*Click each name below to read more.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Elliott Walden
Vice-President: Rich Gimmel
Treasurer: Chaplain Darrell Winter
Secretary: Chaplain Humberto Chavez
Representative for Women’s Ministry: Karen Chavez
Chaplain’s Representative: Chaplain Dwight Brown
Representative for Regional Directors: Arnie Frazee
Representative for Council Presidents: Jody Parmenter
Elliott Walden has been involved with RTCA for several years, including working closely with both the KY and NY Chaplaincies. Elliott uses his platform as a well-respected figure in the Thoroughbred racing industry to expand awareness and promote the ministry of RTCA and our respective Chaplains.
Elliott is a third generation horseman from a noted Kentucky family entrenched in thoroughbred breeding and racing. He is the son of the late Ben Walden, Sr. formerly of Dearborn Farm. His brother Ben Walden, Jr is also a noted horseman in Kentucky who has established several successful breeding operations most notably Vinery.
Before taking out his first training license in 1985, Elliott worked under trainers such as Leroy Jolley, Dennis Ebert, John Gosden. In 1995, he had his first Grade 1 Winner with Hawk Attack winning the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington. Walden rose to the pinnacle of the sport in 1998 when he trained Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Victory Gallop who returned at 4 to win both the Whitney Handicap (G1) and the Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) and was named Eclipse Champion Older Horse in 1999. Elliott finished 1999 ranked #3 in the nation with his career-best season earnings of $7.2 million.
Elliott was a three-time leading trainer at Churchill Downs during the prestigious spring
meet, as well as two-time leading trainer at Keeneland. In July 2005, Elliott changed roles within the organization, going from private trainer to Racing Manager. In December of 2005, Walden was elevated to the role of Vice President of WinStar Farm where he is responsible for management oversight, both on and off the farm. Notwithstanding his expanded role at the farm, he remains deeply involved in the management of WinStar’s racing operations.
Rich Gimmel is the owner and chairman of Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc., a fourth-generation family industrial machinery manufacturer which he co-founded in 1998. Rich has an extensive career in news editing and broadcasting throughout Kentucky.
Along with his wife Angie, Rich currently lives and serves in Louisville, KY. Rich has a heart for service, which is evidenced by his heavy involvement in organizations with missions bent toward helping the citizens of Jefferson County and Central Kentucky.
Current Service Activities
Executive Director, Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy. The organization provides pastoral care at four race tracks in Kentucky, one in Ohio, and three thoroughbred training centers.
Board Member, Kentucky Board of Education. Appointed by Governor Matt Bevin to the board that establishes policy and accountability for Kentucky’s 170+ local public school districts.
Board Member, National Association of Manufacturers. NAM is the primary trade and advocacy group for America’s manufacturers.
Leadership Team, Global Church Missions, Southeast Christian Church. The Global Church Missions team partners with small local churches to increase their effectiveness in reaching out to their communities in accordance with the Great Commission.
Board Member, Lifehouse Louisville. Lifehouse is the only maternity home in Louisville, providing pregnant women with an alternative to abortion in a Christ-centered environment, and assistance in development of life skills.
Prayer Ministry volunteer, Southeast Christian Church. Prayer ministry volunteers pair up with church attendees after each service to pray with them about any areas of concern in their lives.
Chairman, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and member, Public Policy Committee, Greater Louisville, Inc. Both committees seek to promote public policies that enhance Louisville’s economic competitiveness for business attraction and job creation.
Chaplain Darrell Winter received the Lord at the age of thirteen at a summer camp in St. Paul Minnesota. He remained as part of the ministry as a “staff kid” choosing to live with his uncle who headed up a ministry in Minnesota. After high school he attended Bethany College in Minneapolis into his senior year before venturing off into business.
Over the next twenty years he owned two businesses and worked for a Fortune 500 company, retiring to Ruidoso, New Mexico in 1992.
His studies at Bethany and his teenage years being involved in ministry prepared him for the opportunities the Lord has in store. He began volunteering at a local church camp and youth ministries through his church. He became a resort missionary through the North American Mission Board and headed up outdoor ministries in and around Ruidoso. His business background prepared him in a unique way to find and manage the funding to grow these ministries. These outreaches brought him together with people in the community involved in horse racing.
For the last 16 years Darrell has been the Chaplain at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico. The Lord has grown the ministry in size and influence. He believes he had prepared him all along to have the skills to be used by Him in this wonderful ministry.
Chaplain Humberto Chavez was born in Mexico City and later came to New York, where he lives with his wife of 16 years, Karen. They have been blessed with three sons: David, Jonathan, and Lukas. Together, they have a passion for empowering others to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that will eventually help them to become better workers, spouses, and parents.
Since being called to full time ministry in 2003, Humberto has served as the official Chaplain for the New York Racing Association (NYRA). As the track chaplain he provides ministry and programming for the workers at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga race tracks. Chaplain Humberto ministers and advocates on behalf of the stable workers, horse racing staff, jockeys, trainers and local communities.
Representative for Women’s Ministry
Chaplain Dwight Brown
My name is Dwight Brown. My beautiful wife, Angelic, and I have three children Dentzel, Delynsha and Destini Brown.
I am currently the chaplain at Evangeline Downs Race Track and the surrounding training centers, a position that I’ve held for the last five years.
I am presented with a very unique opportunity of being a spiritual leader on the race track where I grew up. One thing that gives me insight is that I grew up a “backside brat” and have trained horses at Evangeline Downs for the last twenty years. Spending the last 12 years as a licensed and ordained minister has been an asset on and off of the track, because I believe in being led by the Holy Spirit. My career as a police officer gives me access to all that the Opelousas Police Department has to offer along with a whole range of skills and experiences to draw upon while serving at the track. I live by the motto that “in the event that I don’t succeed it won’t be from the lack of effort.”
Representative for Regional Directors
This ministry of Racetrack Chaplaincy of America is near and dear to my heart. When I think of the time Larry and I have lived in Guthrie, Oklahoma, it almost seems impossible. I don’t know where the past 21 years have flown. What I do know is that God placed us here for a very specific purpose because never in a million years did I ever believe that we would have moved from a place where we had raised our family spanning 30 years and leaving behind lots of extended family and lifetime friends. Whenever God places you in a new place He always brings new things; hence, our extended family and friends here in Oklahoma and at the most loving, on fire ministry called Racetrack Chaplaincy at Remington Park!!
Larry and I will soon be married 50 years, have three grown sons, Todd, Terrill, and Tyler. They are married to the best daughters-in-law ever, Stephanie, Jordan, and Cheryl, respectively. We have 5 marvelous and talented grandsons, and two beautiful precious granddaughters. God has indeed blessed Larry and I with a wonderful family.
Representative for Council Presidents
I was born at Ford Ord California while my Dad was in the Army. My father being a jockey and my grandfather a trainer, I grew up on the race tracks in the Pacific Northwest. I am very blessed to have a large race track family, some I have known all my life and others that I have just met. My husband Keith and I have been married for 25 years. We have been blessed with 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Our family also includes 2 retired thoroughbreds and 3 Quarter horses. I am proud to be a part of the RTCA and of this journey that I have taken for the past 2 years.
Dan Waits is a Central Kentucky native and calls Lexington home. Before taking on the role of Executive Director of RTCA, Dan served as the Executive Pastor at two Kentucky churches. He also has extensive business and planning experience, serving as an Executive Director in the Kentucky Governor’s Office for Local Development, and as a Program/Account Manager for two of the largest automotive manufacturers in the world–Asahi Glass Corporation and Johnson Controls. He is a graduate of Southwest Bible College & Seminary (M.A.) and Eastern Kentucky University (B.B.A.).
He has a wonderful wife (Gail), a son (Corey), and a dog named Boone. The family regularly attends Southland Christian Church in Lexington, and Dan attends an amazing men’s Bible study every Monday night. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, golf, fishing, and running an occasional 5K (for the t-shirt).
Born in The Dominican Republic, Jose Omar Aracena came to the United States in 1993 to continue his High School education in New York. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management from The King’s College and just acquired his Private Pilot Certificate. Prior to moving to Kentucky Omar was an Assistant Pastor for the last 3 years in Long Island, NY.
He got involved with the Race Track Chaplaincy of America as a volunteer, then ESL teacher and recruiter; today he is the Director of Administration & Operation of the National Service Center in Lexington, Kentucky.
Here in Lexington he has had the opportunity to translate partial interviews (from Spanish to English) for the book “Canonero II The Rags to Riches Story of the Kentucky Derby’s Most Improbable Winner” by Award-winning author Milton C. Toby JD
Donna Horton was born in Lexington, KY and lived there until the age of 5, when she and her mother moved to Nicholasville. Donna grew up attending Russell Cave Baptist Church with her dad and step-mom, where she was involved in Children’s Choir and Clown and Puppet Ministry. Her love of working with children led Donna to teaching children’s and youth Sunday School classes.
Donna spent 15 years as an Administrative Assistant and sales manager for two major retail stores before the birth of her daughter in 2015. After prayerful searching, she was led to RTCA in September 2015. Together with her husband Travis and their daughter Kathryn Rose, Donna attends Russell Cave Baptist Church. She sings in the choir under the direction of her father, who is the Music Director, and Travis plays drums in the worship band. In her spare time, Donna loves to draw, paint, and play with her little girl.
Kim Donaldson has never ventured far from her birthplace of Georgetown, KY and currently lives in Lexington. Kim is a graduate of Georgetown College and Asbury University – Communications – major with a minor in English and Economics and licensure for Elementary Education.
When she isn’t in the RTCA office, she is teaching math and Bible at Veritas Christian Academy, running (well, more of a jog…), or singing with one of the musical groups at Tates Creek Christian Church.
Kim has two beautiful children, Miller, 20, a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Blair, 16, a sophomore at Henry Clay High School and the avid horseman of the family. Kim also claims her four-legged babies – Mollie (shepherd mix), Rambo, and Jack (long-haired Chihuahuas). She is an active member of Tates Creek Christian Church and Bible Study Fellowship.