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.

Michael A. Morton Jr.

CEO, Brigantine Family Restaurants

Michael A. Morton Jr. is president of the 46-year-old, family-run Brigantine Restaurant Corp. Its signature seafood fare and nautical décor earned the company its customer loyalty but its agility allowed it to thrive. It branched out in 1982 with the launch of Miguel’s Cocina. In 2016 it won the right from the San Diego Port District to develop a coveted waterfront site on San Diego Bay. Morton, whose early career included stints at Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Jack in the Box Inc., was named Restaurateur of the Year in 2015 by the California Restaurant Association.

ALMA MATER: Vanderbilt University

CAR YOU DRIVE: Audi A6

TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Oldest daughter’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

FAVORITE GET-AWAY: Poipu Beach, Kauai