s inception in 1940,” FHBPA President Steve Screnci said.
Nick’s father, Boca Raton restauranteur and Breeders’ Cup winner Carlo Vaccarezza, also was be sworn in as a Board member together with his son on Thursday night after both were elected to their posts.
“I’m blessed to be 19,” Nick told the Daily Racing Form’s Jay Hovdey in his follow-up to the Parkland horror, in which it was revealed that Nick’s brother, Mike, was also at the school with him that tragic day.
Nick has attacked his post-high school life with zeal, working for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown and advancing his education at University of Kentucky and now at Florida Atlantic University in Business Administration.
Nick’s plans for his Board position with the FHBPA include introducing more young people to the sport he loves so much. Fluent in Spanish and some Italian, he plans to focus on increased outreach to horse racing community.
To see the complete March 2019 FHBPA Election results, click here.