Geoffrey Gage and Wendy Nelson Elected to the Carlson Board of Directors

Minneapolis - June 1, 2012 - Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, recently announced that Geoffrey Gage, founder and president of Geoffrey Carlson Gage Brand Communications and Wendy Nelson, chairman of the board of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minn. have been elected to the Carlson Board of Directors. The announcement was made by Carlson Chairman Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

"We are pleased to welcome two of the next generation of the Carlson family to the Board of Directors of Carlson. Wendy Nelson combines her leadership and governance experience with her understanding of hotel business based on her service on the Rezidor Board, a public company based in Sweden. Geoffrey Gage brings marketing expertise which will be valuable in the oversight of our consumer businesses,” Chairman Nelson said.

Gage has served on several corporate and non-profit boards, including Carlson Holdings, Inc., Gage Marketing Group, the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation, the University of St. Thomas, Duddingston Sylvester Group at Smith Barney, Athletes Committed to Educating Students, Arc, and Children’s Heartlink, among others.

Prior to founding Gage Brand Communications, Gage worked at Gage Marketing Group where he managed strategic positioning and integrated marketing programs. He also worked in advertising for Campbell-Mithun and for Grant & Palombo. He received his bachelor of arts degree in communications from Augsburg College, Minn. and a master of business communication degree from the University of St. Thomas.

Wendy Nelson, in addition to chairing the Guthrie Theater Board, is a board member of Carlson Holdings, Inc., The Rezidor Hotel Group, Carlson Real Estate, the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation, the Bush Foundation, Northwestern University, and Inner City Tennis. She also serves on the Grantmaking Committee for “A Future Not a Past,” the Women’s Foundation Initiative.

Nelson joined Carlson in 2003 as vice president of Real Estate for Carlson Restaurants in Dallas, then became executive vice president for Carlson Hotels Real Estate Company, and ended her tenure at Carlson as executive vice president of Brand Strategy for Carlson Hotels. Nelson received her bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University and a master of business administration degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Retiring from the Board were Barbara Carlson Gage, president of the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation and Glen D. Nelson, M.D., chairman of GDN Holdings, LLC.

“We would like to thank Barbara Gage and Glen Nelson for their combined 40 years of outstanding contribution to the success of Carlson,” Chairman Nelson said.

Barbara is a prominent civic leader, philanthropist and co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation, established by Her Majesty, Queen Silvia of Sweden. She has a teaching degree from Northwestern University.

In addition to being chairman of GDN Holdings, LLC, Dr. Nelson is currently chairman of CSI and former chairman of Minute Clinic. He served in various executive roles at Medtronic, retiring as vice chairman in 2002. Dr. Nelson practiced surgery from 1969 to 1986. He was chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Park Nicollet Medical Center from 1975 to 1986. Dr. Nelson received his bachelor of science degree from Harvard College, and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nelson was certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1970 and is an Emeritus Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nelson continues to serve on numerous other boards and committees.

Other members of the Carlson Board of Directors are: Brad Anderson, former vice chairman and chief executive officer, Best Buy Co., Inc.; Lee A. Chaden, retired chairman, Hanesbrands Inc.; Edwin C. "Skip" Gage, chairman and chief executive officer, Gage Group; Scott Gage, president and chief operating officer, Gage Outdoor Expeditions; Hubert Joly, president and chief executive officer, Carlson; Diana L. Nelson, Overseer, Harvard University; Gregory R. Page, chairman and chief executive officer, Cargill; and Lawrence Perlman, retired chairman and chief executive officer, Ceridian, and former chairman of Seagate Technology.

About Carlson

Carlson is a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group includes more than 1,300 hotels in operation and development, including, Radisson Blu, Radisson®, Park Plaza®; Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Hotel Missoni; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday’s® restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and territories and its brands employ more than 170,000 people.


Laura deBruyn
+1 (763) 212-1958



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