Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Carlson Companies, has received the Great Swedish Heritage Award presented by the Swedish Council of America.
Nelson is the first Swedish-American businesswoman ever to be honored by the council for her contributions to strengthening the bond between Sweden and North America. Nelson`s father, the late Curtis L. Carlson, founder of Carlson Companies, received the honor in 1996. Over the past 21 years, the council has honored 32 outstanding business, cultural and social leaders, including aviator Charles Lindbergh, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, and entertainer Edgar Bergen.
“Receiving this award is meaningful to me because it serves as a reminder of my family`s roots in the Varmland and Smaland provinces of Sweden,” Nelson said. “My grandfather and his parents came to the New World in 1886 with little more than a small trunk and great determination to succeed. Their hard work and persistence have been sources of inspiration for me and my entire family.”
Based in Minneapolis, the Swedish Council of America unites more than 200 organizations in the United States, Canada and Sweden in their efforts to preserve and promote the Swedish heritage. The organization strives to strengthen the cultural ties between America and Sweden.