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Stella F. Thayer

Stella F. Thayer (born December 27, 1940 in Tampa, Florida) is president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Thayer, president of Tampa Bay Downs, succeeded John T. von Stade, becoming the museum's ninth president in 2005. She had been a museum trustee since 1994, previously serving as an executive vice-president before being elected president.

The daughter of Chester Howell Ferguson, for whom the University of South Florida’s College of Business Administration building is named, Thayer has been active in thoroughbred racing and has been in ownership with her brother, Howell Ferguson, of Tampa Bay Downs since 1986. She previously served as president of the Thoroughbred Racing Association for a two-year term, beginning in 1999.

Thayer graduated in 1962 from Hollins College in Virginia and earned her law degree in 1965 at Columbia University. A member of the Florida, New Jersey and New York bars, she is an attorney and shareholder in the Tampa-based law firm of Macfarlane, Ferguson and McMullen where she is engaged in the practice of Estate Planning, Probate and Corporate Law. Before it was acquired by British Aerospace, Thayer was the chairman of the board and a director of Reflectone, a manufacturer of full flight simulators.

Among her many civic and governmental activities in Tampa, Thayer is a member of the board of trustees of the Tampa General Hospital Foundation, and a member of the board of trustees of the University of South Florida Foundation. She is the former chairman of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, the governing board of Tampa International Airport and is the former chairman of the Hillsborough County Hospital Authority.

She resides in Thonotosassa, Florida with her husband, Bronson. They have one daughter, Susannah.

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