Ivan Utrera serves as President of The Phoenix Restaurant Group which operates the Rodizio Grill national franchise. Utrera oversees the strategic growth, operational direction, and marketing and brand management for the Rodizio Grill brand.
The Phoenix Restaurant Group is a full service, dining restaurant management company headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT., and manages America’s First Brazilian Steakhouse concept Rodizio Grill. Rodizio Grill has become a beloved dining destination that brings the flavors of Brazil right to the guests’ backyard. The concept has been featured in USA Today, Washington Post, CBS News, NBC News and others.
A native of SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil, Utrera migrated to the United States in 1984 to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Advertising. During his award-winning career as writer and producer for television, radio and print advertising, Utrera decided to pursue a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Marriott School of Management from Brigham Young University.
After successful completion of the program, Utrera was recruited by PepsiCo where he quickly rose to Director of National and International Marketing. In the early 1990’s, PepsiCo saw a strong growth in its Pizza Hut segment and assigned Utrera as marketing head for the $1.5 Billion Pizza Hut dine-in segment.
In the mid 90’s, Utrera realized there was a huge opportunity to launch the “churrascaria” style restaurants, that were wildly popular in his native Brazil, in the United States markets. In late 1995 he left PepsiCo to pursue his dream and founded Rodizio Grill where his influence has made the company the strong national franchise we see today.
In 1998, Utrera’s first became involved with the Image Reborn Foundation. He saw a great opportunity to give back to the community in a topic that is not widely discussed.
“Image Reborn was founded by my good friend Dr. Renato Saltz,” stated Utreral. “He saw a need that was not being met and started this organization that is now in its 14th year! Throughout this course he has helped hundreds of women regain their lives. I could not be more proud to be associated with this organization.”
Utrera continues to support Image Reborn Foundation and in May 2013 launched a month long nationwide fundraiser through the Rodizio Grill restaurants for the Image Reborn Foundation’s “Living Beyond Breast Cancer” program.
Utrera calls Utah and Colorado home, and he can be seen in his favorite hobby, at the race tracks where he is a decorated Formula Continental and Formula 1000 race car driver. He is married to Rosana Tormena and has four kids, two daughters and two sons.