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.

Dave Rudie

Founder and CEO, Catalina Offshore Products Inc.

Rudie founded the company in 1977 as a college student majoring in marine biology. He has grown the company to annual revenues of about $16 million and about 100 local employees. In March 2017, the company launched its own brand of locally harvested, canned tuna. Canning also helps them use any unsold product. In the early days, the business grew when Rudie learned to process the sea urchins so he could vend their savory uni to sushi bars. In the years since they began buying other species found off the West Coast, such as seabass, swordfish and scallops. In 2012 Catalina Offshore Products expanded by creating its Seafood Education and Nutrition Center, which houses a fish market. In 2017, Catalina Offshore Products was named a 2018 Good Food Awards Finalist for sustainably harvested Catalina’s Choice Solid Pack Tuna in Olive Oil.

ALMA MATER: UC Irvine

HOBBIES: He enjoys diving, underwater photography and gardening.

BUCKET LIST: Dive in the Galapagos.

CHALLENGE: The 1997-98 El Nino resulted in four years of losses that almost put him out of business.