Governor Abbott Appoints Three to Texas Racing Commission

September 10, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Appointment

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Rebecca Contreras to the Texas Racing Commission for a term set to expire February 1, 2025. Additionally, the Governor reappointed Constance C. McNabb, D.V.M. and Arvel "A.J." Waight, Jr. to terms set to expire on February 1, 2027. The commission oversees pari-mutuel wagering on horse and greyhound racing.

Rebecca Contreras of Hutto is the majority owner, co-founder, and President & CEO of AvantGarde, LLC (AG), a minority- and woman-owned small business consulting firm with capabilities in human resources, strategy, organizational change, business processes, and information technology. She has previously worked in executive leadership roles within the Office of the Texas Governor, the White House, and the U.S. Department of Treasury, working to drive large-scale people and organizational change initiatives. She is a member of the National Academy of Public Administrators and the Women President’s Organization. She is a former presidential appointee on the National Women’s Business Council and the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and served on the Board of Governors of the American Bible Society. For the past ten years, she and her husband have run LaunchPad, an Austin-based non-profit they co-founded to equip and enrich the lives of disadvantaged youth and underserved families through targeted programs and services. Rebecca has earned many professional certificates, including from the Senior Executive Development Program hosted by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and from the Governor’s Executive Program hosted by The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Constance C. McNabb, D.V.M., BrigGen TX (Ret.) of Montgomery is retired after over 30 years of veterinary and 26 years of Military service, including 3 years as the chief veterinarian for the Texas Racing Commission. A Citizen/Airman, she had an Equine Performance practice and also served in various roles and senior positions with the United States Air Force, Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. She is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Lions Club International, and a Kappa Alpha Theta alumnae. Governor Abbott first appointed McNabb to the Texas Racing Commission in 2018. She earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University and completed the Governor’s Executive Development Program at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs. Additionally, she earned a Graduate Certificate from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University for nonprofit management. Her professional military education included Joint Forces Staff College, Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the Squadron Officer School.

Arvel "A.J." Waight, Jr. of Willow City is a rancher and former president and owner of a title company. He served in the Texas National Guard from 1966 to 1972, at which point he received an honorable discharge. He is actively involved in a number of civic organizations. Governor Abbott first appointed him to the Texas Racing Commission in 2019. Waight attended the University of North Texas and The University of Texas at Austin.