Mr. Nils-Edvard Olsen (NEO) was deputy mayor from 1980 – 1982 and mayor from 1982-1990 in the Municipality of South-Varanger in the Norwegian High North. He got the tough challenge of restructuring a one-sided industrial location in urgent need of transformation and realization of alternative working places.
Throughout the 1980ies NEO laboriously promoted the municipality with the aim of attracting attention from regional and central authorities about the various needs of the population in the bordering municipality. An investment company, South - Varanger Investments, was soon established with an aim of developing alternative businesses.
Nils-Edvard Olsen used every opportunity at oil-conferences, both in Norway and in the Soviet Union, to underline the importance of the need for getting started with oil and gas activity in the Barents sea, - and naturally for a mayor of South Varanger , promoting his municipality as the gateway to the Barents Sea and the Soviet market. During his mayoral period, several companies were established having the USSR as market as f.instance Kimek, Barents Company, Grenseland and similar.
Olsen was awarded honorary membership in the NRCC in December 2009.