MINNEAPOLIS - Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Companies, Inc., has been appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the National Women`s Business Council.
The council serves as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Interagency Committee on Women`s Business.
“I am thrilled and humbled to be chosen to lead the National Women`s Business Council,” Nelson said. “Helping women establish and grow their businesses throughout the country is an opportunity that is immensely important to me, personally and professionally. Women-owned businesses are vital to our economy. They employ 35 percent more people than all Fortune 500 companies combined. In addition, this is one more platform to address other lingering inequities in women`s earnings as a percentage of men`s.”
A leader in the travel, tourism and relationship marketing industries, Nelson serves on the World Economic Forum`s Board of Governors for Travel and Tourism and the Singapore Tourism Board. She was 2000 National Chair of the Travel Industry Association of America, a delegate to the White House Conference on Tourism and a board member of the U.S.A.`s National Tourism Organization.
Outside her industry, Nelson serves on several boards, including Exxon-Mobil Corporation and the Mayo Clinic Foundation. She is listed regularly by Fortune magazine as one of the Most Powerful Women in Business, and she has been selected by Business Week as one of the “Top 25 Executives in Business.”
Nelson attended the Sorbonne in Paris and the Institute des Hautes Etudes Economiques Politiques in Geneva, Switzerland, to study political science and international economics. She graduated with honors from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., with a degree in international economics and a minor in theater.
In 1965, after working as a securities analyst, she joined the Gold Bond Stamp Company, the progenitor of today`s Carlson Companies. She served in a variety of leadership positions with the company and was named chief executive officer in 1998, when her father and company founder Curtis L. Carlson retired. A global leader in the relationship marketing, business and leisure travel, and hospitality industries, Carlson Companies brands and services employ about 190,000 people in more than 140 countries.
Established in 1994, the 10-member National Women`s Business Council is a bi-partisan federal government council comprised of prominent women business owners and women business organization leaders. Members include representatives from The Alamo Travel Group and the national Association of Women Business Owners.
The council has established public and private sector partnerships to promote an economic environment conducive to business growth and development for women-owned businesses. Among the council`s objectives are program and policy development to increase access to capital and credit for women entrepreneurs, and expand public and private marketing opportunities for women-owned businesses.