Ricardo ‘Ric’ Alvarez, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Over 30 years of food manufacturing experience, 25 as CEO of family, private equity owned or large divisions of public companies. Ric has lead companies like Ruiz Foods, Juanita’s Foods, Castro Cheese, Overhill Farms, Raymundo’s Foods, Richelieu Foods and Frozen Specialties Inc. He holds a PhD degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from University of Florida and studied at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of business. Ric has also served as a Board member of various companies like Clear Springs Foods, Bush Brothers Inc, Clement Pappas Inc., Border Foods, Phelps Pet Products and AquaBounty Inc.


Executive Chairman

Previously, Villanueva was a founding partner of Southern California-based Rustic Canyon / Fontis Partners, LP. His responsibilities included portfolio investments in consumer products, primarily in food, health and beauty sectors. The portfolio included Sambazon acai juice and frozen products, Tasty Bite ready-to-heat Indian/Asian fare, and Johnson Products, maker of the iconic Ultra Sheen line of ethnic hair care products. Villanueva was also a direct investor in Mestizo Foods, a Florida-based salty snack food company.

Prior to that, he was an active investor in several ventures including the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer where he served as founding president. The team was sold to AEG Worldwide, a leading operator of sports organizations and entertainment.

Villanueva is also known for his role as co-founder of Moya, Villanueva & Associates, Inc., a national marketing and communications firm that specialized in ethnic consumer marketing whose clients included Anheuser Busch, Apple, Nissan, Cacique Foods and La Opinion. The firm was acquired as a division of DMBB Worldwide.

Villanueva began his career with a 15-year run in the Spanish-language television and radio business. He operated KTVW-TV in Phoenix and Tucson, as well as significant involvement in other Univision affiliates in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. He also co-founded Radio America, Inc., a company involved in nationally-syndicated programming and radio station ownership in the Bay Area and Southern California.

Villanueva received his Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University in contemporary Spanish literature. He is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, recipient of the Hollzer Memorial Award from the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles for outstanding civic leadership and businessman of the year for the Silicon Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Villanueva has served on numerous company boards, both private and publically traded, as well as several prominent non-profit organizations.