SVP Kelly Nelson to Retire After 25 Years at Bristol Associates

Bristol Updates

After 25 years of dedicated service to the Hospitality division of Bristol Associates, Sr. Vice President Kelly Nelson has announced his retirement effective May 1, 2020. Vice President Catia Pecoraro will serve as the new division leader upon Kelly’s retirement. 

In April 1995, Kelly joined Bristol as an executive recruiter in the Hotels and Resorts industry. Over the years, he became a key contributor in expanding the division into Travel, Tourism, Theme Parks, Attractions, Facilities, and Concession Services industries. 

“It has been a great pleasure for me to work with leading companies in our industry as they build their corporate culture and enhance their executive management teams,” says Kelly, expressing sentiment on his retirement. “I also have had the opportunity to work with highly talented candidates in support of their career ambitions. Over the course of time, it has been gratifying for me to watch so many of our candidates’ progress within their organizations.”

Kelly continues, “I am also pleased to announce that Catia Pecoraro will assume the leadership role for Bristol’s Hospitality and Travel/Attractions practice. Catia is an adept hospitality industry recruiter with over ten years of experience with executive level search. She joined our organization in January, and we have worked together to ensure a smooth transition. I can assure you that you will be in good hands with Catia.”

Catia shares her thoughts as Kelly passes the torch over to her, “It’s been an honor to work with you, Kelly. Even though you’re retiring, your legacy of greatness will continue on with us here at Bristol. The profound footprint you’ve established in executive search is undeniable, you’ve truly made a remarkable impact over the past 25 years. I am honored to lead the way with Bristol’s hospitality division – achieving continued success and extraordinary results. Thank you for your unwavering service to the industry and to our team here at Bristol. Enjoy every moment of your retirement, to say it is deserved is an understatement. Well done, Kelly!”

We also reached out to Kelly’s long-time Bristol colleagues to give a proper send-off. 

“Kelton Nelson, where do I begin? He personifies work ethic and exceptional results. Kelly has been a pillar of our firm for 25 years, bringing to our office wit, intellect and an unrivaled industry prowess day in and day out. Out of all the support I have been fortunate enough to receive from family and friends over the years, Kelly made an equally everlasting impact on my career here at Bristol Associates. If it wasn’t for Kelly I wouldn’t be where I am today. He is a true leader, mentor, friend and always the consummate professional.


Cheers to you Kelly! There will never be another Executive Recruiter like you.”


– Ben Farber, President 

“As we sit looking out at the Patagonia landscape on the last day of our excursion, we realized that part of the reason we are here is because of Kelly who always encouraged us to travel to exotic places. So, it is fitting that we write our appreciation in this remarkable landscape.


As Kelly has mentioned, he started with Bristol Associates in 1995 after a successful career in the travel and casino industry. We were very lucky that he decided to give Executive Recruiting a chance, as his contributions to Bristol have been enormous.


Kelly was very knowledgeable about the hospitality and tour & travel industries. He always thought in the long term about his relationships with clients and candidates and, as a result,  always created positive results benefiting everyone.


We wish him all the best in his retirement and hope that he keeps on traveling so we can continue to follow his inspired adventures.”


Jim Bright & Lucy Farber, Former owners of Bristol Associates (retired 2014)

“Congratulations to Kelly Nelson on a fabulous career and well-earned retirement. Even though my tenure at Bristol preceded his by several years, I was the fortunate beneficiary of his superb business acumen, exceptional marketing ability, and genuine team-player approach. Aside from all that, he’s a great guy and my good friend. 


Kelly—Enjoy!!! You deserve it.”


– Peter Stern, Former Sr. Vice President for Food Manufacturing Division (retired 2017)

Congratulations on your retirement, Kelly! We’ll miss you!

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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