President and Chief Executive Officer
Shannon Bishop Arvin serves as Keeneland’s 8th President and CEO.
On July 2, 2020, Keeneland Trustees named Shannon Bishop Arvin – who as a partner with the Lexington firm Stoll Keenon Ogden has served as corporate counsel to Keeneland since 2008 and as secretary and advisory member of Keeneland’s Board of Directors since 2015 – to succeed Bill Thomason as Keeneland President and CEO. On Jan. 1, 2021, Arvin became Keeneland’s eighth President and the first woman to serve in the position.
“Through her legal career at SKO and her service on numerous industry boards and community organizations, Shannon has earned international respect for her wise counsel and love of the Thoroughbred industry,” Trustee Everett Dobson said. “Her deep roots with Keeneland and appreciation for its mission will allow her to lead with the same integrity and enthusiasm she has brought to every organization she has served.”
The appointment of Arvin was a unanimous decision by the Trustees. Their wide-ranging discussions with her had confirmed their initial judgment: Arvin’s leadership, professionalism, the respect she has earned within the horse industry, her intimate knowledge of Keeneland’s core businesses and her vision for Keeneland’s future made her the clear choice to become Keeneland’s next President.
Through her work with SKO’s Lexington office, where she has practiced since 2002, Arvin has represented Thoroughbred owners and prominent industry organizations in Kentucky and worldwide. She also serves on the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of The Jockey Club. She also has years of service for several Central Kentucky organizations.
Arvin also has a unique perspective of Keeneland’s rich history and what the iconic track means to horsemen, fans and Central Kentucky. Her grandfather W.T. “Bish” Bishop was the first General Manager of Keeneland when the track opened in 1936 until 1971. Her father, the late William T. “Buddy” Bishop III, grew up at Keeneland, living in an apartment next to the Clubhouse. Buddy Bishop’s lifelong service to Keeneland included positions as Director, Secretary, Trustee and Counsel. He was also a partner at SKO and worked with his daughter at the firm until his passing in 2008.
Arvin graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a B.A. in Political Science, International Studies, with High Honors. She graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2002.
She and her husband, Will, have two daughters, Bishop and McCutchen.
“I have a deep love and passion for Keeneland, and it is a tremendous honor to lead this organization and work alongside this amazing team,” Arvin said. “By building on the foundation laid by Bill Thomason and those who came before him, and with a continued focus on integrity, innovation and safety, we will further the mission of Keeneland and ensure the future of this sport.”