Nicholson has served on the OMPA board since 2008, and became the Board Chair in 2020. He was elected Mayor of Ponca City in 2007 after a 38-year career with Conoco. As such, he has presided over a number of large projects in the city, including a new $25 million YMCA and the completion of a Comprehensive Master Plan. A past President of the Oklahoma Municipal League, he was a 2010 recipient of the Meritorious Service Award, presented by MESO. He has also been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials.