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Outstanding Business Leader Award - 2009

Outstanding Business Leader Award | 2009

Ralph Rubio is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Rubio's Restaurants, Inc., operators of Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants. Founded in January 1983 by Ralph and his father Rafael "Ray" Rubio, Rubio's has grown under Ralph's leadership from a single location on San Diego's East Mission Bay Drive to a publicly traded company with 140 locations in six states. Additionally, Rubio's has non-traditional locations including San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Airport and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

A graduate of Carson High School in the Los Angles area, Ralph earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University in 1978. It was while a student at San Diego State that Ralph encountered the fish taco on a “Spring Break” excursion to San Felipe, a fishing village on the Sea of Cortez in Baja, Mexico. Ralph marveled at the fish taco's popularity among other college students and decided to introduce this new culinary treat north of the border.

In partnership with his Father, Ray, and work support of the entire family, Ralph took over a failing hamburger stand and transformed it into what is widely considered San Diego's most popular Fresh Mexican Grill restaurant chain.

Ralph serves on the Campanile Board of Directors at San Diego State University and is a board member of the Catholic Archdiocese Finance Council of San Diego.