Steve Nilsen is a Managing Director for ZRG with a primary focus on healthcare. Prior to joining ZRG, Steve spent ten years in executive search, including building a top 20 boutique executive search firm focused on technology innovation and consumer centricity in healthcare. Steve’s professional background prior to that includes hands-on experience growing brands and businesses globally, most recently as VP International Marketing for Bloomin' Brands.
Steve’s early career included leadership roles across multinational organizations. He worked with The Coca-Cola Company as an international brand-builder for ten years and five years as a trusted advisor consulting for smaller, fast growing international companies. Working beyond the US market has allowed Steve to bring a valuable perspective to clients growing their business internationally or those planning to expand into international markets.
With an extensive career as a marketer and a brand builder, Steve is committed to delivering executive leadership that can launch, build on, or reshape the employer’s brand and culture. He sees this dynamic as the key to clients who are transforming their business for the future. Included in this is an absolute commitment to DEI in the recruitment process.
Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a master’s degree at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, focused on global strategy.
Hobbies and Interests
Steve was born in Sweden and is a permanent US resident. He is fluent in Swedish, English, and Spanish. Steve’s hobbies include hiking, rowing and tennis. Steve and his wife reside in Asheville, North Carolina, where they have recently completed the renovation of a very old home.