Gillian Zucker and California Speedway Will Be Running Wide Open for Charity August 29th
I had the pleasure of having lunch with Gillian Zucker , President of California Speedway this week. She shared her excitement about what California Speedway is gearing up for with their "Running Wide Open" event, a fundraiser for the NASCAR Foundation on August 29th, 2007 in Hollywood.
"Fans can get rides from NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon down Hollywood Boulevard on a mini California Speedway, eat food by Wolfgang Puck and listen to music by Rihanna, she will perform her new hit , "Shut up and Drive"," Gillian shared with me. "The event in conjunction with Bolthouse Productions isn't free. Individual tickets are $2,500 and sponsorship packages go up to $75,000".
Wow, what a great event she has planned and all for a great cause! All proceeds will benefit the NASCAR Foundation, for information to purchase tickets or sponsor this event contact Tim Renyi at 909-429-5316.
Gillian is an amazing and fascinating women with a diverse background. She supports and mentors women and participates in an organization called the Step -Up Women's Network A national network of women dedicated to strengthening community resources for women and girls.
Gillian Zucker was named the fourth President of California Speedway on June 23, 2005, making her the first female president of a track hosting a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event in the country. The Southern California oval, located halfway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, annually hosts two NASCAR NEXEL Cup Series races, the largest single-day ticketed sporting events in the state, with more than 100,000 people in attendance. The track also promotes racing from NASCAR’s other top series, including the Busch Series, Craftsman Truck Series and the Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series, the AMA Superbike Championship competes on a specially designed road course as does the Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival and the Speedway also has a very competitive drag racing program with the Auto Club Dragway that rounds out the annual California Speedway schedule.
Zucker oversees one of the busiest motorsports facilities in the country with more than 300 days of activity at the facility, including numerous movie and commercial shoots, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. The economic impact of California Speedway is $220 million to the local economy. She directs a staff of 50 full-time employees all dedicated to making California Speedway an integral part of the Southern California sports and entertainment
In her first year at the Speedway, Zucker has greatly enhanced the fan experience at the West
Coast’s Premier Sports and Entertainment Venue. She unveiled a rebranding strategy to bring more of the Southern California culture into the motorsports facility with a new logo and advertising
campaign; the use of Gameday Management Group to oversee the traffic and parking management on the NASCAR weekends; and doubled the size of the Speedway’s midway adding shade, grass and
water features as well as an outdoor restaurant called Apex by Wolfgang Puck, an entertainment stage and the naming of the area as the Opportunity, California FanZone by the County of San Bernardino. Zucker also has overseen the relocation of the quarter-mile dragstrip to the north side of the facility and was instrumental in a five-year entitlement of the strip as the Auto Club Dragway at California Speedway.
Prior to her appointment at California Speedway, Zucker served as Daytona International
Speedway's vice president of business operations and development. In this role, Zucker directed
DAYTONA USA operations as well as interacted with sanctioning bodies, broadcast partners,
sponsors and vendors and coordinated the track budget. Her responsibilities further included event
operations such as traffic, parking and guest amenities. In this role, she additionally assumed
corporate responsibilities with Daytona’s parent company International Speedway Corporation in new business development across all twelve ISC facilities, specifically applying her operations background to explore strategic opportunities with the music, action sports, travel and entertainment industries. During her tenure at Daytona International Speedway, she managed most aspects of business operations including ticketing, gate operations, sponsorship sales and services as well as corporate hospitality.
Zucker joined International Speedway Corporation in 1998 as director of business
development for the new Kansas Speedway. She was promoted to vice president of operational
development soon after. Among her duties at the track, Zucker wrote and executed the business plan that launched Kansas Speedway. She established the track’s ticket sales and pricing, marketing and public relations efforts and hired and trained the track’s directors. Later, her responsibilities expanded to include work at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., in an advisory position, while also launching that track’s start-up efforts.
An active community leader, Zucker served on the Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of
Commerce board of directors, the Boys and Girls Club of Wyandotte County Advisory Board and was
active in fundraising for the Kansas City Zoo. In Daytona Beach, she served on the City of Daytona
Beach’s Economic Development Advisory Board, as a trustee of the Museum of Arts and Sciences
and as a member of Rotary. Since taking the helm of the Southern California motorsports facility,
Zucker has become an active board member of the Los Angeles Sports Council, a member of the
advisory board for the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission, appointed by the Governor as
commissioner of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, was named Woman of the Year for
the State of California 63rd District and was recognized by the National Association of Women
Business Owners (Inland Empire chapter) with the Pioneer Award.
Prior to her work at Kansas and Chicagoland Speedways, Zucker worked for the Durham Bulls
Baseball Club in Durham, N.C., as assistant general manager. With the club, she oversaw public and
media relations, stadium operations and administration, ticket sales and promotions. Prior to working with the Bulls, Zucker served as general manager for the Sultans of Springfield Baseball Club in Springfield, Ill., and the Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Club of Lansing, Mich. She has also served as
assistant general manager for the High Desert Mavericks Baseball Club in Adelanto, Calif., and as an
advertising sales assistant at Sports Illustrated magazine.
Join Gillan Sunday, September 02, 2007 for the Nextel Sharp Aquos 500 ! The race to the Chase heats up in sunny California at California Speedway. Kasey Kahne took the checkers at last year's new Labor Day tradition. Secure your tickets early for the best parking, and arrive early to enjoy the new Opportunity, California FanZone including Apex by Wolfgang Puck.