With more than 35 years of corporate communications and agency experience, Rick Van Warner joins Great Ink after serving in senior executive positions where he was responsible for leading marketing, public relations, human resources, and other disciplines. Prior to that, Rick led The Parquet Group, a Florida-based firm providing crisis management, brand reputation management, and strategic consulting services. In addition to helping Parquet clients develop sound communications plans, he directly helped many multi-state businesses navigate brand-threating crises, including workplace shootings, discrimination allegations, proxy fights, activist campaigns, Ch. 11 restructurings, legal issues, and labor issues.
Prior to founding Parquet, Rick served as a senior executive and officer at Darden Restaurants, overseeing all external and internal communications for the $5 billion public company, including media relations and employee communications. He began his career as a daily newspaper reporter and spent 12 years as Editor-In-Chief and Associate Publisher of Nation’s Restaurant News, the hospitality sector’s leading national publication.
A graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Rick has served on the boards of several private business and non-profit organizations, and early in his career volunteered as a social worker counseling at-risk youth. He currently serves as a senior leader for the Florida non-profit Project Opioid, and on the board of Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen.