The Nicholson Family
PVS Chemicals is owned and operated by the descendants of Floyd Nicholson, the founder. Floyd’s son, James B. Nicholson and his four sons Jim, David, Tim and John all have vital roles that reflect their experience and talents.
The Nicholson family has a philosophy that attempts to be inclusive for people who work at PVS. For employees, the family is an important part of why they work at PVS. Anonymous feedback from employee surveys offer comments such as this one from a survey in 2020;
“Often times I will pass a Nicholson in the halls and they never miss an opportunity to say hello and ask how it’s going. I think small gestures like this are a huge deal for employees. Seeing the CEO and other stakeholders showing up early or staying late gives me encouragement to work harder and to strive for success.”
The family is also very committed to both the chemical industry as well as the local Detroit community, and other communities that PVS operates in. Family members devote their time to numerous non-profit ventures addressing many social and cultural needs.
The family communicates their values through the Nicholson Nine. “The Nine” start with Safety as the guiding value of the company and end with a simple statement, “we always do what is right.”
James B. Nicholson began his career at PVS in 1972 after a successful period working for the First National Bank of Chicago (now part of JP Morgan Chase). Jim came into PVS managing the company’s finances and in 1977 took over the firm as President and CEO after the death of his father. Jim ran the business for nearly 40 years before handing the reigns over to the next generation.
Jim B. Nicholson is considered an institution in the chemical industry and much of the company’s success and growth was cultivated under his watch. He was a longtime board member of the American Chemistry Council where he tirelessly advocated for manufacturers and the chemical industry.
Jim B. Nicholson is widely known for his civic and charitable activities. He has been honored by numerous charitable organizations and was named Michiganian of the Year in 2004. He currently serves as chairman of the board of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan and the Futures Foundation. He is a past Chairman of the Boards of Business Leaders for Michigan, the Michigan Nature Conservancy and the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
He is a current member and past chairman of the boards of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Public Television. He also serves on the boards of the Michigan Colleges Foundation and the Detroit Economic Club. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Jim B. Nicholson to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council where he served until 2015. In 2011, he was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to the Investment Advisory Committee and became its chair in 2015. He has also chaired the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, the Detroit region’s Tourism Economic Development Council and the Wayne County Airport Authority Board. Mr. Nicholson is past chairman of the board of the Amerisure Companies and a past member of the board of DTE Energy.
Mr. Nicholson earned a BA in Economics from Stanford University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a Master of Science Degree in economics from the London School of Economics.
Jim M. Nicholson has been at PVS nearly 25 years where he has served in varying roles including President and CEO. In 2018 Jim stepped out of the day to day operations of PVS to be the Co-Chairman of the company. Prior to his career at PVS Jim worked in the insurance industry where he held positions with Aon Corporation and General Electric.
Jim is a sought after board member for many organizations. He is currently the Chairman of the College for Creative Studies and the Michigan Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He also holds board positions on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch, the Jefferson East Association, Junior Achievement of Michigan, the YMCA of Metro Detroit, the Amerisure Companies and the American Chemistry Council.
Jim holds an AB in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business (now Booth).
President and CEODavid has been at PVS for over 20 years and has done a number of jobs within the company including leading PVS Minibulk, the manufacturing group and PVS’ European assets. Prior to joining the company David worked in banking, private equity and as a finance manager at E&J Gallo Wines in California. David is well known in the Detroit community for his philanthropic work as well as public service. He served on the Wayne State University Board of Governors from 2013 to 2018. He is the past chairman of Forgotten Harvest and has been involved in several other non-profits. David is a Director of Graycor, a private construction firm based in Chicago. David has a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (now Booth).
Chief Operating Officer
Tim has been at PVS for a little over a decade. In that time he has had a number of roles including leading the company’s chemical distribution business and serving as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining PVS Tim worked as a controller for Booth Creek Ski holdings, which, at the time, was a large manager of ski and golf resorts in North America.
Tim is active in the chemical industry having current or past positions with a number of organizations including the National Association of Chemical Distributors, Responsible Distribution Canada, Omnichem 136 and the Michigan Chemistry Council.
Tim is also active in his community with board positions on Detroit Public Television, The Detroit Downtown Partnership and Citizens Research Council on Michigan.
Tim has a BA in History from the University of Montana and an MBA from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business.
Executive Vice President
John Nicholson has been with PVS for approximately 15 years. In that time he has had numerous roles at the firm including management of the firm’s trucking operations. Today John manages the company’s Environmental, Health and Safety affairs, and provides executive oversite over the company’s Asian assets. John also manages the firm’s non-chemical holdings in Iowa. Prior to coming to PVS Nicholson worked for La Salle Bank in Chicago.
John is active in the community as a board member of the Detroit Crime Commission. He also sits on the board of the Red Sweater Project, a US charity that builds schools in rural Tanzania.
John holds a BA in Geography from De Paul University and an MBA from Kennesaw State University.