Author and speaker
Randy Nelson graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1983, completing the Navy ROTC scholarship program and serving as his Unit’s Battalion Commander, where he oversaw over 100 Midshipmen in his junior year. He then served six-and-a-half years as an officer in the Navy Nuclear Power Program; completing three years on the USS James Madison, a Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine from 1984-1987.
In 1991, Randy began his entrepreneurial career, co-founding his first company, Orion International. In the past 24 years, Orion has placed over 25,000 exiting military personnel into industry and has grown to become the largest military recruiting company in the US. Orion was sold to Centre Partners, a Private Equity Firm, in 2007. Randy held the titles of CEO, President and Chief Financial Officer at Orion and has remained on the Board of Directors since the sale in 2007.
Randy co-founded NSTAR Global Services in 2002 and held the title of CEO until September 2012. NSTAR was selected for the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the US, in 2007 (#163 on the list). NSTAR focuses in the high-tech semiconductor industry and was sold in 2010 to M+W Group, based out of Stuttgart, Germany. Randy’s day-to-day focus, after the sale, was expanding NSTAR’s services throughout the US, Europe and Asia; as well as working directly with the Global CEO on projects related to expanding M+W’s global service capabilities. He completed his service for M+W in December, 2013.
Randy prides himself on building long-lasting, industry-leading businesses; as was recognized in 2012, as NSTAR (#8) and Orion (#9) were selected for the Raleigh Fast 50 list, as the fastest growing businesses (2010-2012) at ages 10 and 22, respectively.
Randy has served on the General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center Advisory Board, since its inception and will chair the board in 2014-2015. General Shelton served as the nations’ #1 military advisor, to both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, during his service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1997-2001).
Randy was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Alumni award at Miami University, for his lifetime achievements in his military and civilian careers, and was selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Carolinas Region Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2001. He is an active participant and leader in multiple philanthropic activities.
Randy was a founding member of the Raleigh, NC chapter of EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization) in 1998, and has remained active in EO, as well as Vistage (CEO peer group) since 2004. He was selected for and attended the Birthing of Giants Entrepreneur program at MIT, from 1999-2001 (60 Entrepreneurs from across the world), and the MIT/EO Advanced Business Program from 2006-2007. His day-to-day focus now is coaching entrepreneurial executives, speaking about his book, The Second Decision™, and writing his next book in his Decision Series for Entrepreneurs™, The Third Decision™.
Randy and his wife Kristi are the proud parents of six children and four grandsons. They reside in North Carolina.