Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: May 1, 2023 / Power 50 for 2023

2023 Power 50: Michael Nicholson

a smiling man in a suit Photo | Courtesy of City of Gardner Michael Nicholson, mayor, City of Gardner
Michael Nicholson Title Mayor Organization City of Gardner Residence: Gardner College: UMass Amherst, Suffolk University Law School in Boston Read all the 2023 Power 50 profiles here
More Information

Gardner, aka Chair City, was one of the many Massachusetts municipalities hit hard by manufacturing moving out of the state and the country. During the tenure of the state’s youngest mayor and Gardner’s first Latino elected official, Michael Nicholson is seeing signs of recovery as new businesses open and the neglected downtown is revived. In 2022, the city saw 33 businesses either open or expand, with seven opening in 2023 so far.

Downtown Gardner has seen multiple properties purchased for redevelopment, and the City in February made five vacant government-owned properties available to developers for purchase. The latest effort came in March when The Garbose Building on Parker Street was acquired for $500,000 by Candor Realty of Lowell, which plans on renovating the building to create 18 market-rate one-bedroom and studio apartments and retaining the ground-floor retail space.

As more people seek to relocate from more expensive areas and find Gardner, Nicholson is leading the effort to make the city a permanent home for them with tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades, including pedestrian amenities, bike trails, lighting, and roadways.

How should professionals best use the power they wield? “Never let anyone tell you to wait your turn, you’re too young, that things can only be done the way they’ve been done before, or that the fear of failure outweighs the potential benefits or lessons you learn along the way. You’ve been selected for your role for a reason, so show them.”

Believing in oneself: Nicholson keeps a box of pacifiers in his office originally left for him on his first day as Rutland town administrator, along with a note saying, “Something for when you realize it's time to let the adults do the job.” It reminds him to believe in himself regardless of what critics say.

World traveler: Nicholson has been to 16 countries, and his favorite way to travel is by cruise ship.

Read all the 2023 Power 50 profiles here.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF