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Shirts and Skins

Carlsbad CA SHIRTS & SKINS … Teaming up for success, in business and in life, by Gregory R. (Greg) Nelson Sr., is a primer for people at all stages of their business and personal endeavors. The premise of this candid and insightful career retrospective is: “Anything is possible when you put together the right team of players.”

Written in a down-to-earth, forthright style for which Nelson is well-known, the book illuminates the positive power of teamwork. It reveals how this self-made entrepreneur teamed up with great players to attain success in the worldwide medical orthopedics industry. Along with his life story, the book’s Coaching Notes guide readers toward effective leadership.

Innovation has been the hallmark of Nelson’s success. As President of DonJoy, Inc. (now DJO Global and still the world’s largest manufacturer of knee braces), founded in 1977, Nelson helped catapult an upstart venture into a company that sold in 1987 for $23 million. As Chairman of the Board of BREG, Inc., founded in 1989, he helped build a new enterprise into a dynamic company that was sold in 2003 for $150 million. Next, as co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of United Orthopedic Group (UOG), he directed a strategic series of acquisitions and organic growth that carved out a national footprint. In late 2014, he helped effect the merger of UOG and BREG.

In SHIRTS & SKINS, the reader first meets Nelson as the eldest of two young sons raised by a hard-working single mother in Carlsbad, California, where he and his wife, Barbi, continue to reside. The Carlsbad Boys Club became his second home. It was at the Club and on the basketball court where Nelson honed the teamwork principles that have governed his career and life.

The book title refers to pick-up basketball games still played by kids around the country. The players on one team wear SHIRTS. The players on the other go shirtless: SKINS. The winning team holds court and competes against the next group. From an early age, Nelson understood that to win, being a good player is not enough; you must surround yourself with an excellent team and coach them in a positive manner.

The path was not always easy. As Nelson acknowledges, he often had to rise above what he calls “the floor burns of life.” But, he says, “I discovered early on in life that when you have a good plan and the right people, work hard and persevere, you give yourself an excellence chance to achieve your goals. I hope readers use my lessons learned to team up for success in their own lives.”

SHIRTS & SKINS marks the second book written by Nelson. His first, half time … a Book of Poetry about Winning Attitudes, Thankfulness, Family, Children, Love and God, was published in 2006. More information on both books, which are available on Amazon, is at www.gregoryrnelsonsr.com.

As the self-described “head cheerleader” for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad, in 2014 Nelson commissioned and served as editor-in-chief for a book celebrating the organization’s rich history. It is entitled Over 75,000 Served … a Chronicle of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad. The coffee-table-style book features historical photos and first-person accounts of people who impacted and were impacted by the Club, which has nurtured youth and enriched the community since 1952. The Chronicle is available at both Club branches and at www.bgccarlsbad.org.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Carlsbad CEO Brad Holland, who knows Nelson professionally and personally, offers this assessment of Nelson’s newest book. He says, “SHIRTS & SKINS is a compelling read that offers instructive lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to build and maintain productive relationships.”

Nelson succinctly sums up his philosophy, saying, “Life is a game of SHIRTS & SKINS!”

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