Derrick Nielsen

President & CEO

As President and CEO, Derrick leads the technologists, innovators, and entrepreneurs at High Touch Technologies. Derrick’s focus is working with his fellow employee-owners to ensure that the company’s vision, strategy, and culture collectively support continued profitable growth.

About Derrick

High Touch was a long-term client of Derrick’s during his consulting career at Allen, Gibbs, and Houlik (AGH). He designed and led the company’s strategic planning process from 2009-2014, which helped High Touch create a vision and strategy to grow and diversify. Derrick’s consulting practice at AGH focused primarily on strategic planning and leadership development for organizations from a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, construction, banking, technology, not-for-profits, and various trade and industry associations.

Most recently, Derrick spent four years as Vice President of People Operations and a member of the Executive team at Charles Machine Works, a leading equipment and solutions provider to the underground construction industry. Prior to joining Charles Machine Works as a full-time employee, he designed and led the company’s strategic planning process for nine years as an outside consultant with AGH. During this period, Charles Machine Works experienced tremendous growth and diversification, expanding well beyond it largest and most well-known brand, Ditch Witch, to become a family of seven market-leading companies.

Prior to starting his business career, Derrick served on Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a researcher and investigator following South Africa’s first inclusive democratic election. He also worked as a Legislative Assistant to former Kansas Congressman Dan Glickman and spent a year as a volunteer teacher in rural South Africa.

Board and Community Involvement


Graduate Research – Politics of Change in South Africa

B.A. – Government,
Russian language minor