Portrait of Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson, AICP


Mr. Michael Nelson has over 18 years of professional planning experience and currently serves as LACO Associates’ President. Mr. Nelson has extensive experience in project management, financial pro forma statements, entitlement, environmental compliance, design, construction, and operation of hospital projects, commercial facilities, residential developments, subdivisions, and municipal planning projects. Mr. Nelson has managed projects from due diligence phases through commissioning and Certificate of Occupancy phases in Northern California, the Central Valley of California, Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands, and Bermuda. Mr. Nelson was the Project Manager for the 32-acre, multi-use Mad River Parkway Business Center subdivision project and is LACO’s expert on the planning and entitlement process. Along with his other duties, Mike also serves the firm as Regional Manager of its Chico, California office. In 2020, he was appointed to Chico’s Climate Action Commission, an advisory body to the City Council on compliance with State goals through the preparation and maintenance of a Climate Action Plan.

Team Member Spotlight

Hometown? Years in Profession?
“Davis, CA, 26 years”

Before working at LACO, what was the most unusual or interesting job you had?
“Systems Engineer for a resort in the US Virgin Islands.”

How has LACO helped you in your career development?
“LACO has been an excellent opportunity for me to continue to learn and grow while working on great projects with great team members.”

What are 3 words to describe LACO?
“Fun, challenging and rewarding.”

What has been your favorite type of project to work on?
“I enjoy complicated, multi-disciplinary projects that fuel economic growth and benefit our

What is your proudest moment thus far in your career at LACO?
“Becoming President.”

What are your hopes for the industry?
“To continue to elevate our industry as worthwhile for improving our communities.”

What is the best advice you can give to a new hire?
“Always be learning! Keep gaining knowledge actively and purposefully throughout your career.”

How do you define success?
“Creating a better future for my family, my business and our community.”

What professional/personal growth opportunities have you been able to accomplish while working at LACO?
“Became a certified Planner with AICP.”

What is your favorite travel spot?
“Trinity Alps Wilderness”

If you had to give a 15-minute presentation on any topic with no prep time, what topic would you pick?
“Land Use Entitlements in the State of California”

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