ISHC Pioneer Award

ISHC Honors Marilyn Carlson Nelson with the Pioneer Award at ALIS

Under the leadership of Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson became the first global travel and hospitality company in North America to sign the international Code of Conduct to protect children from sexual exploitation in the travel industry.
From Left to Right: Cecilia Gordon, ISHC, Co-Chair, Goulston & Storrs Hospitality & Recreation Industry Group; Andrea Belfanti, Executive Director, ISHC; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Co-CEO, Carlson Holdings, Inc. & Pioneer Award Recipient; Jeff Higley, President, The BHN Group; Chris Cylke, ISHC, Chief Operating Officer of REVPAR International, Inc.
From Left to Right: Cecilia Gordon, ISHC, Co-Chair, Goulston & Storrs Hospitality & Recreation Industry Group; Andrea Belfanti, Executive Director, ISHC; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Co-CEO, Carlson Holdings, Inc. & Pioneer Award Recipient; Jeff Higley, President, The BHN Group; Chris Cylke, ISHC, Chief Operating Officer of REVPAR International, Inc.

ISHC

Under the leadership of Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson became the first global travel and hospitality company in North America to sign the international Code of Conduct to protect children from sexual exploitation in the travel industry.

“Marilyn Carlson Nelson has been a pioneer in the hospitality industry through her career, in no way more so than her ground-breaking leadership in the industry’s work to combat human trafficking,” said Cecilia Gordon, President of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and Co-Chair of Goulston & Storrs Hospitality & Recreation Industry Group.

The ISHC Pioneer Award was presented in partnership with the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) during the conference plenary session by Gordon and ISHC Chair Chris Cylke, Chief Operating Officer of REVPAR International, Inc. Upon receiving the award, Marilyn inspired the audience speaking about her three passions: that a business well-led is a force for good; inclusivity and being purposeful about who has a seat at the table; and awareness and action against human trafficking.

“Our industry has 53.4% women. We have 1 in 22 CEOs and 1 in 9 presidents (that are women). It doesn’t compute. In my company when I first became CEO, we had very few women executives. We became purposeful. We successfully identified, trained and promoted female talent,” said Nelson.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is former chair and chief executive officer of Carlson, a global travel and hospitality company. She currently serves as a Co-CEO of Carlson Holdings, Inc.

Marilyn served as co-chair of the World Economic Forum, chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and chair of the National Women’s Business Council. Forbes named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” U.S. News and World Report called her one of “America’s Best Leaders.” She and Carlson were recently honored by the White House for pioneering work to combat human trafficking.

Nelson serves as Chair of Inspire Medical Systems, Inc., and Secretary of the National Endowment for Democracy. Nelson is an emeritus board member of the Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), ExxonMobil, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the United Nations Global Compact. She is former chair of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, chair of the Minnesota Orchestra and former co-chair of two Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committees.
Nelson graduated from Smith College with a degree in international economics and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris as well as the Institut des Hautes Etudes Economiques et Politiques in Geneva.

The ISHC Pioneer Award was established in 1996 to recognize an individual each year who has made an outstanding contribution, achievement and/or improvement in the hospitality industry. Winners are selected on a basis of three criteria: Active involvement in the hospitality industry; Contribution to the industry; and Personal/organizational attributes and qualities adhering to professional standards recognized and respected by industry peers. Past recipients include:

  • Jack DeBoer (2019)
  • Wing T. Chao (2018)
  • Ian Schrager (2017)
  • Lyndall DeMarco (2016)
  • Stephen Kaufer (2015)
  • Michael Bedner (2014)
  • Steve Rushmore (2013)
  • Chip Conley (2012)
  • Kathleen Taylor (2011)
  • Leland C. Pillsbury (2010)
  • J.W. Marriott (2009)
  • Jean Gabriel Peres (2008)
  • Stanley Selengut (2008)
  • Jean-Claude Baumgarten (2007)
  • James E. Burba (2007)
  • Stelios Haji-Ioannou (2006)
  • H.P. Rama (2006)
  • Costakis Loizou (2005)
  • Barry Sternlicht (2005)
  • Christel DeHaan (2004)
  • Regis Bulot (2004)
  • Bill Kimpton (2002)
  • Jonathan M. Tisch (2001)
  • Micheal A. Leven (2000)
  • Jack Vaughn (1999)
  • George Johnson (1998)
  • Randell A. Smith (1997)



Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.