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Norway’s consul will be 2013 Viking Fest grand marshal
POULSBO — Kim Nesselquist, Norway’s consul in Washington and Idaho, will be grand marshal of the 2013 Viking Fest Parade.
Jake Velarde, the North Kitsap High School wrestler who won his fourth consecutive state title in February, will be junior grand marshal. Velarde is the 10th prep wrestler in state history to win four consecutive state titles.
The grand marshal selections were confirmed Friday by Kathy Foresee, vice president of the Viking Fest Corporation.
Viking Fest is May 17, 18, 19. It celebrates Poulsbo’s Norwegian heritage; many of the city’s early non-Native settlers were Norwegian, drawn by an environment and resources similar to those in their birth country. In 1886, Norwegian immigrant I.B. Moe suggested that the community should have a post office and he suggested the town be named Paulsbo, after the Norwegian village where he had spent his early years. Norway’s King Olav V visited Poulsbo in 1975; King Harald V and Queen Sonja visited in 1995.
As consul, Nesselquist is Norway’s official representative in Washington and Idaho. He assists Norwegian citizens residing or traveling here, and works to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of Norway and the U.S.
Nesselquist is a Norwegian citizen who has been a resident of the United States since 1990. He was appointed consul by royal decree in 2007; he previously was vice consul. He is also director of Pacific Lutheran University’s Office of Development and University Relations. He has a degree in marketing from the Oslo School of Marketing, and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from PLU.
According to an online biography, Nesselquist was a political adviser to Norway’s Conservative Party, served as adviser in the Mayor's Office in the City of Oslo, and served as a deputy minister of Health and Social Services. He was elected to two terms on the City Council in his hometown of Drammen.
Relocating to the United States in 1990, he established a real estate investment company specializing in apartment building investments and condominium development. His wife, Krystn, purchased Work Wear, Inc., an import and distribution company for Djupvik, Fristad and Regatta brands; Nesselquist served as chairman of Work Wear from 1995 to 2012.
Nesselquist has served as board member of a number of Norwegian-American institutions and organizations, including executive director and CEO of the Norwegian American Foundation, and president of the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce. He served as regent at Pacific Lutheran University.
In 2012, King Harald V of Norway knighted Nesselquist with the Royal Order of Merit, Knight 1st Class.
Nesselquist and his wife, Krystn, have three children.