John Alkire to Chair Racing Fair Board

Head of Big Fresno Fair replaces Joe Barkett with California racing authority group.

(from California Authority of Racing Fairs)

John C. Alkire has been elected chairman of the board of directors for the California Authority of Racing Fairs. 

Alkire, C.E.O. of the Big Fresno Fair with 25 years in the industry, will succeed outgoing chairman Joe Barkett, who had previously presided as C.E.O. of the Solano County Fair in Vallejo. Alkire immediately assumes the post.

CARF was created in 1985 for the purpose of conducting horse racing and satellite wagering at California Fairs. CARF will be instrumental in executing the future expansion of fair racing in Northern California brought about by the closure of Bay Meadows Race Course this year.

“John is an excellent choice to carry out our strategy and lead fairs in reaching a new level in racing,” said Christopher Korby, CARF's executive director. “He is well-respected across the industry and has the depth of experience and vision to help the organization unite racing in Northern California.”

Prior to working at The Big Fresno Fair, Alkire worked at the California Mid-State Fair. His journey to The Big Fresno Fair began as a child growing up in a “fair family” in his native Bakersfield. His father served as a fair CEO and consultant for more than 22 years. 

“Racing is the true backbone of the fair industry, “ Alkire said. “In my new role, I will look to collaborate with all those involved to continue to improve the racing product for California racing and expose a new generation of individuals to this prestigious sport.”