Ross L. Nelson, Cox Communications Inc. New England market vice president

INVESTING IN RHODE ISLAND: Cox Communications Inc. New England Market Vice President Ross L. Nelson persuaded the company’s corporate office to commit $125 million to improve fiber infrastructure throughout the Ocean State. 
PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS
INVESTING IN RHODE ISLAND: Cox Communications Inc. New England Market Vice President Ross L. Nelson persuaded the company’s corporate office to commit $125 million to improve fiber infrastructure throughout the Ocean State. 
PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS

PBN Leaders & Achievers 2023
Ross L. Nelson
Cox Communications Inc.

New England market vice president


ROSS L. NELSON is described by his colleagues and peers as a good listener who is sensitive to the needs of his employees.

Nelson, the market vice president of Cox Communications Inc.’s New England region, sees himself as a positive leader who wants to listen to his employees and build on their strengths.

“I really believe in focusing on people’s strengths, but with that comes accountability. If you set the accountability upfront and people know what the rules and guidelines are and you hold to that, then it takes all the noise away and people can focus on their jobs,” Nelson said, adding he celebrates when his employees are promoted. “When you focus on what people do well, it makes them feel good about themselves.”

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Nelson has been with Cox for more than 20 years, with no intention of leaving the West Warwick-based internet and technology communications company. He enjoys seeing family members spanning multiple generations working for Cox.

Technology is a competitive market, Nelson says, but he doesn’t want stress to impact employees where it would stop them from feeling fulfilled in their work.

“The goal is to do the best you can every day and take care of our customers. That’s the No. 1 priority,” Nelson said.

Part of taking care of the customers is also ensuring they have the best service possible. Nelson lobbied Cox’s corporate office to commit $125 million to improve fiber infrastructure throughout Rhode Island.

For Nelson, it was more than just making the deal. It was also about building stability for his employees. “I was able to convince the company that Rhode Island is worth investing in,” Nelson said.

Nelson also believes in giving back to the community and supporting businesses. He brought Get Started, a Cox Business initiative, to the Ocean State. What started as a pitch competition turned into a yearlong program to connect entrepreneurs with resources such as mentoring, pitch development, financial and legal advice.

“I am trying to be an economic driver for the state,” Nelson said. “We need more growth in Rhode Island.”

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