Joseph Z. Duke III
Joseph Duke, president of Jacksonville-based Off Road Holdings, is an industrial designer and entrepreneur whose business life has involved various manufacturing activities as well as a partnership in an advertising agency. He is a third-generation Floridian and resides with his wife, Jennifer, in Ponte Vedra Beach and Hobe Sound, Florida, as well as Oldwick, New Jersey. Duke and his wife, who maintain a family farm in New Jersey as well as Florida timberland, have been deeply involved in environmental issues for many years. Duke served as a trustee at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for many years, which allowed him to pursue his fascination with ocean science and engineering. In 1990, he sponsored the Jason Project for Duval County Public Schools to get children interested in science. In 1997, he helped his friend, Dr. Robert Ballard found the Institute for Exploration. Through a family charitable foundation, The River Branch Foundation, Duke and his wife support various scientific and conservation non-profit organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Audubon of Florida (where his wife is a Florida board member), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. He retired as Chairman of the board of directors of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Foundation in Fort Pierce, Florida in 2016 and now serves as Director Emeritus. An avid outdoorsman, angler, and aviator, his spirit of adventure has taken him from deep-water archaeology in the Mediterranean to desert racing in Baja, California. He loves flying small aerobatic airplanes as well as his 1950s vintage Grumman seaplane. Duke is currently engaged in a long-term ecosystem restoration project of an 830-acre commercial pine plantation near Palatka, Florida, returning the property to its natural condition.