Marilyn Carlson Nelson

Carlson Holdings, Inc.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is Co-CEO and former chairman of Carlson Holdings, Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the world, where she has been an extremely effective business leader.

Under her leadership, the firm’s systemwide sales nearly doubled, to $40 billion. She transformed Carlson into a “new model” company and initiated an employee effort that netted more than $200 million in bottom-line process and program improvements.

She has been named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes magazine has regularly selected her as one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” In 2007, Ethisphere Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.”

Ms. Nelson is an authority on authentic leadership and is the author of How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership, an inspiring collection of wisdom about how to build a meaningful legacy one day at a time.

Ms. Nelson co-chaired the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2004 and has held a number of other high-level positions at the WEF and other industry councils. She has received prestigious awards from the governments of France, Sweden and Finland. She serves on the board of Exxon Mobil, The Committee Encouraging Philanthropy, The Foreign Policy Association and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

She served as chair of the National Women’s Business Council, a bi-partisan advisory council to the President and Congress (2002/2005), and is currently chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is on the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council and in 2004 co-chaired the Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. She also serves on the steering committee of the Aviation, Travel & Tourism Governors of the World Economic Forum, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, and is co-founder and advisory board member of the WEF’s Women Leaders Program.

Marilyn is also a member of the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Business Roundtable.

Marilyn has always been devoted to community programs and has served as President of the United Way of Minneapolis, Board Member of United Way of America, Chair of New Sweden ’88, and leader of the Governor’s Task Force to bring the 1992 Super Bowl to Minnesota. Supporting the family’s strong Swedish heritage, Marilyn chaired the nine-month long “Scandinavia Today” celebration in the U.S.