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Jerry Nelson

UCLA '48


Jerry was a general contractor with construction projects in Michigan, California, Arizona and Mexico. He is president and founder of Pinnacle Peak Land Company and of Pinnacle Paradise, Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona. Through these entities and affiliates, he has, since 1971, developed Pinnacle Peak Village, Pinnacle Peak Country Club and Shopping Plaza, Troon Village and Troon Golf & Country Club, Troon North and Troon North golf course. Other developments have also occurred in Scottsdale and Prescott, Arizona and Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico.

As an entrepreneur, Jerry has funded the creation and startup of numerous companies, including Simulnet, Video Electronics, Ticketmaster, Antenna Technology Corporation, Technology Control Services, and Troon Golf Management. He was appointed by Arizona Governor, Bruce Babbitt, to the Urban Lands Advisory Commission and, in 1997, was inducted into Scottsdale’s “History Maker Hall of Fame.” He and his late wife, Florence, were very active in Phoenix, Arizona, and national philanthropy, including Arizona State University, the Mayo Clinic - Scottsdale, the University of Arizona, the U.S. Olympics, and the American Leadership Academy.

Jerry has been a Phi Psi Foundation Trustee since 1989 and has led the charge to grow the Foundation and expand the Board. Jerry has been the catalyst behind the Chapter Scholarship Fund program, promoting the Foundation as the “community foundation” for Phi Psi’s almost 100 chapters, and he has been a leader in the promotion of grants and reserves for safe and competitive chapter housing.

At the 2000 Grand Arch Council, Phi Kappa Psi recognized Jerry’s outstanding achievement as a volunteer and philanthropist with a National Leadership Award.

In 2004, Jerry was selected by the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence (FFE), formerly the North-American Interfraternity Conference Foundation, as Philanthropist of the Year. The FFE represents the educational foundations of over 60 men’s and women’s fraternal groups.

On September 25, 2009, Jerry’s wife Florence passed away. Her dedication to Phi Psi began as soon as her son J.P. pledged the Cal Epsilon Chapter at UCLA in 1993. She is credited with bringing Jerry back to Phi Psi and for nearly two decades, they welcomed thousands of Phi Psis to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the American Leadership Academy, which she and Jerry developed into a foremost leadership academy within the fraternal world.

Much like her passion for educating children, Florence took pride in transitioning young men into adulthood by utilizing the principles and lessons of the Fraternity. She was also a proponent of the arts, sciences and countless other causes, and her generosity will be remembered and honored.

Jerry resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, and travels the country to visit his three sons, Nic, Tom (Sigma Chi) and J.P. (UCLA ‘94) as well as Phi Psi Chapters.