Enterprise Rent-A-Car President and Chief Operating Officer Pamela Nicholson has been named to Forbes magazine’s 2008 list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. It is the first time on the list for Nicholson, who is the only travel and leisure industry executive to be included.
“It is no surprise to Pam Nicholson’s colleagues to see her receive this distinction,” said Andrew C. Taylor, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Pam’s energy, experience and passion for our business have earned her not only the high leadership position she holds at our company, but the admiration and respect of our industry, as well.”
Forbes cited her recent promotion to Enterprise president in its profile of Nicholson, No. 92 on the list, noting that she is only the second non-member of the Taylor family to hold that post at the privately held company. Nicholson was joined on the list by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Laura Bush.
Nicholson began her career with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 1981 as a management trainee in St. Louis after graduating from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts degree. At the time, Enterprise was a small but growing regional rental car and auto leasing company with approximately 200 employees, 50 locations, 20,000 vehicles and less than $100 million in annual revenue.
Throughout the next 12 years, Nicholson was promoted through the ranks and in 1994 returned to her hometown of St. Louis to become a corporate vice president at Enterprise’s worldwide headquarters, overseeing the efforts of 10 operating groups located throughout the United States. In 1997, Nicholson was promoted to the top job with Enterprise’s New York group, the company’s second largest operating group.
Nicholson was promoted to senior vice president, North American operations, in 1999 and to executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2003, before being named president in August 2008.
Nicholson and the other women on the Forbes list were selected based on career achievements, economic impact and media coverage for each woman. The 2008 list includes 54 business executives and 23 politicians, with media personalities and heads of non-profit organizations rounding out the top 100. Read more at forbes.com/women.