Randy H. Nelson has a long history of entrepreneurial leadership, stemming from his educational, military, and business backgrounds. He has co-founded two successful businesses and served as CEO to both. He has written books on entrepreneurship and now seeks to help entrepreneurs and CEOs everywhere through coaching, consulting, workshops and public speaking.
Education and Military Service
While attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, he completed the Navy ROTC scholarship program. Randy served as his Unit’s Battalion Commander and was in charge of over 100 Midshipmen when he was just in his Junior Year. After graduating in 1983, he served 6 ½ years as an oﬃcer in the Navy Nuclear Power Program. Randy qualified both in engineering and in submarine operations, earning the highly coveted Gold Dolphins Pin (*think pilots wings). He completed three years on the Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine, the USS James Madison from 1984-1987.
His entrepreneurial career began in 1991 when Randy co-founded Orion International, a military recruiting ﬁrm. Over the last 25 years, Orion has placed over 33,000 exiting military personnel and has grown to become the largest military recruiting company in the US. In 2007, Orion was sold to Centre Partners, a private equity ﬁrm. Randy previously served as CEO, President, and Chief Financial Oﬃcer at Orion and has remained on the Board of Directors since its sale to Centre Partners.
Randy’s second entrepreneurial venture was co-founding NSTAR Global Services in 2002 where he held title of CEO until September 2012. NSTAR’s focus was in the high-tech semiconductor industry, and in 2007, it was selected for the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the US. NSTAR was sold to a German-based company, M+W Group, in 2010. After the sale, Randy’s day-to-day focus was expanding the company’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 at the end of 2013. In 2012, both NSTAR and Orion were selected for the Raleigh Fast 50 list, as the fastest growing businesses at ages 10 and 22, respectively.
Randy now focuses on coaching entrepreneurial executives, speaking on leadership, and writing his next book. His book series, the Decision Series for Entrepreneurs™, includes his ﬁrst book, The Second Decision and the one he’s currently writing, The Third Decision. Randy and his wife Kristi live in North Carolina and are the proud parents of six children, four grandsons and one granddaughter.