LONDON, England – Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, today announced that Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and former CEO of Carlson, was honored last night with membership into the British Travel and Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame at the Savoy in London for her outstanding achievement in creating and developing the travel, hospitality and tourism industry.
Nelson’s father, Curtis L. Carlson, founder of Carlson, was among the first industry leaders to receive the same accolade when he became a member in 1996.
“Our industry brings people of different cultures and faiths together around common goals. It facilitates global partnerships. It replenishes the spirit. It inspires curiosity and wonder. And, it builds friendships. The truth is, as an industry we are more relevant and more needed in today’s world than perhaps at any other time in our history,” said Nelson in accepting her award.
Under her decade-long tenure as president and chief executive officer of Carlson starting in 1998, Nelson doubled its system-wide revenue to nearly USD 40 billion and grew its global presence in more than 150 countries. She personally orchestrated a number of mergers and acquisitions including the merger of Carlson business travel agency operations with Accor of France, creating Carlson Wagonlit Travel, as well as the acquisition of Navigant International. She also oversaw the merger of Regent Hotels & Resorts and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises under the global Regent banner.
Nelson has been named one of the “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes. U.S. News and World Report selected her as one of “America’s Best Leaders” and Ethisphere Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.”
Nelson is on the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council. She is also a member of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). She serves on The World Bank’s Global Private Sector Leaders Forum; and she is co-founder and an advisory board member of the Women Leaders Program of the World Economic Forum.
In the U.S., Nelson served as chair of the National Women’s Business Council, a bi-partisan advisory council to the President and Congress, and is past chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
Under Nelson’s leadership, Carlson was the first North American travel company to take a stand in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children in the tourism industry by signing an international code of conduct.
In 2006, she was inducted into the French Legion d’Honneur. She is also a member of the Royal Order of the North Star First Class presented by the King and Queen of Sweden, the Order of the White Rose Officer First Class, presented by the President of Finland and commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit presented by the King of Norway.
Nelson also serves on the boards of ExxonMobil Corporation, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is Chair of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees.
She is the best-selling author of How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership (McGraw-Hill, 2008).
In addition to Nelson, other 2011 Hall of Fame Members honored at the annual dinner included: Micky Arison, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Carnival Corporation; Jim French CBE, Chairman and CEO, Flybe; and Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chairman, VisitBritain.