Mr. Meruelo was born in New York City, the son of Cuban immigrants. He received his B.S. from California State University Long Beach in 1985.
Mr. Meruelo oversees the Meruelo Group managed family of companies, having substantial equity interest in and sitting on the board of many of those companies.
In 1986, Mr. Meruelo established a fast food pizza restaurant, La Pizza Loca. By focusing attention on the needs of the Hispanic community, Mr. Meruelo grew that business into a mature company with franchised and company owned outlets serving Latino communities and institutional customers throughout Southern California.
Since 1987, Mr. Meruelo has invested extensively in residential and commercial real estate throughout Southern California, again primarily in Hispanic neighborhoods, managing and owning over 1,000 residential units, over 20 retail units and overseeing over 15 developments.
In 1999, Mr. Meruelo entered the construction industry through Meruelo Group, LLC, the parent company of established Southern California utility construction contractors Herman Weissker, Inc., Doty Bros. Equipment Company, Tidwell Excavation, and electrical contractors Neal Electric Corp., and Select Electric, Inc. The companies work extensively on major private and public construction projects.
In 2003, Mr. Meruelo co-founded Commercial Bank of California (CBC). In 2016 CBC merged with National Bank of California (NCAL Bancorp). Mr. Meruelo serves on the Board of the combined entity. CBC is a full-service, FDIC-insured, community bank headquartered in Irvine, California with branches throughout Southern California.
Mr. Meruelo expanded his interest in the food and service industry in 2009, acquiring Fuji Food Products, Inc., one of the nation’s largest manufacturers and distributors of fresh sushi through its Fujisan™, Chef Select™, and Okami™ brands.
In 2011, Mr. Meruelo diversified into the gaming and hospitality industry with the acquisition of the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino located in Reno, Nevada. The resort features luxury accommodations, gaming, fine dining, quality entertainment and activities, and large convention facilities.
In that same year, Mr. Meruelo diversified into broadcast media through acquisition of KWHY-TV (22), a Spanish-language television station in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Meruelo further expanded in broadcast media in 2014 through the acquisition of KDAY-FM (93.5) a radio station currently featuring urban contemporary music in Southern California and again in 2017 with the acquisition of KPWR-FM (106), another urban contemporary radio station broadcasting in Southern California.
In 2016 Mr. Meruelo launched Fujisan Franchising Corp. providing business opportunities through the franchising of FujiSan™ branded fresh sushi and Asian products at kiosk outlets located in major retail grocers nationwide.
Mr. Meruelo also funds various venture capital and angel investments in Southern California and is an activist shareholder and investor in public companies.