Former Senior VP of Darden Restaurants
Rick Walsh, present Chair of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees, is president of the KnobHill Group, an investment and strategic counseling company. Prior to establishing the KnobHill Group, he served as senior vice president of corporate affairs for Darden Restaurants, Inc., and was a member of the team that took Darden public in 1995. He also served as a member of Darden's Executive Committee and remains a trustee on the Darden Restaurants Foundation.
Walsh serves on the UCF Foundation Board and Executive Board, Dean's Advisory Council in the UCF College of Business, SunTrust Bank Administrative Board, National Restaurant Association Board of Directors, Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute Board of Trustees, Florida Chamber of Commerce, National Employment Policy Institute, Mennello Museum of Art, M.D. Anderson Council of Governors, and several startup company advisory boards. He is past chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce. He served as chair of Orange County's Mobility 20/20 transportation initiative and as a member of the Governor's Florida Tourism Council, the Governor's Taskforce on Affordable Healthcare, Enterprise Florida, and the Metro-Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Walsh has been recognized as Businessman of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal, one of Florida's 100 Most Influential by Florida Trend Magazine, one of the 25 Most Powerful People in Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel, and one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Orlando by Orlando Magazine. Walsh received his bachelor's degree in 1977, his master's degree in 1983, and the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1985, from the University of Central Florida. He is a charter member of the UCF Board of Trustees.