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Joan Waitt - Lifetime Member

Joan Waitt is many things – a mother, a philanthropist, and a businesswoman. Standing at just a hair over five feet tall, this petite powerhouse packs a serious punch.


Born and raised in rural lowa, Joan has strong Midwestern values, values she was determined to bring with her when she moved across the country—and even more importantly, to pass on to her children. She supports her children in their every endeavor, especially encouraging them to follow their own philanthropic passion projects.


When Joan and her family moved to La Jolla, California in 1998, she immediately founded a non-profit organization, and dove headfirst into the life and society of La Jolla, supporting a variety of causes, from youth in foster care to victims of domestic violence.  


There is a Joan Waitt that very few people know, save for the closest of family and friends. The woman who one day is sitting front-row at fashion week in Milan, and the next is climbing a reefed shipwreck in the Pacific Ocean and jumping from the bow to the crystal-clear waters below. The woman who raises over a million dollars for Promises2Kids in June, but hikes Antelope Canyon in the heart of Navajo Nation in January. Most people never get to know that side of her. The woman who bravely goes snowmobiling along the side of a mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to see a waterfall, or treks to the top of the thousand-year-old Ancient Maya Ruins of Cob, the tallest temple pyramid in the Yucatán Peninsula. 


Whatever side of Joan is out to play, and no matter what she is doing, one thing is for certain: she is going to give it everything she has. From building a business, to fundraising for charity, to going on adventures with her family, Joan puts her all into everything she does.


Currently residing on a bluff-top estate in La Jolla, Joan has created an incredible life as a businesswoman, philanthropist, and a powerhouse. But, if you asked her, she would tell you that first and foremost, she is a mother to four amazing children: Hailey, Emily, Max, and Sophia, who range in age from 26-33. Even when separated by geographical distance, she and her family are incredibly close, prioritizing weekend visits and family adventures across the globe.


As a philanthropist, Joan has supported a variety of causes, from youth in foster care, to victims of domestic violence, to under served communities. She has founded her own nonprofits, the Waitt Family Foundation and the Joan Waitt Family Fund, has sat on the board of multiple foundations, such as Voices 4 Children and Promises2Kids, and has raised millions of dollars for those in need.


A savvy businesswoman, she has an eye for real estate (previously being a realtor), and develops both single and multi-family homes, as well as a multitude of commercial projects. She recently acquired Cove Wellness, a local business and wellness spa that aims to restore both the body and spirit.


Whether she’s building a business, fundraising for charity, or going on adventures with her family, Joan Wait puts her all into everything she does.

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