Special Assistant to the General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
Terry Nelson began his career with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) in
1982 following his graduation from Hennepin Vocational Technical Education Center in Minnesota,
where he studied the discipline of painting and decorating.
After a 4-year apprenticeship with District Council 82/Local Union 386 (Minneapolis Painters and
Drywall Finishers), where he received 6,000 hours of on-the-job training, Nelson became a
journeyperson in 1986. In 1988, he became a foreman in charge of individual projects.
In 1992, Nelson was elected as a trustee for the Minneapolis Painters Health and Welfare Fund and
the Minneapolis Painters Pension Fund. Throughout the years, he also served as secretary for the
Minneapolis Painters Pension Fund, chairman of the District Council 82 Health and Welfare Fund,
chairman of Glaziers Local 1324 (Minneapolis), secretary of Glaziers Local 1324 Health and Welfare
Fund, secretary of the St. Paul Painters Pension Fund, and chairman of the Minneapolis Drywall
In 2001, he began working for a new contractor where he was superintendent in charge of all
manpower for the company. From 2001-2007, he was elected and served as president of District
Council 82/Local Union 386.
In 2007, Mr. Nelson was elected as Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer for IUPAT District Council
82, a council that represents commercial and industrial painters, drywall finishers, glaziers and
glassworkers, sign and display, and tradeshow workers throughout western Wisconsin, Minnesota,
North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.
Nelson was also elected as co-chairman of the Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest (FTIUM),
the educational arm of DC 82, in 2007. Under the leadership of Nelson and the board of
trustees, FTI-UM became an accredited institution, and has had the ability to bestow its own
associate’s degree since 2018.
In 2011, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Union Bank and Trust, where he currently
serves as chairman. That same year, Nelson was elected as vice president of the AFL-CIO Board of
Directors in North Dakota, as well as an executive board member of the AFL-CIO in Minnesota, and
an executive board member of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, North
Dakota State Building and Construction Trades Council, and Montana Building and Construction
Nelson was appointed to the Ninth District Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of
Minneapolis for small businesses and unions from 2013-2015. Nelson. In 2015, he joined 150
employers, labor leaders, educators and tech innovators from around the country at a White House
summit for the Obama Administration’s Upskill America initiative. Nelson also served on the
Committee Board for Expo 2023 Minnesota.
In 2020, Mr. Nelson was appointed as chairman of the IUPAT’s General President’s Advisory
Committee (GPAC). In April 2021, he accepted the position of Special Assistant to the General
President with the IUPAT.
He and his wife, Shelly, have been married for over 37 and have two adult children and one
grandchild. Nelson is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting big game, waterfowl and upland
birds. In his spare time, he has coached youth baseball and football, and volunteers for several
outdoor organizations, including Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.