John H. Caron, Director, joined our Board in April 2015. Mr. Caron has 27 years of marketing experience in the consumer packaged goods and restaurant industries. Mr. Caron has served an independent director on the board of Actionable Quality Assurance since April 2017, on the board of Tijuana Flats since November 2015, on the board of Thrive Frozen Nutrition, Inc. since April 2014, and on the board of venVelo, a Central Florida early-stage venture fund, since May 2013.
Mr. Caron has served since May 2017 as Vice President and a director of Entrepreneurs in Action, Inc., a Florida benefit corporation, which, among other things, will be the Manager of one or more funds to invest in early-stage and start-up social enterprises. Prior to joining our Board, Mr. Caron was a member of our Strategic Advisory Board since June 2013. Mr. Caron served as the President of Olive Garden at Darden Restaurants Inc. from May 2011 to January 2013, Darden’s Chief Marketing Officer from March 2010 to May 2011 and Darden’s Executive Vice President of Marketing for Olive Garden from 2003 to 2010. Before joining Darden Restaurants, Mr. Caron served as Vice President and General Manager of Lipton Beverages for Unilever Bestfoods North America from 2000 to 2002.
Mr. Caron received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from The Colorado College and a Masters degree in American Politics from New York University Department of Politics. Mr. Caron also earned an MBA in Marketing from New York University Stern School of Business. Mr. Caron was elected to serve as a member of the Board due to his decades of experience in leading and managing marketing and branding operations in highly competitive industries.