Hilzinger hoping to make an impact as GBOTA chief executive

Allan Hilzinger news
Allan Hilzinger (top centre) is the new CEO of the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association in New South Wales.

There are plenty of excited participants at the recent announcement of the newest Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) Chief Executive Officer, Allan Hilzinger. Perhaps best known for the social videos he records of himself and his family while watching his greyhounds compete, Hilzinger brings an abundance of enthusiasm and business skills to a crucial role in the success and continuation of greyhound racing in New South Wales.

The GBOTA was established in 1939 and is a not-for-profit, membership based association that oversees the operations of; , , , Maitland, , , Bathurst and tracks. Upon the resignation of outgoing CEO Stephen Noyce, Hilzinger unintentionally came across his successor's job advertisement and saw an amazing opportunity to divulge deeper into the sport he's so passionate about.

“I was sitting in the grandstand at Wentworth Park on Golden Easter Egg night, my family and I were down in Sydney and we decided to go to the final, as my wife and two daughters enjoy the greyhounds as well,” he said.

“I don't know why, but I randomly clicked on the Wentworth Park website and I saw the story on Steve resigning and I saw below that there was an ad for the CEO position.

“Over the past few years, I've never seen myself returning to an employee-type role, but I'm so passionate about the greyhound industry and I have so much vision for it.

“Every year I write about my goals and vision for the year and one of my goals was to have a positive impact on the greyhound industry.

“Upon speaking to some people associated with the recruitment and their visions, particularly around Wentworth Park and metro racing, it sprung to me that here's an opportunity really to jump in and lead this association into a new chapter.

“For me, financially, that wasn't a decision-maker for me when applying for this role. It wasn't about the salary or anything like that, but the impact I could have on greyhound racing.”

Hilzinger has a wealth of business knowledge in running his own successful consultancy firm, where his predominant focus was analysing a variety of organisations current operations and seeking out ways to improve their existing processes and communication channels.

In the initial stages of his appointment, Hilzinger’s focus will be to assess the current situation, including the communication aspect with regards to members and transparency.

“The more transparent you can be, the more you can communicate, educate and the more support you have, more people come on board and enjoy having a good time,” he said.

With racing operations at Wentworth Park due to cease in 2027, one agenda item high on Hilzinger’s list is the future relocation of metropolitan racing in New South Wales.

“The lease is not renewed at Wentworth Park and is not renewed beyond 2027 and high on my agenda is to work with Greyhound Racing New South Wales, GWIC and the State Government and other stakeholders to look at what we can do,” he said.

“My vision is to not just have a venue for metro racing, but to have a world-best complex for greyhound racing, including commercialisation and bringing in new sponsors.

“The more commercialisation we have in the industry, the more we can give back to the members and the more races we can put greater prize money on.”

On a personal level, Hillzinger will be cheering louder than ever at tomorrow night when his charge steps from box one in the inaugural running of The Thunderbolt final, worth $75,000 to the winner.

Having saluted in his past five straight outings, the son of and Let’s Win Meisha is gaining quite a cult following and along with trainer Robert Andrews, Hilzinger is thoroughly enjoying riding the wave of success.

“He’s going great, he’s been with us from the start, Robert Andrews reared him and he’s been with us the whole way through to where he is,” he said.

“He’s matured so well, despite being just over two years old.

“I premeditated in my head last week what box I wanted and at the last second I changed which one I wanted to pick and got the one, which I’m normally not like.

“I was kind of in shock that I got box one, but very happy.

“Win, lose or draw on Sunday night is just brilliant to see for the Northern Rivers, especially having six of the finalists and he’s got his box and we’re just really excited.”

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