John "Ozzie" Nelson Jr.

Chairman and Co-CEO
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John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr. is an accomplished global business leader who has demonstrated a commitment to the design industry and the community. As Co-CEO of NELSON, Ozzie has guided the firm to unprecedented growth and an industry ranking as the third largest provider of design and design-related services to corporate America.

In 1987, immediately upon graduating from college with a degree in Business Administration, Ozzie joined his father’s 15-person interior design firm. Over the following years, he integrated the core business of design with the emerging technology evolution and the consulting services required by the dramatically expanded size of corporate real estate portfolios to create a compelling service delivery platform. Under Ozzie’s direction, the firm expanded from a single office, traditional design firm with a single core competency to its current state of more than 20 locations serving clients globally and offering multiple fully integrated services. His innovative approach to the business put Ozzie in high demand as a trusted consultant to clients and as a speaker for organizations including Design Colloquium, InterPlan, CoreNet, the AEC convention, NeoCon, and the annual conference for the Internal Society of Facilities Executives.

Ozzie became CEO of NELSON in 2003. Since then and under his leadership the firm has executed more than 40 merger/acquisitions, taking NELSON from the rank of #37 in the industry to “Top 10” with a growth of more than 500 percent. In 2007 The Zweig Letter identified NELSON as the “Fastest Rising Firm” based on percentage growth. Today the firm is a key partner to top companies including Bank of America, Nielsen, Citibank, Google, Express Scripts, Astra Zeneca and Verizon. In recent years, he has led the formalization of several specialty practice areas including the legal workplace, financial spaces (corporate and retail), TAMI, and Global Solutions to name a few, and he has overseen mergers that have significantly expanded NELSON's architecture and design services for global academic environments. Ozzie took over ownership and chairmanship of the firm in 2012. In 2015, NELSON was named amongst Interior Design Magazine’s 2015 Top 100 Giants: Rankings, coming in at number nine. The firm also retained its spot as number five on the magazine’s list of Top 10 Office Giants.

Nelson is a past Trustee and two-time Board Chair of Students Today, Leaders Forever (STLF), a non-profit organization that was recognized by Time magazine as “one of the Top 10 ways to give back.” In addition, Nelson has chaired the Young Presidents’ Organization’s (YPO) Twin Cities Chapter, is the chair of the Board of Trustees, Visitation School and a Co-Chair of the Heart Advisory Committee of the University of Minnesota's Medical Foundation. He is a member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Minneapolis Club. Nelson is on the Committee of Seventy Board. In 2017, he was presented with the Vision Award from St. Dominic's Home where he also raised nearly $200,000 to support their mission and programs. Additionally, Nelson is on the Minneapolis Super Bowl 52 Committee.

Ozzie’s vision for the future of the industry, as well as his insights into what clients truly need from a strategic, creative and operational perspective, has positioned NELSON for continued growth and success. In 2018, NELSON merged operations with FRCH appointing Jim Tippmann as Co-CEO along with Ozzie. Together, the two are focused on the success of business, providing opportunities for significant growth, and maintaining a creative company culture.

FOCUSING ON Retail and Hospitality 

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NELSON, a global architecture and design firm, announced it has merged operations with FRCH Design Worldwide, a leading retail and hospitality architecture and design firm to create one of the largest in the country with a focus on consumer experiences where people work, shop, dine, play, stay, live, and heal.

FOCUSING ON Architecture and Design Platforms

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NELSON, one of the fast-growing global architecture, interior design, and consulting services firms, has announced its intention to merge operations with Wakefield Beasley & Associates (WBA) and WB Interiors (WBI).

FOCUSING ON Architecture in the Bay Area

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After a string of recent national moves, NELSON, a global architecture and design firm, announced it has merged operations with WK design group.

FOCUSING on doing good deeds  

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Core to NELSON’s mission is our commitment to partnering with the communities where we work and live to sustain them, as well as creating positive change through civic engagement and socially responsible behavior.

FOCUSING ON Design From the Outside In 

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In a move that will take them from a nationally recognized interior design firm to a true full-service architecture and design firm, NELSON, Cope Linder Architects, and KA Architecture will merge operations effective June 1, 2017.

FOCUSING ON DESIGN FROM THE OUTSIDE IN 

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In a move that will take them from a nationally recognized interior design firm to a true full-service architecture and design firm, NELSON, Cope Linder Architects, and KA Architecture will merge operations effective June 1, 2017.

FOCUSING ON Cloud-Based DatA

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To stand out from competitors, attract and retain top talent, and reflect their culture, cloud-based data company, Civis Analytics, retained NELSON to design their new 29,000 SF space.

CREATING innovative design

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Capital One selected NELSON to help them design their Rolling Meadows location. The NELSON team worked with Capital One’s Design Team and Key Leaders to create their vision of an urban chic work environment.

 

 

FOCUSING ON TAMI Solutions

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NELSON announced its intent to launch TAMI (Technology, Advertising & Media, and Information Business) Practice Area. 

 

FOCUSING on Architecture in healthcare design  

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In a move that will significantly expand architectural services in the southeast, global architecture, design, and consulting services firm, NELSON, is merging operations with Miami-based architecture firm, MGE Architects. The deal is effective immediately.

CREATING New Solutions

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Tactix retained NELSON to provide interior design services for their new location in Center City Philadelphia. The team worked closely with executives to develop new design solutions to fit their needs.