December 18, 2012 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis - The Board of Directors for Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., announced today they have elected Diana Nelson as incoming chairman.
Nelson, who will officially assume her position next May, has served on the board for nearly ten years. She will be only the third chairman of the board, preceded by the current chair, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, and the Company’s founder, Curt Carlson.
“I am reverent about this role and see it as a significant responsibility. As leadership of the company passes to the third generation, I’m honored to continue the legacy started by my grandfather,” said Nelson. “Carlson continues to be a very strong company. We’re fortunate to have Trudy Rautio at the helm, and we have the best leadership team we’ve ever had. There’s an incredible amount of momentum in all of our businesses so it will be an exciting time to work with our board and management team to realize our ambitions for growth and performance.”
In addition to her current role on the Carlson board, she serves on the board of Governors of Carlson Holdings, Inc., as well as on the board of directors for the Carlson Family Foundation and The World Childhood Foundation. Nelson is also a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers where she sits on the Executive Committee. She is on the advisory board of Prime Group, a San Francisco-based real-estate investment company, and is a Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
“Diana is exceptionally qualified to lead the Carlson Board of Directors having significant governance experience as an overseer of Harvard University and other not-for-profit and for-profit boards, including Carlson. She has the strong support of the independent directors and the entire family,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson.
Trudy Rautio, president and chief executive officer of Carlson, added, “This will be a seamless passing of the baton from Marilyn to Diana. She will continue to lead our board with the steady, sure leadership that has guided Carlson’s success for the past two generations and I look forward to working even more closely with Diana as our incoming chair.”
Raised in Minnesota, Nelson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Nelson’s career in marketing included work for Ogilvy and Mather Advertising and American Express Travel Related Services. She and her husband, John Atwater, and their five children live in San Francisco.