CHP Board Names Ellis Executive Director
M. Nixon “Nick” Ellis has been named the executive director of the Carolina Horse Park.
The board of the directors of the park selected Ellis to succeed Jane Murray, the CHP executive director since September 2008, who announced her retirement from the Carolina Horse Park in February. Originally agreeing to take the position for one year, Murray steps down after three years during which substantial improvements and upgrades took place at the park, according to a news release.
Ellis, the current chairman of the CHP Foundation Board and chair of the Stoneybrook Racing Committee, will take on his new role effective mid-April.
“For the last three years, under Jane’s outstanding leadership, the organization has made significant progress in achieving our goals — most recently, the very successful debt reduction program which she initiated and managed,” said Ellis. “Jane has set the bar high and I am excited to be taking the baton from her. We have a great facility and a unique opportunity to develop it in a manner which benefits our community and region.
“On behalf of the CHP board, I want to thank Jane for her dedication to the park.”
Ellis holds a master’s degree in business adminstration from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC and a master’s and doctorate in medical microbiology from the University of Georgia. With nearly 30 years in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries, Ellis has been the CEO of several cutting-edge companies and has also been a member of their boards, according to the release.
In addition to his business experience, Ellis has a passionate interest in equestrian sports with significant involvement in the worlds of steeplechase racing, foxhunting, show hunters and show jumping. He is on the boards of the National Steeplechase Association and The Carolina Cup Racing Association. He has been the Carolina Horse Park chairman since 2008.
Ellis lives in Southern Pines with his wife, Effie, where they continue to ride, foxhunt and show.
Larry Smith, prior chairman and current CHP board member, will succeed Ellis as chairman of the Carolina Horse Park Foundation.
More like this story