Kelly Nelson

Senior Vice President – Emeritus

* Kelly retired from Bristol on May 1, 2020. *

Kelly Nelson joined Bristol Associates in 1995 with initial responsibility for the firm’s long standing Hotels and Resorts Industry Practice.  As Bristol expanded, Kelly was instrumental in the development of additional lines of business in the Travel and Tourism, Cruise Line, Theme Park and Attractions, Facility Management, Fixed Site Entertainment, and Facilities and Concessions industry segments.

Typical executive search assignments include all “C” level, Vice President, and Director positions. He also handles corporate and property level appointments including regional management, general management, and key departmental assignments. Bristol has a track record of success in all career categories including – Executive, Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Engineering, Food and Beverage, Business Development, Construction, and Revenue Management.

Prior to joining Bristol Associates, Mr. Nelson spent 20+ years as a Senior Executive in the Travel, Tourism, Hospitality, and Airline industries. He served as Executive Vice President of Carlson Companies – owners of Carlson-Wagonlits Travel, Carlson Marketing Group, Ask Mr. Foster Travel, Firstours, Cartan Tours, Radisson Hotels and TGI Friday’s. Kelly subsequently served as Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing for Honolulu based Hawaiian Airlines. His extensive knowledge and experience in the Hospitality industry adds to his professional executive recruiting approach.

Kelly is a native of the Midwest and a proud alumnus of The University of Iowa. He is a current or past member of numerous professional associations, including AHLA, HSMA, SITE, MPI, USTOA, PATA, ASTA, CLIA, and IAAPA.


Phone: 310-670-0525 Ext. 1110