The Meruelo Group: A Snapshot

With roots dating to 1986, the Meruelo Group is a minority-owned and operated holding company with vested interests in Construction and Engineering and affiliated interests in Real Estate, Food Services and Private Equity.

Through our executive team and its broad base of experience in diverse industries, the Meruelo Group provides its family of companies with strategic vision and tools, setting them apart and beyond their industry peers.

Under the leadership of founder Alex Meruelo, quality, innovation and diversification have become our benchmarks. These core principles, instilled in the Meruelo Group family of companies, drive each aspect of our business from operations to management.

Mixing business acumen with entrepreneurial spirit, the Meruelo Group is a diversified industry leader steadfastly focused on delivering superior results to our family of companies and their customers.

    Managing at Higher Levels

    Drawing from the ranks of Fortune 500 companies and melded with the entrepreneurial savvy of small business owners, our uniquely qualified executive team provides strategic direction, consolidated leverage and administrative and managerial support to our family of companies. Meet the team...

    Alex Meruelo

    Alex Meruelo is the chairman and CEO of the Meruelo Group. In 1986, Alex founded La Pizza Loca, a quick-service restaurant catering to the Latino community, expanding it to more than 50 franchised and company-owned outlets. Real Estate development soon followed and the Meruelo Group now has a diversified portfolio of commercial/retail, residential and industrial properties. In 1999, Alex purchased the first of four construction companies and we now have a construction presence throughout the Southwest USA.

    Alex is a founding shareholder and director of Commercial Bank of California, and sits on the board of William Lyon Homes and Exadigm Inc. Mr. Meruelo holds a B.S. degree from California State University, Long Beach.

    Al Stoller

    Al Stoller is the Chief Financial Officer of the Meruelo Group. He has more than 30 years of experience dedicated to private industry and public accounting with a primary emphasis in the construction and real estate industries. Al is a CPA and worked in public accounting at Arthur Andersen & Co. and as CFO at several large general contractors. Al has a B.S. in Accounting, graduating summa cum laude from Marquette University.

    Joe Marchica

    Joe Marchica is the Executive Vice President and CEO of Fuji Food Products. Joe's career includes executive positions with Price Waterhouse (now Price Waterhouse Coopers), the Taco Bell Corporation and The Walt Disney Company where he served as the CFO of Walt Disney Records, Vice President/Controller of Disney Consumer Products, and Senior Vice President/General Manager of the Home and Infant Furnishings Licensing Division. Joe is a graduate of Santa Clara University, holds a CPA, and currently serves on the board of Exadigm, Inc.

    Mario Tapanes

    Mario Tapanes is General Counsel for the Meruelo Group, providing legal guidance on all business and real estate transactions and acquisitions, risk management, compliance and litigation. Prior to joining the Meruelo Group, Mario's private practice focused on transactional law, estate and small business planning. Mario received his B.A. cum laude from Loyola Marymount University, his J.D. from Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1985.

    Xavier Gutierrez

    Xavier is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Meruelo Capital Partners, the private equity affiliate of the Meruelo Group. Xavier oversees private equity investment and acquisitions for the Meruelo Group, and is responsible for deal origination, underwriting, execution, and capital sourcing. Prior to Meruelo, Xavier was Principal and Managing Director with Phoenix Realty Group, a real estate private equity firm managing approximately $1 billion in institutional capital. In addition, he has held positions with Latham & Watkins, Lehman Brothers and the National Football League in a 15+ year career focused on investment management, finance, business development, law, and the institutional capital markets. Xavier received his AB cum laude from Harvard College, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.

    Todd Maxwell

    Todd Maxwell is Vice President of Technology for Meruelo Enterprises. Todd is responsible for creating, implementing and supporting the technology vision and strategy for all Meruelo entities.   Todd has over 15 years in senior level technology management.  Prior to Meruelo, Todd was an integral member of the management team at Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants, managing the technology needs for over a dozen acquisitions. Todd has a B.A. in mathematics from Syracuse University.

    Shawn Rosenberger

    Shawn Rosenberger is President and Chief Operating Officer of Meruelo Enterprises, Inc. (MEI), Rosenberger leads Meruelo Enterprises, the construction division of The Meruelo Group. With more than two decades of experience in the construction industry, Rosenberger heads operations, business development and strategy.

    Prior to joining Meruelo, Rosenberger was Vice President and General Manager at Turner Construction Company for more than twenty years, with responsibility, overall leadership and financial success in his regions of San Diego, Arizona, Southern Nevada, and New Mexico. While at Turner, Mr. Rosenberger oversaw the construction of the San Diego New Central Library. His projects included new construction, renovations, and tenant improvements.

    Armando Delgado

    Armando Delgado is the Vice President of Real Estate Acquisition and Development for the Meruelo Group. Armando´s responsibilities include overseeing acquisition, disposition, development, management, and financing of commercial and residential real estate assets. With over 15 years experience in retail accounting, Armando also oversees the administration of accounting activities of the Meruelo Group and many of its affiliated companies, including Merona Enterprises, Inc., Cantamar Property Management, Merona Construction, and La Pizza Loca, Inc. Armando earned a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University Los Angeles.

    Dale Haithcoat

    Dale Haithcoat is the V.P. of Finance for the Meruelo Enterprises Inc. - Construction Division.  Dale's primary responsibility is supervising and supporting the accounting function at the MEI construction companies, including financial and operational reporting and establishing accounting controls and procedures.

    Mark Ernst

    Mark is the Corporate VP of Human Resources for the Meruelo Group, providing HR leadership and expertise throughout the Meruelo family of companies.

    Mark’s corporate career includes positions at such prominent companies as Nabisco and PepsiCo and he has worked in several privately-held family-owned businesses. His significant industry experience includes: Internet marketing, food manufacturing and distribution, financial services, broadcast, construction, and print media. Mark Ernst is the founder of Ernst Enterprises, LLC where he served as the trusted advisor to CEO's and senior business leaders for over 10 years.

    Mark earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and his BA with High Honors and MS from Lewis University. Mark serves on the Management Advisory Committee for the Fabricators and Manufacturers Assoc.

    A commitment to customer satisfaction and safety

    The Meruelo Construction companies provide planning, engineering, construction and maintenance services to the electrical, power, telecommunications, gas, water and petroleum industries throughout California and the Western United States.

    While the individual companies can trace their roots to as far back as the 1930s, it was in 1999 that Meruelo Construction identified an opportunity to enter the ever-expanding infrastructure/utility construction industry through the acquisition of Herman Weissker, Inc. Since then, Meruelo Construction has capitalized on the strategic and synergistic advantages of consolidating key industry players, by acquiring Doty Bros. Equipment Co., Tidwell Excavating and Neal Electric.

    Operating under the support and vision of The Meruelo Group, Meruelo Construction companies deliver core services that optimize efficiency, production and safety, ensuring both high quality results and customer satisfaction. Learn more at Meruelo Construction.

    A Focused Value Approach

    The real estate affiliates of the Meruelo Group employ a "patient capital" approach to investing that emphasizes both initial acquisition value and market growth criteria to generate long-term, risk-adjusted returns. This strategy is based on identifying an optimum entry point, establishing organizational control of development and operations, and maintaining a solid capital structure for long-term hold periods.

    Through affiliates Merona Enterprises, Inc., and Cantamar Property Management, Inc., real estate ventures span four broad categories:

    • Commercial/Retail
    • Residential
    • Industrial
    • Land for Development

    Meruelo Group affiliates currently own and manage over 25 retail and mixed-use centers representing over 310,000 square feet, as well as 15 multi-family residential buildings comprising 861 units.

    Capital + Expertise

    Meruelo Capital Partners ("MCP") is the private equity affiliate of Meruelo Group.

    MCP targets middle-market investments in high-quality, market-leading companions with an emphasis on current income, building value most often in partnership with the target company's management. MCP typically invests $5 million to $20 million per transaction, in companies with revenues of $50 million to $100 million and EBITDA of $5 million to $10 million.

    MCP invests in companies across industries, typically in the Western United States, as an investment platform that:

    • Leverages the Meruelo Group's operational experience, expertise and capacity
    • Builds upon the Meruelo Group's proven track record of success
    • Utilizes the Meruelo Group and its Principals' robust capital resources

    MCP is a control-oriented equity investor targeting equity investments in the form of:

    • Leveraged buy-outs
    • Growth equity
    • Corporate recapitalizations
    • Co-investments

    For more information or to discuss an investment opportunity, please contact Xavier Gutierrez, President and Chief Investment Officer, Meruelo Capital Partners at xgutierrez@meruelogroup.com.

    Quality Serves Diversity

    The roots of the Meruelo Group originated in the 1980s through early recognition of burgeoning and underserved demographics. Company founder, Alex Meruelo, established his first take-out and delivery pizzeria, La Pizza Loca, specifically catering to the Hispanic community and now boasting 50 outlets in L.A. and Orange counties.

    Meruelo Group affiliates hold a controlling interest in Pacific Whey Café, an upscale comfort food café and bakery renowned for quality and freshness. There are currently three cafés and a catering division operating in such high-end locations as South Coast Plaza and Newport Coast.

    Adding to the success of providing fresh quality products to a growing ethnic and diverse community, in 2009 Meruelo Group affiliates acquired Fuji Food Products, a manufacturer and nationwide distributor of fresh Asian cuisine to grocery chains and club stores.

    Hospitality and Gaming

    Diversifying into the hospitality and gaming industry, a Meruelo Group affiliate acquired the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. Located in Reno, Nevada, the resort offers luxurious accommodations and amenities, featuring 1,995 guest rooms, a 100,000 square foot casino, fine dining, world-class entertainment and activities for all ages and demographics.

    Additionally, the resort boasts one of the largest hotel convention facilities in the nation with over 200,000 square feet of convention and meeting space accommodating up to 4,000 visitors.

    Broadcasting Quality Television

    In 2011, Meruelo Group successfully acquired KWHY-TV, a Spanish-language television station based in Los Angeles. The strategic acquisition offers a powerful channel for marketing and advertising opportunities within the Southern California area.

    As one of the oldest independent Spanish-language television stations in the U.S., KWHY is a station with a great history, and an ongoing mission to serve a vibrant and growing community.

    Employment

    The Meruelo Group is seeking talented and hard working individuals to help expand our business. If you believe that you have the skills to succeed in a fast paced environment, we invite you to consider us as your potential employer. We offer our full-time employees a comprehensive benefits package including 401(k), a choice of PPO or HMO medical and dental, vision, and more.


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    Contact Meruelo Group

    Corporate Office
    9550 Firestone Blvd.
    Suite 105
    Downey, CA 90241
    (o) 562.745.2300
    (f) 562.745.2341


    Real Estate
    Armando Delgado
    Vice President Real Estate
    9550 Firestone Blvd., Suite 105
    Downey, CA 90241
    (o) 562.745.2311
    (c) 562.254.9521
    adelgado@meruelogroup.com


    Meruelo Construction
    Shawn Rosenberger
    President and Chief Operating Officer
    9550 Firestone Blvd., Suite 105
    Downey, CA 90241
    (o) 562.745.2300
    (c) 909.922.0359
    srosenberger@meruelogroup.com


    Corporate
    Mark Ernst
    Vice President, Corporate Human Resources
    9550 Firestone Blvd., Suite #105
    Downey, CA 90241
    (o) 562.745.2300
    mernst@meruelogroup.com