Nelson is Senior Advisor at Carousel Capital Partners LP which he co-founded in 1996. He was a Managing Partner and Managing Director at Carousel Capital Partners LP. He holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in english from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 1992 to 1995, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Paramount Parks. Prior to that, Nelson was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Kings Entertainment Company from 1984 until the company was acquired. He also served as an Executive Vice President at Taft Broadcasting Company's Attractions Group. Nelson serves as Chairman of the Board for Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. He has been a Director of Summit Properties Inc. since 1994. Nelson is a Director of First Union National Bank of North Carolina. He is also a Director of AGDATA; Axium Healthcare Pharmacy; Copac; Brasseler USA; Driven Brands; Express Oil Change; Mergent; Nestor Sales; Soteria Imaging Services; Silver Dollar City, Inc.; Griffin Corporation; ChildrenFirst, LLC; Simpson Performance Products; and InServe Corp.

Nelson is a Board Member of several privately held companies. He was a Director of Burlington Industries Inc. since 1995. Nelson was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a Member of the University's Board of Visitors and Kenan-Flagler Business School Board of Visitors. Previously, Nelson served as the Chairman of the Carolinas Partnership, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, N. C. Outward Bound School, and the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. He has supported the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Academic Success Program, the Memorial Hall Renovation, and the Educational Foundation. Nelson's honors include a Distinguished Service Medal from the UNC General Alumni Association.