The 2016 Top 25 Consultants: Denise Nelson


Denise Nelson Point B Excellence in Leadership

Point B Practice Director Denise Nelson runs Point B’s largest office and, with a huge chunk of the firm’s revenue under her purview, she’s built a vision for Seattle that engages employee-owners in defining the next evolution of the market through innovation. And the vision is becoming reality.

Since Nelson took the top spot in 2014, Point B Seattle has seen record profits and enjoyed record-high client satisfaction ratings for strategic work, which is validation of the firm’s outstanding team and dedication to achieving successful outcomes for clients, Nelson says. “I’m very proud of being entrusted by our founders and senior leaders to lead our largest consulting practice,” she says. “It’s been humbling, scary, and exhilarating—all at the same time!”

A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Nelson’s led and influenced her team’s thinking, and helped them embrace the role of innovators, developing new service offerings, new employee profiles, new development opportunities and piloting them in the Seattle market for rollout firm wide.

To that end, Nelson says she’s also proud of Point B and the work the Seattle leadership team has done to help transform the firm into a collaborative, high-performing team, defining an inspiring vision for 2020, and making great traction towards realizing that vision.

Indeed, Nelson’s leadership has been transformational for the Seattle market and Point B’s clients. In fact, the firm’s annual internal survey results showed the Seattle Market increased effectiveness in every category, including Associate Development satisfaction, Director Effectiveness, and Culture and Ownership.  “It is incredibly rewarding to see others enjoying their work and developing in their careers,” she says.

Ask Nelson what she enjoys most about the consulting profession and she’ll say the satisfaction that comes from working with clients to solve a gnarly problem or achieve a goal they wouldn’t otherwise be able to accomplish on their own. “It is a challenging and fulfilling profession where you are always learning,” she says.

Some of those gnarly problems she’s helping solve include philanthropic and community efforts for the Seattle market. Nelson has made it part of the firm’s 2020 vision to “Make the Puget Sound a Better Place to Live and Work.” The mission manifests itself in many ways, including providing pro-bono consulting services to organizations like the Committee to End Homelessness and New Horizons.

As far as winning the Top 25 Consultants award, Nelson says she’s deeply honored. “This award is recognition of the wonderful career opportunities that Point B has given me, and the results that a strong team can achieve in a very short time period of time,” Nelson says. “And now my mom might understand what I do for a living!”

What’s the biggest factor to your success? 

“I have always been a planner, and approach all aspects of my work with intention, embrace help and advice from others, and recognize that a strong team can achieve far more than a collection of strong individuals. Our success can be attributed to our amazing team and their dedication to living our values, realizing our vision, and delighting our clients.”

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