John P. Nelson '62
As a businessman in the greater Omaha, Nebraska, area for decades, John Nelson has left a lasting legacy through his service to the community outside of his work. “What you do in the business world is important, but most people don’t leave a mark in the world because of their business. You leave your mark with your life and what you’ve done for your community,” Nelson was once quoted as saying in the Omaha World-Herald.
The chair and CEO of SilverStone Group, which provides employee benefits, wealth transfer, executive compensation plans, risk management, and human resource consulting services, Nelson has given unstintingly of his time and talents to his surrounding community.
Less than 10 years after graduating from Carleton with distinction in economics, Nelson was named the Jaycees’ Outstanding Young Man of Council Bluffs and the Outstanding Young Man of Iowa in 1971. By 1984 he had received the Harry Voss Award for Community Involvement from the Council Bluffs Volunteer Bureau, and in 1985 the President’s Award from the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce came his way.
A member of the Bellevue University board of directors since 1985, Nelson has played important roles in the institution’s financial and leadership growth and has served continuously on its University Foundation Board since 1987. In recognition of his contributions, Bellevue awarded Nelson an honorary doctor of commerce degree in 2000.
Other awards and honors reflecting Nelson’s tireless community leadership and involvement include the People of Vision Award from Prevent Blindness Nebraska (1999), Sertoma Club’s Outstanding Humanitarian Award (2001), the Citizen of the Year honor from United Way of the Midlands (2001), King of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben (2003), Citizen of the Year from Boy Scouts of America (2006), and induction into the Omaha (2005) and Nebraska (2010) Business Halls of Fame.
In all, Nelson has served as director or chair of at least 20 nonprofits over the past 50 years. Additionally, he has maintained business memberships in the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriters, the Chief Executives Organization, the Nebraska Presidents’ Organization, and the World Presidents’ Organization.
Nelson and his wife, Anne (Tucker) Nelson ’63, have two daughters and one son. They live in Council Bluffs, Iowa.