Hear One of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women

Christian Business Women's Fellowship Features Marilyn Carlson Nelson Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mar 08, 2011, 11:15 ET from Minnesota Christian Business Women's Fellowship

EDINA, Minn., March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and former CEO of Carlson, one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S., will speak at the Edina Country Club at the Minnesota Chapter Christian Business Women's Fellowship, MN CBWF, luncheon on April 21, 2011, 11:30 - 1 p.m.

This is a rare opportunity to hear a woman who is world-renown for her leadership and wide ranging accomplishments, and ask her your personal questions.

Former CEO of Carlson, which includes such brands as Radisson Hotels, Country Inns & Suites, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and T.G.I. Friday's, and employs 150,000 people in more than 150 countries, Marilyn Carlson Nelson has a unique, bottom-up career path. She has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of "The World's Most Powerful Women." U.S. News & World Report calls her "one of America's best leaders."

Marilyn exemplifies balancing faith, family and career. Among her accomplishments and the challenges she's faced, her experiences include caring for her son through a liver transplant, butting heads with her father over the family business, grappling with the devastation of a daughter's death, chairing a bi-partisan advisory council to the President of the United States, and co-chairing the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

Marilyn currently serves on the boards of ExxonMobil, The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is Chair of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, and prioritizes spending time with her family including attending many school and sports activities.

While many may think that success came easily to someone "born into the business," it didn't. Marilyn faced challenges all along the way. Early on in her career as a securities analyst with a major investment firm, she was asked to sign her name "M.C. Nelson" to disguise her identity as a woman. When she first joined the family business and began to rise in the ranks, her father told her she was better off not taking on additional responsibilities but rather going back home to raise her family and subsequently fired her to ensure that happened. Her accession to the highest position in the company wasn't a clear path either. Her father never made a secret of it that he was disappointed that he didn't have a son to take over the business. You will hear how "M.C. Nelson" worked her way up to the CEO spot, only after proving herself worthy of it. She then led the company to greater profits as well as greater acclaim for her humanitarian leadership.

Under her leadership, Carlson was the first major North American travel company to take a stand against the sexual exploitation of children in the tourism industry. On behalf of the company, she signed the travel industry's international Code of Conduct to end child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. Carlson also joined with the Queen of Sweden to co-found the World Childhood Foundation to protect street children around the world and is a signatory of the UN Global Compact.

Her book, How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership (September 2008, McGraw-Hill), will also be available at the CBWF luncheon. In this book Marilyn brings her experiences together in stories about her time as a CEO, mother, and grandmother. She confides to her readers that even people who are publicly thriving suffer the same vulnerabilities and negotiate the same complexities as those who are not in the public eye. In the end, she says, it's about whether or not each day is one to which you would proudly sign your name.

Go to www.cbwfmn.org to register. Edina Country Club is located at 5100 Wooddale Avenue, Edina, MN. The Minnesota Chapter CBWF hosts monthly luncheons offering keynote presentations. Its purpose is to connect with working women in the community who share a passion for spiritual growth. The group offers women an opportunity to build Christ-centered relationships with other Christian business women, and focus on how to live out their faith in the workplace. Each luncheon hosts a different guest speaker who presents various topics that center on Biblical principals as well as sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The mission of the MN CBWF is to equip and encourage business and professional women toward personal, corporate, and community transformation through relationships with Christ and each other.

SOURCE Minnesota Christian Business Women's Fellowship