Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito Board Member Since 1983
President & CEO
Since assuming management of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in 1978, Joe Harper has guided the historic, 72-year-old track through a period of growth and success unparalleled in America. During this period, Mr. Harper has overseen Del Mar’s emergence as one of the nation’s top racetracks for daily average handle and attendance while preserving its elegant, yet casual, ambiance, which makes it unique. He was also instrumental in overseeing its $9-million Polytrack installation in 2007 and $80-million grandstand reconstruction project completed in 1993.
Mr. Harper came to Del Mar from Santa Anita where he served as Executive Vice President for the Oak Tree Racing Association.
Mr. Harper remains involved in a wide range of interests. He is a member of The Jockey Club, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and a member of the Advisory Board for the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program. He is a past President of the Thoroughbred Racing Association (TRA) and a former president, and still a board member, of the Federation of California Racing Associations. He also serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the California Center for Equine Health and Performance at U.C. Davis and as the chairman of the Winners Foundation. Mr. Harper is active in the community, serving on the board of San Dieguito Boys and Girls Club for many years.
Mr. Harper is also President and Trustee of the Cecil B. deMille Foundation. A native Californian, he is the grandson of deMille, the famed producer, and is the father of four daughters and “grandpa” to nine grandchildren.