Nellie Varner

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Advisory Board

Office Location(s): Detroit, MI

  • About

    Dr. Nellie M. Varner brings extensive experience in both education and business to the Advisory Board. Currently, she is involved in the mining industry in West Africa. Prior to serving sixteen years on the Board of Regents at the University of Michigan, she was an administrator at the undergraduate, graduate and central administration levels. These positions were followed by service on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan and on the Leadership Council of the Center for the Education of Women. Since leaving the University of Michigan, she has been an executive in the entertainment industry as founder of Phoenix Entertainment, in the food industry as owner of several Taco Bell franchisees, and in the real estate industry as president of the N.M. Varner Company—a firm specializing in investment real estate. She played a major role in establishing the gaming industry in Detroit during her tenures on the boards of the Atwater Casino Group and Detroit Entertainment. She is the recipient of many honors and citations including listings in Who’s Who Among Black Americans, Who’s Who of American Women, and the World Who’s Who of Women. 

  • Education
    • University of Michigan, Ph.D. (Russian and East European Politics)
    • Wayne State University, M.A. (Political Science)
    • Wayne State University, B.A. (Political Science)