Theresa Willings is Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Olive Garden and an Officer of the parent company, Darden Restaurants, Inc. She oversees staffing, training and development, employee relations, succession planning, diversity, performance and rewards management, and HR strategic planning for a company with more than 860 restaurants, 80,000 employees and $4 billion in annual sales. In addition to leading HR for Olive Garden, Theresa is a member of Darden’s HR Leadership Team, providing input on people strategies and priorities impacting all brands.
Theresa began her career at Darden in 1989 as an HR intern in Toronto, Canada. She was hired fulltime as a Recruiting Assistant and was promoted soon after to Management Instructor/HR Generalist. After relocating to the US in 1996, she held progressively responsible positions in Training & Development for Olive Garden becoming Director Training & Development in 1998 and then Director of Employee Relations in 2001. In 2003, Theresa was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources for Smokey Bones. In 2007, she was promoted to Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Olive Garden.
Theresa holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with honors from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and a Personnel Certificate in Human Resource Management from Seneca College in Toronto.