The Alvarez file Featured

8:00pm EDT April 25, 2008

Born: Havana, Cuba

Education: Bachelor’s degree, business administration, University of Miami

What was your very first job?

Sold hot dogs and Coke at the Orange Bowl during the 1972 undefeated season for the Dolphins; first job after graduation was at Deloitte & Touche.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

Jim Cantalupo, the late McDonald’s chairman and CEO. On the way into an analyst meeting before the turnaround plan in 2003, Jim said, ‘Ralph, you just have to be the very best at what you do. You live and work in the business 24-7, so keep doing it better than anyone else and be very candid and upfront. The best way to prepare is to know your business and know your competition better than anybody.’

Whom do you admire most in the business world and why?

Young entrepreneurs who have a great idea. They are able to bring it to life and grow it, and that entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm is really great.

Who is your favorite superhero and why?

Peace Corps volunteers. Young people who spend a year of their college life or defer their degree to go and make a difference in the world and go get a tremendous understanding for the culture they’re trying to help with .