Fish Taco Impresario and Legend Joins the International Executive Council (IEC)

Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco joins the International Executive Council (IEC) and is the face of the surf-inspired taco chain, with 60+ restaurants in seven states. The company started over 25 years ago in an old Italian restaurant near a stretch of industrial office plazas in Costa Mesa.

Wahoo’s, the fast-casual taco chain, serves up grilled fish tacos with Asian and Brazilian influences in brightly colored restaurants where the walls are covered floor to ceiling with stickers and surfing memorabilia. An ode to Lam’s upbringing in Orange County, the chain’s laid-back Southern California attitude is central to the business model. “Not everyone surfs, but it’s an aspirational state of mind,” Lam said.

Lam, who started the business in 1988 with his younger brothers Mingo and Eduardo Lee, would take surfing trips to Mexico, where he scarfed down fried fish tacos from street vendors in between catching waves. When starting the business, he wanted to import the fish taco but give it a healthful twist: grilling the fish rather than deep-frying it.

100+ leaders throughout California convened Thursday at Wahoo’s Fish Taco in South Coast Plaza to discuss multigenerational success stories.

The night began with special guest, 12-year old Carson Kropfl, who appeared on this season’s opener of “Shark Tank” and locked Sir. Richard Branson for a $65,000 investment in his company, “Locker Board”. His company has since grown 300% and is also donating $1 from every board to ocean pollution related causes.

Founder and CEO of Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Wing Lam, then spoke about challenges and successes of his healthy-first, fast-casual chain of over 60+ restaurants. This was then followed by Mat Ross of Hoag Healthcare who spoke about executive wellness, and finally Chase Rief who spoke about his U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) app (QuakeAlert) which will give you a head-start on the next big earthquake.

The lessons learned from these entrepreneurs were powerful and life changing. The IEC is an organization that blends innovation, impact, philanthropy, wellness with downright fun! The business networking and attention to detail is validated by member growth and group influence throughout the region. With signature events planned through 2020, IEC is focused on its first 100 founding members, who will each have a legacy within the organization – learn more at