PDJF Appoints Joe Clabes as Executive Director

April 8, 2024

Joe Clabes photo by Gwen Davis/Davis Innovation

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PDJF Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) is pleased to announce the expansion of its staff and the appointment of Joe Clabes as its new Executive Director, joining existing President Nancy LaSala. The appointment comes as the PDJF continues to grow its impact and support for permanently disabled jockeys.

Joe Clabes brings a wealth of experience and passion to the role of Executive Director. With a strong background in non-profit management and a deep understanding of the horse racing industry, Clabes will oversee finance, technology, internal operations and controls and disbursement of benefits to disabled jockeys. He will work closely with LaSala and the Board to implement strategic initiatives, support fundraising efforts and enhance the organization’s outreach and support programs.

“We are thrilled to welcome Joe as the new Executive Director of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund,” said William J. Punk, Jr, Chairperson of the PDJF Board of Directors. “Joe has strong leadership and management skills and is dedicated to supporting the needs of disabled jockeys.”

Nancy LaSala has served as President since the PDJF inception in 2006, and Executive Director since 2009. As President and primary spokesperson for the organization, she will continue to work with our industry partners, donors, our professional jockeys from the past and present and our recipients to build on and expand fundraising opportunities and initiatives.

“In 2006 the PDJF was conceived on a basic premise, by several individuals representing horse racing leadership, that the well-being of permanently disabled jockeys be a priority in our sport, which the PDJF board is committed to. I look forward to working with Joe, as he shares this ideal, and we have important initiatives to tackle that will allow us to enhance our program to serve our recipients,” said Nancy LaSala.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund as Executive Director and assist the organization in taking the next steps in its evolution,” said Joe Clabes. “I look forward to working closely with Nancy, the PDJF team, our partners, and the broader horse racing community to continue the important work of providing assistance and support to our permanently disabled jockeys.”

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