November 18, 2019
Year after year Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served in the military, and we have many Gap Inc. vets to celebrate and thank. Chris Nelson, 11-year Old Navy employee, is one of them! As VP for Stores Loss Prevention (LP), he leads the LP team's efforts to protect Old Navy stores, teams and customers from harm's way, theft and fraud.
Read on to learn more about Chris's impressive career and what makes him #oldnavyproud!
YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY: I served in the Minnesota National Guard for four years during college as Military Police (MP). After graduating from college and the ROTC program, I did 10 years in the U.S. Army as a Commissioned Officer in the Military Police Corps. I had the chance to serve and lead MP teams in South Korea; Fort Riley, Kansas, San Antonio, Texas; Washington, D.C. and Mogadishu, Somalia. My roles varied from major security operations in Korea to Law Enforcement at big bases, to teaching investigations, to protecting the President and foreign dignitaries at Federal events in Washington, D.C. and leading a unit in Combat. I was a lucky guy.
HOW YOUR SERVICE INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER: It taught me life lessons and perspective. Leadership can be hard, challenging and scary, but it is so worth it when you create success. Teamwork is the key - when you have it you are bound to win; when you don’t, winning is unlikely at best. Finally, working as part of something bigger than myself was an awesome epiphany that changed my world.
YOUR FAVORITE ROLE: Of all the titles I’ve had, my clear favorite is Grandpa! We have two granddaughters, Elle (5) and Addy (3), and they have a little brother on the way due in January. Life is good!
YOUR CAREER #PROTIP: Leadership is not about you as much as it is about your team – don’t lead with “I” or with your ego. Colin Powell advises to separate your ego from your position/title, and I agree. I learned this in times of great stress. In those times, your team will look right to you. You may be mad, sad or scared, but that’s not the point. How you show up for them is what matters. How you make them feel makes all the difference. When you know your team, you know your mission and create an environment for success, they will amaze you every time.
FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR TEAM: Their tenacity + their heart. Protecting Old Navy is not always easy, but they never quit. They believe in our role and are proud to be part of the Old Navy family. That genuinely inspires me every day.
WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: Old Navy represents more than a store or a business. We have tremendous values, culture and relevance. We do more than sell clothes. When I left the Service, I worried if there was a “civilian” environment that would make me as proud to be involved with. I found that here.