David Richard Rubenstein Family Business Scholarship
Dave, a Chicago area native, grew up in Lincolnwood, Illinois. He attended Winona State from the Fall of 1981 through the Spring of 1986, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with minors in Sociology and Accounting in 1986, as well as obtaining a private pilot’s license. After graduating, Dave accepted a position with a small, privately owned chemical distribution company located in the Chicago area. He was hired and relocated to help develop and run their newly acquired Los Angeles operation. In 1988, Dave purchased the LA operations and over the next 20 years, grew it into the largest industrial ammonia distribution facility in the Southwestern United States. In 2007, he sold the business to a publicly traded Fortune 600 company.
In 2007, Dave began working with a group of businessmen and women to develop, finance, build and run the first sugarcane to fuel-grade ethanol plants in Southern California. The company will not only produce advanced biofuels, but also “green” electricity and valuable renewable co-products. The company strives to contribute to the reduction of global warming and the United State’s dependence on foreign oil by producing a renewable and sustainable fuel alternative to gasoline. Each plant will also contribute to the economic growth and development by bringing “green” jobs to rural Southern California and surrounding areas. The first of five plants is scheduled to open in 2011.
“My experience at Winona State University helped prepare me for an entrepreneurial career that involved developing, managing, and owning businesses. I gained valuable business skills not only from my courses, but also from the professors and peers that contributed to my emotional and social growth. This combination of academics and real world education gave me invaluable tools to navigate life’s personal and professional challenges. The many acquaintances and lifelong friendships continue to give me strength and motivation in my life. On the academic side, I am grateful for the professors that spent time helping me fully understand the concepts of what was being taught. Their efforts were more than just simply giving me a passing grade. The faculty was always available for consultation on any issue, served as mentors and role models, and never made me feel like just a number in somebody’s grade book. The nurturing people and environment are some of the many benefits of attending a university like WSU.
I am blessed with having loving parents, Phil and Wilma Rubenstein, who have always supported me, but especially during college and throughout a challenging career. I am dedicating this scholarship to them as one way of saying thank you. It is my hope that this scholarship can financially assist students at WSU studying to achieve a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. The recipients should demonstrate entrepreneurial drive and spirit that will hopefully lead them to similar opportunities I was fortunate enough to have experienced.” David R. Rubenstein, June 2008.
Scholarship contact is Dave.