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.

Jerome Navarra

Chairman, Jerome’s Furniture

Jerry Navarra is the namesake of Jerome’s Furniture. He emphasized affordability and fast delivery, two qualities that helped the customer-centric company prosper. He began his career in the family business when Jerome’s Furniture Warehouse was a single location. He became president in 1974 and grew Jerome’s to 13 Southern California locations. Today, he is chairman of the 62-year-old, privately held discount furniture retailer, which is listed among the nation’s top 100 furniture retailers. The company was recently recognized as the Retailer of the Year by the Western Home Furnishings Association.

ALMA MATER: University of Southern California

HE DRIVES: Mercedes or a Ford F150 pickup

TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: Surviving in an overly competitive business.

FUN FACT: He raised Gouldian finches for 25 years.