The San Diego 500, The Book of Influential Business Leaders, is the market’s most comprehensive product of people you should know in the business community. The 500 includes business leaders and executives who have founded or are running significant companies in terms of number of jobs, key products and services, experts who raise the level of the industry here and beyond and those who lead in the business community. The 500 is selected by the San Diego Business Journal newsroom.

Peter Ronchetti

General Manager, Legoland California

Peter Ronchetti’s first job in America was in the summer of 1979 when he worked with a traveling fair in Ohio and Pennsylvania on a student visa. His next job in the states was in 2008, when he was named general manager of Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad. At the time, the only Lego-brick-themed park outside Europe, Ronchetti has nurtured the park through the Great Recession doldrums, expanding existing attractions, adding new ones and providing more on-site accommodations. He came to Legoland from the United Kingdom with more than 20 years of management experience, including a stint at another Merlin Entertainments Group property, Thorpe Park, in England. In 2017, Legoland opened Surfers’ Cove, the latest addition to its existing on-site water park.

ALMA MATER: University of Exeter, Devon, England

BUCKET LIST: Aruba

CAR YOU DRIVE: Porsche Macan

TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Relocating to California and having to do a driving test (after 30 years of driving in the U.K.).

BUSINESS ADVICE: “Be clear on your core product and stay true to it.”

FUN FACT: His son, Paul-Luc, is a professional skateboarder and has participated in the X Games.