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Building relationships, judging talent is key for Olson

Twenty-year veteran at executive search firm Korn/Ferry International keeps tabs on ‘best and brightest’ to know who’s right for jobs

January 11, 2013
By William Ehart

Executive recruiter Nels Olson has placed some of the biggest names in trade associations.


The list includes Roger Goodell at the National Football League in 2006, Jack Gerard at the American Petroleum Institute in 2008, Chris Dodd at the Motion Picture Association of America and John Engler at the Business Roundtable in 2011, and Tim Pawlenty at the Financial Services Roundtable last year.

Some of the latest searches by Olson—vice chair of the board and CEO services practice of Korn/Ferry International—are for new CEOs at the American Gaming Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

His abilities to judge talent and maintain relationships have served Olson well.