Andrea Freeman is responsible for facilitating Darden’s commitment to developing an inclusive workforce and culture that reflects the diversity of our guests and the communities where we live and work. This focus includes consulting all operating brands on methods to integrate inclusion and diversity into their people strategy with a strategic focus on hiring, training, development and workforce planning. She also leads the company’s six Employee Resource Groups and serves as the liaison for external Inclusion & Diversity partnerships.
Darden owns and operates more than 1,700 Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s restaurants in North America, employing more than 180,000 people and serving nearly 390 million guests annually.
Andrea joins Darden from L Brands, Inc., in Columbus, Ohio, where she served as Manager, HR Strategy – Diversity & Inclusion where she developed and implemented an enterprise-wide inclusion and diversity strategy — including minority recruitment, talent management, and employee and community engagement. Before joining its parent company, L Brands, Andrea held successive HR roles at Victoria’s Secret, most recently as a Regional Human Resources Manager supporting more than 8,000 associates and two Regional leadership teams spanning 150 stores in 14 states. During her time there, she implemented HR strategies supporting inclusion and diversity, talent acquisition and development.
Andrea earned her Professional in Human Resources Certification (PHR), National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional designation, and a Bachelors of Arts in Business – Human Resources from Capital University. Andrea has recently relocated to Orlando and is excited to bring her experience and passion to Darden Restaurants and the Central Florida community.