Van Wagner joined Oaklawn full-time in 2006 as Director of Information Technology after serving as Oaklawn’s technology consultant. Having been involved in every major technology purchase and project since 1998 he was the natural choice to take Oaklawn’s technology infrastructure to the next level when gambling was expanded.
While serving in the Marines, Van Wagner graduated from Louisiana Tech University. He began his career during the infancy of the Internet as a freelance consultant setting up Internet service providers and eventually founded one of his own in Hot Springs, AR. While remotely operating this business and a separate technology consulting business, Van Wagner took a detour to California to work on a large project during the dot com boom. Upon returning to Hot Springs, the Minnesota native took up permanent residence in Hot Springs and started a family. He and his wife Courtni have 3 girls, Katelin, Austyn and Helen.
Van Wagner is member of his Alma Mater’s Industrial Advisory Board and International Gaming Technologies (IGT) Customer Advisory Board in addition to participation in a number of local community groups and serving as Oaklawn’s education liaison. In this role, he has guided the establishment of a formalized internship program with local higher and secondary education institutions and done guest lectures and tours to raise awareness of Oaklawn’s numerous employment opportunities. In addition to local projects Van Wagner worked on Solar and Wind power projects for remote areas in Haiti both before and after the quake in January 2010.
Outside of technology Van Wagner is somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades, having restored and hot-rodded both foreign and domestic classic cars for over 20 years in addition to owning, operating, and repairing an antique farm tractor and an industrial backhoe. When taking a break from these other time consuming hobbies he has been adding onto and remodeling his homes for the last 15 years doing much of his own carpentry, plumbing, wiring and HVAC.