JEFFERSON CITY — A former captain of the Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over as the new director of the Missouri Lottery on Nov. 7.
Lester Elder, a Jefferson City resident, was hired by the lottery commission after a search following the resignation of longtime director May Scheve Reardon in June.
“As gaming and retail environments are going through pretty dramatic changes, we look forward to Mr. Elder’s leadership in our mission to maximize profits for public education in Missouri,” said commission Chairman Lance Mayfield.
Elder spent three decades in the highway patrol, including as director of the agency’s gaming enforcement division from 2006-11. After leaving the department, he became chief administrator of the Missouri Department of Revenue’s Compliance and Investigation Bureau, overseeing criminal and administrative investigations, as well as duties related to budget, legislation and policy development.
In addition, Elder will face the challenge of operating the lottery with little in the way of an advertising budget. Lawmakers this year reduced the agency’s advertising and promotions budget to $400,000, down from $1.5 million.
Commissioners earlier approved a proposed budget for the next fiscal year, asking for $7.6 million for the advertising budget.
Elder graduated from Macon R-1 High School and earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville. He also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
Elder will be the lottery’s sixth executive director since ticket sales began in January 1986.