Rick Larson

Rick Larson

Rick was one of the key members of the executive team that came to Orlando, Florida, to build and operate the world-class Universal parks and resorts. Recently called as an expert witness to testify before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in Washington, D.C., regarding the use of criminal background checks in hiring decisions, Rick spent 20 years with Universal Studios,  initially as Director of Human Resources for Universal Studios in California for five years and then 15 years as Vice President Administration/Human Resources for Staffing and Administration in Orlando, FL.  Under Rick’s direction, the Universal  Orlando operation grew from a handful of employees to more than 12,500. During this time, Rick and his team developed the powerful organizational culture for Universal Orlando Resort.   The HR elements continue to be successfully used today—from employee handbooks, to work rules to talent acquisition systems to employee rewards and recognition and the other essential components for a world class employment and guest experience.

Prior to arriving in Orlando, Florida, in 1988 Rick had served for five years as Director Human Resources for Universal Studios in Los Angeles, CA, where he developed the company’s first executive training and development program and employee assistance program.

Prior to joining Universal Studios, Rick practiced law in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since leaving the Universal Studios operation in Orlando, Florida, in 2003, Rick served as Senior Vice President Human Resources and Organizational Development for the Nickelodeon Family Suites and then practiced employment law with a highly regarded Florida law firm prior to launching  Winning Work Teams which has become a leading Central Florida Orlando-based strategic  Human Resources consulting firm.

Rick is an active public speaker throughout Central Florida on topical employment issues.

Rick believes in giving back to the Central Florida community. As such, he is an instructor for the University of Central Florida Office of Continuing Education where he teaches preparation classes for the Society of Human Resources Management  (“SHRM”)  exam for the  Professional Human Resources (“PHR”) and the Senior Professional Human Resources (“SPHR”) certification.   Rick is also an active  member of the Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips.

Rick is also an active member of the State Bar of Florida and the State Bar of Nevada. Rick is an active speaker for the Florida Bar Speakers’ Bureau regarding current employment topics.


Christina BollingChristina Bolling has worked in the Hospitality industry for over 17 years. Her Human Resources background ranges from restaurants to theme parks/attractions to hotels and includes working for small privately owned companies, international entertainment organizations and startup companies.