Black Bear Diner Founder to Speak at Simpson University Business Luncheon

REDDING, Calif.— Bruce Dean, executive chair and co-founder of Black Bear Diner, will share the story of his business success at the annual Simpson University Business Leadership Luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Bruce, a longtime Redding resident, is a restaurant industry veteran with more than 50 years of experience, overseeing all facets of Black Bear Diner’s business, franchise and menu development. Bruce created the recipes for some of Black Bear’s most popular and best-selling menu items and was the visionary behind “bear-sized” portions, the diner’s commitment to deliver “unrivaled comfort food value and portions to its guests,” according to the diner’s website.

Bruce earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Davis, and is past chair of the Board of Directors for the California Restaurant Association.

This will be the 19th year for Simpson University’s Business Leadership Luncheon, which draws hundreds of community leaders from throughout the Redding area. In January 2020, the university hosted SR-71 Blackbird pilot Brian Shul for the luncheon in the James M. Grant Student Life Center.

Tickets for individuals and corporate tables will be available on the Simpson University website starting in June, or they can be purchased at the door.


Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding in 1989 and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 20 traditional undergraduate programs, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. The university has a highly ranked Veterans Success Center and partnership with the Army National Guard. Simpson has launched new programs in digital mediacomputer information systems, and engineering, and recently added athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team ranked No. 1 in California and No. 52 in the nation. Simpson University contributes an estimated $50 million annually to Redding’s economy. It offers aggressive scholarships and is working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements. Learn more about Simpson University at