Sisters BarbaraCarlsonGage and MarilynCarlsonNelson share ownership their father’s travel and hospitality company, Carlson Inc., which operates over 1,340 hotels (Radisson, Country Inns & Suites), 930 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants, and the Carlson Wagonlit travel agency.
got his start by selling Gold Bond trading stamps in the 1930s before setting up the Carlson brand. Marilyn lead the company until 2013, and remains on the Carlson board as director and is co-CEO of Carlson Holdings. In 2013, Barbara’s son Geoffrey replaced her on the board, while Marilyn’s daughter Diana took over as the company’s chairman.
The two sisters have received much acclaim for their charitable work. The Carlson Family Foundation, for example, grants about $6M every year to education grants and for at-risk children. The sisters have also worked with Queen Silva of Sweden to found the World Childhood Foundation, which supports 120 programs in 17 countries to raise awareness and provide aide to sexually abused or trafficked women and children.