Spotlight In Black

Mr Clarence Otis Jr.
Chairman & CEO
Darden Restaurants

Clarence Otis Jr. has served as Chief Executive Officer of Darden Restaurants since November 2004 and Chairman of Darden’s Board of Directors since November 2005. Darden is the world's largest full-service restaurant operating company with annual sales of more than $7 billion. The company owns and operates 1,800 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 restaurants in North America, employs approximately 180,000 people and serves 400 million meals annually Clarence, 54, started at Darden in 1995, joining the company as Vice President and Treasurer and progressing to the position of Chief Financial Officer several years later. Prior to joining Darden, Clarence served as Managing Director and Manager of Public Finance for Chemical Securities, Inc. (now JP Morgan Securities, Inc.). He has also worked for Siebert Municipal Capital Group as Managing Director and Principal; The First Boston Corporation as Vice President, Public Finance; and Kidder, Peabody & Company as Assistant Vice President, Public Finance. A member of the New York Bar Association, Clarence earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School and worked as a securities attorney in New York City for four years prior to beginning his career in financial services. He earned a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he was elected a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Clarence is actively involved in a wide range of educational and civic activities. He serves on the board of directors of The Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, VF Corporation, Verizon Communications, Inc., the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Central Florida YMCA. In April 2007, Clarence was presented with a Horatio Alger Award and inducted as a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. He also is an active member of the Business Roundtable, the Business Council and the Executive Leadership Council — a professional network and forum for Fortune 500 African-American executives.

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