Brad Nelson ‘84

Brad Nelson

Brad Nelson ’84 is vice president, global culinary portfolio at Marriott International. Brad has spent the last 40 years in hospitality, crossing through the hotel and restaurant businesses since his first real job as a night line cook at a Hilton in suburban Seattle. His role in the industry spans from corporate to independent, having led teams from a Southern California ten-unit restaurant chain to the 7,000 property strong global hotel giant. Nelson joined Marriott in 1998. Prior roles included corporate director of culinary development, executive chef at luxury properties with Fairmont Hotels and the California Desert’s La Quinta Resort and Club, resorts on Big Island of Hawaii and Monterey, California, and leadership in independent restaurants. He likes to say that all those experiences merely prepared him for his current role leading the food and beverage culinary strategy for Marriott International. Overseeing 30 brands across luxury, premium, and select service segments, Nelson’s team follows a mandate to constantly challenge food and beverage norms, bringing relevance and active customer engagement via innovative food and beverage. It is estimated Marriott International has over 10,000 restaurants, opening a new hotel every 17 hours across the globe. Over his career, Nelson has led key priorities on sustainable seafood, animal welfare, food safety, single-use plastics, food waste, global culinary training, product development, and the luxury and lifestyle brand development. Industry accolades include being named 2014 Silver Plate Foodservice Operator of the Year by the International Food Manufacturers Association, recipient of Food Arts November 2012 Silver Spoon, and judged the NRA’S FABI innovation award. Nelson is also recipient of the Richard T. Keating Award, he is a member of the Seafood Watch Foodservice Roundtable, American Culinary Federation, International Corporate Chefs Association, James Beard Foundation, and of course, a proud CIA Alumni. (Bethesda, MD)