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Bruce Knox

Hotel Initiative Raises over $50,000 for Central Texas Youth

Mark Kiester (Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area), Neil Goldman (Hotels for Hope), Bruce Knox (Circuit of The Americas) and Cathy Jones (Austin Partners in Education)This week, Circuit of The Americas and Hotel for Hope, an Austin, Texas-based social enterprise that "turns room nights into social change," announced that their partnership from the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix raised a total of $50,800. Through the Hotels for Hope program, participating hotels agree to donate $1 per booked room night and Hotels for Hope matches the donation. The Hotels for Hope program facilitates an opportunity for large events and their participating hotels to give back to the Central Texas community by raising funds and awareness for nonprofit organization that positively impact the lives of children

The two non-profits for the inaugural race year were Austin Partners in Education and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area. The funds were split evenly so that each organization received $25,400. This is the largest amount Hotels for Hope has raised to date. Some of the organization's other charity partners have included Special Olympics of Texas, Livestrong, A Glimmer of Hope and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Cathy Jones, Executive Director of Austin Partners in Education, said this generous donation will allow the organization to continue their programs that focus on reading, math and college readiness programs that raise student academic performance. In the last year, more than 2,300 students in 17 schools received a minimum of 45 minutes per week of academic and personal support in elementary and middle school reading and math from more than 1,000 dedicated APIE volunteers. Another 250 high school seniors received individualized tutoring and test preparation support to ensure they graduate from high school college-ready. This donation will also make it possible for APIE to expand their reach in the future.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area's CEO, Mark Keister, was excited to recognize Circuit of The Americas as an active community partner. With the funds from this initiative, the Boys & Girls Club has been able to start an after-school program in the Del Valle school district, the area where Circuit of The Americas is located. Boys & Girls Clubs in the Austin area serve 12,000 kids per year and 1,700 per day throughout their 17 clubs in the most economically distressed area of Austin. Through the programs, kids are exposed to life-enhancing programs that enrich them both academically and socially. Club members have better school attendance, make better grades, graduate at a higher rate and are more likely to attend college in comparison to their peers.

COTA Executive Vice President Bruce Knox shared his sentiments:

Giving back to children and young adults in the Central Texas community is very important to the entire team at Circuit of The Americas. We extend our sincere thanks to our hotel partners that participated in this program, which generated business for them and charitable donations for two very worthy causes. Hundreds of thousands of guests, including motorsports enthusiasts from around the world, visited Central Texas for the Formula 1 event. This collaborative effort with Hotels for Hope allowed us to capitalize on the tremendous boost to regional tourism that the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX brings to our area by also creating a way for hotels to support local nonprofits.  It’s a winning combination.

Hotels for Hope founder and owner Neil Goldman added:

Hotels for Hope is proud of what was accomplished with Circuit of The Americas to provide this important community service in conjunction with the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. Since its inception, Hotels for Hope has already made a significant contribution to our partner beneficiaries, all of which make a direct impact on the lives of children.

This partnership will continue throughout the year and designated nonprofit recipients for the 2013 motorsport season will be announced in the coming weeks.

Hotel Bookings will Help Austin Youth

Today Circuit of The Americas announced their partnership with Austin-based Hotels for Hope, the social enterprise that raises funds and awareness for nonprofit organizations that positively impact the lives of children. COTA and H4H are teaming up to raise money for Central Texas youth-focused nonprofits through hotel rooms booked for our November F1 race.

// How It Works

Participating hotels will make a $1 donation per actualized room night, with Hotels for Hope matching that donation. That means $2 for every hotel room night booked through Hotels for Hope in relation to the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ will go to the Hotels for Hope Fund, which will then distribute those monies to Austin Partners in Education and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area. Monies donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area will be dedicated to the Boys & Girls Club program now being developed in the Del Valle Independent School District.

Neil Goldman, Hotels for Hope founder and owner, added:

Hotels for Hope is excited to work with Circuit of The Americas to provide this important community service in conjunction with the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™, an international sports and entertainment event. Since its inception just two years ago, Hotels for Hope has already made a significant contribution to our partner beneficiaries, all of which make a direct impact on the lives of children. We look forward to helping guests plan for their trip to Central Texas while raising funds and awareness for two very special organizations that help local kids lead healthier, happier and more fulfilled lives.

COTA Executive Vice President Bruce Knox is also excited about the partnerhsip:

Giving back to the Central Texas community that supports us—and making special provisions for children and young adults—is very important to Circuit of The America’s owners and employees. Tens of thousands of guests, including motorsports enthusiasts from around the world, will be visiting Central Texas as part of the return of Formula 1 racing to the United States. This collaborative effort with Hotels for Hope allows us to capitalize on the tremendous boost to regional tourism that the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ will bring to our area by also creating a way for visitors to support local nonprofits that make a real difference in the lives of young people.

// When and Where Can I Book?

We have been informed that hotel bookings in Austin will be available around the same time that general admission tickets will go on sale, which is "early summer," or in mid-June. Guests booking hotel rooms for the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ can make their reservations through the Circuit of The Americas website, which will interface with the Hotels for Hope online reservations tool. Travelers securing accommodations through this process automatically generate a donation and no further action is required on the traveler's part.

We at The Austin Grand Prix are personally excited for our friends at Hotels for Hope and have seen the positive impacts that they have on the Austin community. We started offering hotel bookings through their system last summer and look forward to continuing to support such a worthwhile cause. We will continue to update you with further information as it becomes available.

Exclusive: LBJ Future Forum with Bruce Knox of Circuit of The Americas

Bruce Knox, EVP of COTA, speaking at LBJ Future ForumWe continue to highlight the brain trusts here in Austin because Austin continues to top the "Best Of" lists across the board.

Last month, we had the fortunate opportunity to hear Bruce Knox speak at the University of Texas at Austin ("UT") LBJ Future Forum. Bruce is the Executive Vice President of Circuit of The Americas.

As a bit of a history lesson, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States of America who was from Texas (and an alma matter of my own Southwest Texas State University), always had strong ties to our state and his legacy lives on through the LBJ Future Forum at UT. The forum provides educational and cultural information through various speakers and events spanning a broad range of topics.

LBJ's artistic and intimate presidential library resides at UT and he and his graceful First Lady, "Lady Bird," continue to leave their mark through their respective legacies. Heck; some of Austin's top outdoor draws - Lady Bird Lake (aka Town Lake) and The Wildflower Center were established in honor of Lady Bird's legacy.

Austin Skyline by Lou Neff Point Okay, right. Back to the presi at hand. If you've never had a chance to hear the Circuit of The Americas overview, then this is a great opportunity to do so. The slides hit all the statistics and we can personally attest that Bruce Knox is a real F1 fan that "gets it." Enjoy.

Formula 1: The Basics and Beyond from LBJ Future Forum on Vimeo.

 Here are some pictures from the event and LBJ's Presidential Library, which is open to the public.

F1US Names President And Expands Upon Leadership Team

We just received this press release from F1US:

Sexton Named President of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix (TM) and Center
Owners Tap Experience of Former Churchill Downs Executive



AUSTIN, Texas - February 21, 2011 - Steve Sexton, former President and CEO of Churchill Downs Entertainment and former President of Churchill Downs, has joined the Formula 1 United States management team as President. Sexton's appointment strengthens an executive team engaged in creating the country's finest international motorsports and entertainment center.

"Steve brings more than 25 years of major sports and entertainment management experience to our project. He understands our aspirations as an owners group and we have every confidence he will be a tremendous asset to our operation going forward," said Tavo Hellmund, founding partner and Chairman of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix(TM).

Sexton assumed the role of President of Churchill Downs Entertainment in 2009 after serving as President of Churchill Downs racetrack. He was appointed Executive Vice President of Racing Operations for Churchill Downs Inc. in 2002 and delivered six consecutive years of growth for the venue, posting the second, third and fourth highest attendance records for the Kentucky Derby. Sexton is also a veteran of planning and construction of large-scale facilities. In 2004-2005, he led the team that completed a $121 million Churchill Downs grandstand construction, establishing 80 luxury suites and seven exclusive hospitality areas. In addition, he was a key member of the team that constructed and operated Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, located in Grand Prairie, Texas, a $96 million project that opened in 1997.

"Bruce Knox provides strong leadership for the Formula 1 United States project and will continue in his executive role. Steve Sexton complements the team and will build upon their success," stated Red McCombs, founding partner of the Formula 1 United States project. "He is the right man for the job."

"We are creating a world-class business and entertainment destination," said Bobby Epstein, a founding partner in the Formula 1 project. "Steve's experience in managing premier events like the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup positions us to deliver an experience that will become known around the world. I know all of us are excited to be working with him on this monumental project."

This is Sexton's fifth time leading a major sports entertainment destination. Along with his time at Churchill Downs, he served as President of Arlington Park where he led the first of two Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship events for the publicly-traded Churchill Downs, Incorporated. Prior positions include Vice President and General Manager at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas; General Manager of Thistledown in Cleveland; and Assistant General Manager at Ladbroke's Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco.

"This project represents a unique opportunity for the City of Austin and the State of Texas to be the focal point for a world-wide audience," stated Sexton. "I am very pleased to join the talented team the owners have assembled and am excited to be a part of building a showcase that attracts diverse visitors from around the world and opens new education, innovation and research opportunities to benefit the global community."

Sexton began work with the Formula 1 United States team on Friday, February 18, 2011.