NEW YORK – Prominent Greek-American George Venizelos, 54, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) New York Division, the largest of the Bureau’s 56 field offices, is resigning his post after more than 27 successful years in law enforcement and has been appointed Vice President of Security of the New York Racing Association (NYRA).
Venizelos oversaw all FBI operations and personnel within the five boroughs of New York City and eight counties in New York State, as well as those assigned to La Guardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Venizelos, a graduate of Fordham University, will begin at NYRA on January 26.
He will be responsible for commanding, directing, and coordinating NYRA’s uniformed and investigative security force in all activities related to the protection, conservation, and security of company assets, employees, guests, and others. He will oversee cybercrime prevention as well as security planning, coordination, and execution for special events like the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s “Triple Crown” series.
Venizelos told TNH that “it was one of the toughest decisions of my life [to leave the FBI] but it was a decision based on an opportunity, and for my family.” He also said “I would like to thank the men and women of the Bureau for the opportunity to serve this great nation. This has been an incredible journey, and I am deeply grateful for their collaboration, support, and friendship. Together we made a difference,” said Venizelos. “As I look forward to launching this new and exciting chapter in my professional career, I would like to thank Chris Kay and the New York Racing Association for the opportunity to serve the greatest thoroughbred racing fans in the world.”
Christopher Kay, Chief Executive Officer and President stated that “the addition of George Venizelos further reflects the New York Racing Association’s continued success in attracting the finest talent to our management team. George is deeply respected within the highest, most influential levels of the law enforcement community, and his knowledge, experience and leadership skills are exceptional. I am pleased and proud to welcome George to the New York Racing Association, and look forward to his service in the years to come.”
Venizelos’ father immigrated to the U.S. in the 1940’s from Kalamata, Greece. His mother was born in Lowell, MA; her parents had immigrated from Messenia. George was born in Edgewater, NJ. He has visited Greece many times, if fluent in Greek, and very proud of his Hellenic-American heritage. Last year he was Grand Marshal in New York’s Greek Independence Parade.