Rick Walsh Chairman
Rick Walsh is Chairman and CEO of the Knob Hill Companies, which includes agriculture, investments, and a strategic business development firm. Prior to founding Knob Hill, Rick served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs of Darden Restaurants. Retiring from Darden in 2007, he was a founding member of the leadership team that took the company public in 1995 and also served as a member of Darden’s Executive Committee. Rick currently serves on the boards of Seaside National Bank and Trust, Nemours, Blue Orb Software Inc., ABC Wine & Spirits, LSQ Holdings, Viewpost, Work Force Central Florida, OneBlood, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation as well as several emerging companies’ boards. A past Chairman of the Florida State Chamber of Commerce, MD Anderson Cancer and Chairman Emeritus of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees, he is also a former Board member of the National Employment Policy Institute; and the National Restaurant Association. He formerly served on the Governor’s Florida Tourism Council, the Governor’s Task Force on Affordable Healthcare, Enterprise Florida, and the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. He attended the University of Central Florida receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977, a Master’s degree in 1983 and received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1985.
Ellie Clarke retired from Bank of America in 2012 after thirty years of service. Over his career Ellie served in numerous roles, including SVP and Credit Products Executive, President, Dealer Financial Services, and ultimately, Chief Operating Officer, Global Commercial Banking Group (“GCB”). In his capacity as the COO of GCB, Ellie was responsible for strategy, sales performance, support, and operational excellence. In the last year of Ellie’s service, the GCB generated over $10.5B in revenue and $4.4B in net income. Total assets exceeded $309B while total loans and leases exceeded $189B. During his career with Bank of America, Ellie was engaged in multiple community activities, including finance chairman for United Way, chairman of Circles of Care and advisory board member for Stetson University School of Business. He has mentored underprivileged elementary school students, tutored students studying to complete their general education degrees, and participated in numerous community redevelopment projects, including Habitat for Humanity.
Leonard A. Schlesinger
Len returned to the Harvard Business School as a Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration in 2013 after concluding a five-year term as the 12th president of Babson College. At Babson, he successfully blended his leadership experience in academia and industry, particularly in the retail and service sectors. He went to Babson from Limited Brands where he served in executive positions including Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. Previous corporate experience includes serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Au Bon Pain. Len’s academic career includes twenty years at Harvard Business School where he led MBA and executive education programs as the George Fisher Baker Jr. Professor of Business Administration. Courses he taught included organizational behavior, human resource management, general management, and service management. President Schlesinger is well-known for his pioneering research and publications on the Service Profit Chain. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization from Brown University.
Joe R. Lee
Joe Lee founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Darden Restaurants, Inc. from December 1994 to November 2004 and as Chairman of the Board from 1995 until his retirement. Mr. Lee joined Red Lobster in 1967 as a member of its opening management team and became its President in 1975. From 1970 to 1995, he served with General Mills in various capacities, including Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance and International Restaurants. In 1992, he was elected Vice Chairman with responsibilities for various consumer foods businesses and corporate staff functions. Mr. Lee serves as a Director of SunTrust Banks, Central Florida, N.A. and previously served as a Director of Tupperware Brands.
Linda Dimopoulos retired from Darden Restaurants, Inc. in 2007 after 25 years with the company. She was appointed the company’s Chief Financial Officer in 2002 and had responsibility for all of the company’s finance, accounting and IT areas including Financial Planning/Reporting, Tax Planning/Reporting and Investor Relations. She was a member of Darden’s Executive and Operating Committees and over the years served in various other leadership roles including Chief Information Officer and Corporate Controller. Linda was instrumental in building the financial reporting and control systems as well as the information technology infrastructure to support the exponential growth of the multi-brand restaurant company. Ms. Dimopoulos also formalized the process for regular career assessment/planning and job rotations for the large staff of finance and IT professionals in the organization. Ms. Dimopoulos currently serves on the National Board of Governors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (Southeast Regional Chairman and Audit Committee) and also spent over 15 years on the Orlando Science Center board serving as both Chairman and Treasurer.
Ron Edwards has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Evans Properties since 1987. A closely held family-owned agribusiness and real estate company, Evans is based in Vero Beach with cattle and citrus operations in eight Florida counties encompassing 40,000+ acres. Ron began his career with Ernst & Ernst auditing agribusiness and beverage companies such as Tropicana Products, Inc. and the Coca Cola Company. In 1975 he joined Tropicana as Chief Accountant and rose to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer during an eleven-year span. In 1986 he joined ConAgra, Inc. as President of their Juice Division seeking international acquisitions and trading opportunities. Amongst other entrepreneurial ventures, Ron was a founding investor and managing member of the South Beach Beverage Corporation (SOBE Brand), which was sold to PepsiCo in 2000. In addition, he was a founder and managing member of Blue Buffalo LLC — a super-premium nationally distributed pet food company marketing the “Blue” brand.
Stephen P. Elker
Stephen P. Elker has served as a member of the Board of Managers of Viewpost LLC since its inception. Until his retirement in July 2009, Mr. Elker spent over 36 years with KPMG LLP, the U.S. Member firm of KPMG International beginning in Washington, D.C. then in offices in Rochester, New York and Orlando, Florida. In 1999, Mr. Elker was appointed as managing partner of the Orlando office and served as partner in charge of the Florida business tax practice from 2001 to 2009. He also held other leadership roles including member of the Firm’s strategic planning, nominating and professional practice committees. Mr. Elker is a Certified Public Accountant and earned, with honors, his bachelor of science in business administration degree from Georgetown University. He currently serves as an Independent Director and Chair of the Audit committees of Global Growth Trust Inc., Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc. and LSQ Holdings, LLC. He also currently serves on the Boards of the Community Foundation of Central Florida and Rollins College Crummer School of Business.
Max is the CEO and Founder of Viewpost, LLC and LSQ Funding Group. His passion for bringing simplicity and transparency to everyday business drives Viewpost’s mission. Throughout his career, Max has demonstrated an ability to see systemic product or market gaps and turn them into disruptive opportunities. At age 25, only three years into his career as a Commercial Loan Officer at Bank of America, all major financial institutions began adopting credit scoring as a method to optimize the delivery of credit to small-medium enterprises. Max understood the outcome would be a systemic working capital financing gap for small enterprises. In response, he raised $2.3MM, assembled a team, and founded LSQ Holdings (d.b.a. LSQ Funding Group). LSQ has been continuously profitable ever since. Many years later, as these institutions began using credit scoring to centralize underwriting and loan processing units, Max realized a unique opportunity had presented itself: simplified and digitized distribution relationships across institutions. In response, Max raised $45MM and developed the systems, procedures, product and credit management tools necessary to support scaled relationships with large financial institutions. In 2007, LSQ began its first integration pilot with a $300B financial institution to bring alternative financing to B2B customers. In 2009, the capability was deployed nationally. That same year an institution with assets exceeding $1T began a pilot, and over the next several years integrated every market in its footprint. In 2010, anticipating substantial growth, LSQ began evaluating its business processes to identify areas of friction. The outcome was a deep understanding of the systemic invoicing and payment gaps that plague businesses worldwide, and a vision for a fundamental solution to bring transparency to B2B invoicing and payment. In 2011, pursuing this vision, Max created Viewpost as a subsidiary of LSQ Holdings, funded it with $25MM in equity, and assembled a renown team of Executives and Board Members. Max continually challenges this team to utilize technology to reinvent the way invoices, payments and remittance information move between businesses. Max graduated with honors from Georgetown University and worked for Bank of America as a Middle-Market Banking Officer before founding LSQ Holdings and Viewpost.