Gainesville Associates, LLC, Managing Partner
Joe De Francis is currently the Managing Partner of Gainesville Associates, LLC, a family company that he owns together with his sister, Karin. Through Gainesville, De Francis manages and oversees major De Francis Family investments.
Before that, from September 1989 until November 2002, De Francis was the Chief Executive Officer and controlling shareholder of the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), the corporate parent entity of Pimlico Race Course (home of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of thoroughbred racing’s famed Triple Crown) and Laurel Park. In November 2002, De Francis sold a controlling interest in the MJC to Magna Entertainment Corporation (MEC), a publicly-traded company headquartered in Aurora, Canada (a suburb of Toronto), and retained a minority interest in the MJC. He continued as the CEO of the MJC.
In February 2006, De Francis assumed greater responsibilities at the MEC corporate level when he was appointed both as a Director and an Executive Vice-President of MEC. As a member of MEC’s Executive Management Committee, De Francis was primarily responsible for all technology and content distribution matters, both nationally and internationally, which included the management and oversight of: (a) XpressBet, MEC’s account wagering company; (b) HRTV, MEC’s horse racing television channel; (c) MagnaBet and RaceOnTV, MEC’s European counterparts to XpressBet and HRTV; (d) TrackNet, MEC’s joint venture with Churchill Downs, Inc. to distribute globally horse racing content; and (e) Amtote, MEC’s wager processing company.
In September 2007 MEC acquired De Francis’ remaining interest in the MJC, and in February 2008 De Francis resigned from the Board of Directors of MEC to pursue his interest in Gainesville. De Francis maintains active involvement with the thoroughbred horseracing industry by serving as one of the nine Directors of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
De Francis graduated from UCLA School of Law with a J.D. Degree (1982), UCLA Graduate School of Management with an M.B.A. degree in Business Economics (1982), and Stanford University with an A. B. degree in Political Science (1977). Following graduation from UCLA, De Francis practiced law with the international firm of Latham and Watkins, first in their Los Angeles office and later in their Washington, D.C. office, where he specialized in antitrust, including litigation as well as mergers and acquisitions work.
De Francis has served on the boards of directors of numerous industry, civic and charitable organizations, including the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Board of Trustees of Loyola College, the Baltimore Symphony, the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute Board of Governors and the Board of Directors of the Signal 13 Foundation for the Baltimore City Police Department. He presently serves as Chairman of the National Horse Racing Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States.