Allen W. Nelson is busy. Really, really busy. As Crawford’s executive vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief administrative officer, he is responsible for handling legal matters for the company, overseeing the Legal Department and performing the duties of corporate secretary as well as directing the Human Resources, Quality, Compliance and Training, Corporate Communications, Vendor Management and Internal Audit functions.
Allen likes variety, and his responsibilities give him plenty of it. “On a given day, I get to work on anywhere from five to 25 issues in various areas of our business,” Allen remarks. “No day is the same and no day is dull.”
Immediately before joining Crawford, Allen served as chief compliance counsel for BellSouth Corporation. He also previously practiced law with the Atlanta-based firms of Hawkins & Parnell and Troutman, Sanders, Lockerman & Ashmore.
Even with four titles and dozens of executive responsibilities, Allen is very engaged outside of Crawford. The company has a solid history of encouraging community service, and Allen is a true example of Crawford’s commitment to giving back.
“I have been very fortunate to have worked in law firms and companies that value community involvement. Our Company demands exemplary performance in our jobs and encourages giving back to our communities,” Allen notes. “I believe that each of us can, and should, make an indelible and positive mark on the world around us.”
Allen was the architect of Crawford’s Global Day of Service (GDOS), a company-wide service event in which Crawford employees from around the world join together to undertake various service projects in their local communities. “When Jeff Bowman became CEO in 2008, we discussed how to translate our desire to encourage community involvement into action,” Allen says. “My idea was that we should create a marquee event for our employees to encourage community involvement throughout the year as well as to enhance camaraderie, and that’s how the Global Day of Service was born.” GDOS, which involves approximately 1500 Crawford employees globally each year working together on 50-60 service projects, just celebrated its fifth anniversary, a testament to Crawford’s strong tradition of volunteerism.
Allen received the 2013 Revolutions Award for Outstanding Nonprofit Board Leader, an award presented by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, for his work with the Atlanta Ballet. He is chairman of the board of the Atlanta Ballet, a position he has held since 2009, and he has been on its board since 2006. During his tenure with the Ballet he played a key role in the largest and most successful capital campaign in Atlanta Ballet’s history.
He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center. Allen is a recipient of a 2011-2012 Charles R. Yates Award (Woodruff Arts Center) and the 2008 Camille Yow Award (Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation), both in recognition of his outstanding work as a volunteer for those organizations.
Allen co-chairs Duke Atlanta, serves on the board of the Duke Law Alumni Association, the board of the Atlanta Duke Law Alumni Club, the local board of the American Heart Association, the board of the Perimeter Business Alliance and the board of advisors of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. He also is active in the Peachtree Paddle League, Tophat Soccer Club, Northside Church’s youth soccer and basketball programs and Ansley Golf Club.
Allen earned his juris doctorate from the Duke University School of Law, where he was recognized as a J. R. Parkinson Memorial Scholar. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. This year he was selected to be a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and was admitted to the International Association of Defense Counsel.
Allen is married to Amy Nelson and has two children, Katie and Teddy.
As Allen demonstrates, community is of utmost importance at Crawford. Are there any Crawford leaders you’d like to get to know? Let us know in the comments below.