Hospitality

GENE LEE

PRESIDENT & CEO, DARDEN RESTAURANTS, ORLANDO

Darden’s portfolio includes Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s. The company employs more than 185,000 in more than 1,800 restaurants across North America. Lee, whose first job was as a busser at York Steakhouse at 16, has been with Darden for 12 years, the last five as president and CEO. He has never had a job outside the restaurant industry.

EDUCATION Suffolk University (MBA)
ALTERNATE CAREER? Coaching
PHILANTHROPIC PASSION Feeding America, which received a $2-million grant from the Darden Restaurants Foundation this year. In addition, through our Harvest program, every one of our 1,800-plus restaurants donates unused food each week that is served to those in need.
STAYING FIT Cycling

George Aguel

Visit Orlando

Jim Allen

Hard Rock International

Michael Brown

Wyndham Destinations

Blake Casper

Caspers CO

Allison Casper

Caspers CO

Frank J. Del Rio

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Arnold Donald

Carnival

Carol Dover

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association

Robert Earl

Planet Hollywood

Richard Fain

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Michelle Fee

Cruise Planners

Maryann Ferenc

Mise en Place Hospitality Group

Don Fox

Firehouse of America

David Grutman

Groot Hospitality

Randy Hassen

McKibbon Hospitality

Gene Lee

Darden Restaurants

Kim Lopdrup

Red Lobster Seafood

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo

Celebrity Cruises

Julian MacQueen

INNISFREE HOTELS

Tom McAlpin

Virgin Voyages

Richard Millard

Trust Hospitality

Alice Norsworthy

Universal Parks & Resorts

Marcellus Osceola Jr.

Seminole Tribe of Florida

Lou Plasencia

Plasencia Group

Gene Prescott

Seaway Hotels

Mary Rogers

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Stephen Sawitz

Joe's Stone Crab

Daniel Schwartz

Restaurant Brands International

Jeff Vahle

Disney World Resort

Marcel Verbaas

Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Michael Walsh

Ocean Properties Hotels

Steve Weisz

Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Tom Williams

Universal Parks & Resorts