SONOMA -- Craig Nelson will become chief executive officer of Sonoma-based The Nelson Family of Companies as a result of its recent sale of the WorkforceLogic division to Orlando-based ZeroChaos.

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Mr. Nelson, the son of company founder Gary Nelson, will take the helm from Catherine Candland, who will join ZeroChaos following the sale of WorkforceLogic. Ms. Candland was hired as CEO in May 2010, when Gary Nelson retired and became chairman of the board.

Terms of the WorkforceLogic sale, announced yesterday, were not disclosed.

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“For more than 40 years, I have put my heart and soul into this company," Gary Nelson said in a statement. "Craig has been with Nelson over 10 years and has established strong relationships with staff, clients, and members of the community. I anticipate this will be a smooth transition and the company will thrive under Craig’s leadership."

Craig Nelson previously served as executive vice president of staffing services. 

Prior to going to work for Nelson as general counsel in 2001, Craig Nelson spent seven years with the criminal division of the California Department of Justice. For three years before that, he was a litigator at Bowles and Verna. He has masters and doctorate law degrees from the University of San Diego and Hastings College of Law, respectively, plus degrees in business administration and economics.

“My father leads by example,” Mr. Craig Nelson said. “I will, of course, bring my own style to the role of CEO, but there are many ways in which I will follow his successful path. Being an innovator in the field of staffing and changing the way businesses utilize talent and technology to support their strategic goals is certainly something I will emulate.”

Gary Nelson founded the company in Sonoma with one office. Today it has 17 locations and more than 300 employees. The largest North Bay staffing firm, Nelson Family of Companies grew by 31 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2011. In the same timeframes, the staffing industry was growing by 12 percent and 10 percent.