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Marilyn Carlson Nelson

January 1, 2019

Vice Chair Carlson Holdings, Inc. Carlson Parkway Current: President, CEO & Vice Chair Carlson Companies, Inc. – Minneapolis, Minnesota

A second generation American of Swedish ancestry, Marilyn C. Nelson has direct management responsibility for one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, employing over 100,000 people with annual sales of more than $10 billion. One of our nation’s most active proponents of healthcare reform, Marilyn graduated with honors from Smith College in international economics and today is Vice Chair of Carlson Holdings, Inc. Her first job was as a securities analyst with Paine Webber. There she flourished and her management skills and decision making qualities prompted her to begin working part-time for her father’s Gold Bond Stamp Company. She functioned as the company’s community relations and marketing director. In 1971, her business acumen sent her into business for herself when, along with her sister Barbara, they bought a full service bank in Minnesota. She has served as working Chairman since 1975 and now runs an additional bank in Montgomery. Her volunteerism is legendary throughout Minnesota and the United States. Supporting the United Way of America as past president and in 1984 became the first woman to Chair a United Way annual fund drive in a major city – Minneapolis – and succeeded in raising an unprecedented $28.8 million. A positive thinker and master organizer, she is on numerous boards of major corporations, including Exxon and U.S. West, Inc. Her capacity for creativity and enthusiasm places her in high demand as a speaker, motivating others to succeed. “If you hope to succeed in the 21st century you must build on Northwood’s foundation through continuing self-education. And that self-education should not be narrowly restricted to your field, but broad and deep.”