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Anna Spangler Nelson


Anna Spangler Nelson was elected to Knight Foundation’s board of trustees in 2011. She serves on the governance, investing and nominating committees.

Nelson has served as chairman of Spangler Companies Inc., a private investment firm, since 2005, and prior to that as a general partner of Wakefield Group, a venture capital firm, since 1988.

Nelson is also a member of several other boards, including the C. D. Spangler Foundation, North Carolina Capital Management Trust, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, and the Board of Dean’s Advisors at Harvard Business School. She also serves on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. In addition, she is chair of Fidelity Charitable. She has served on the boards of Novant Health, Presbyterian Hospital, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, the Arts and Science Council and the YMCA of Charlotte, N.C.

In 2011, Nelson became co-chairman of Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership & Investment for Transformation), a public-private partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools seeking to increase academic achievement in nine schools in the West Charlotte corridor.

In 2013, The Charlotte Observer named her “2012 Woman of the Year.”

Nelson graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wellesley College. After graduation, she worked for Brown Brothers Harriman in New York. She also earned an MBA from Harvard University.

She and her husband, Tom, have two daughters and live in Charlotte.