Mr. Alvarez is the founder and president of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, Inc. Begun in 1987 with the purchase of four gas stations, Sunshine now sells more than half a billion gallons of gasoline per year. It owns or operates 295 Florida service stations and supplies another 153 independently-owned branded retailers.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Mr. Alvarez was brought to the United States in 1961 as part of Operation Pedro Pan (Peter Pan), an effort to give 14,000 children refuge from the communist revolution. He earned both a bachelors and masters degree from Florida State University by 1970, and worked for both Citgo Oil Company and Mobil throughout the early 1970s. In 1976, he began his first entrepreneurial venture, opening Sunshine Citrus Corp., a citrus gift packaging and shipping enterprise. This lasted 11 years, until the creation of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors.
Mr. Alvarez was elected chairman of the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association in 2000. Either personally or through his company, he participates in many local charities: The Centro Hispano Catolico day care center for underprivileged children, the Miami Children’s Hospital, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Transplant Foundation, Hope for Vision, the Pedro Pan Group, and the First Tee.