SONOMA -- The Nelson Family of Companies today announced that longtime director Monty Houdeshell was elected chairman, replacing Gary Nelson, founder of the company and chairman since 1970.

The appointment is part of a transition in leadership at Nelson following the sale of a majority interest in its WorkforceLogic division to Orland-based ZeroChaos. Nelson companies Chief Executive Officer Catherine Candland left for ZeroChaos as a part of the deal, so Craig Nelson, son of Gary Nelson, took her place. 

“Having a well-experienced board chair who is not a family member is a new and exciting direction for us,” said Craig Nelson. “As Monty focuses on oversight of board operations and corporate governance, I can concentrate fully on building the business, maintaining successful client relationships and ensuring a fun and productive workplace for our staff.”

Mr. Houdeshell has been a member of Nelson’s board since 2006, most recently serving as chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee. He has served in chief financial and administrative officer roles for publicly traded companies in a variety of industries including communications technology, health care and manufacturing.

Currently, the Laguna Niguel resident is a principal at Houdeshell Advisors, LLC. He has also served as CFO at Autobytel, Inc.; CAO and CFO for Remedy Temp Inc., The Furon Company and Oak Industries, Inc.; and in a variety of finance and administrative positions at Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. He holds undergraduate finance degree from Ohio State University and an MBA in entrepreneurship and business development from the University of Southern California.

“I have full confidence in Monty’s ability to lead our board during this next period of the company’s evolution,” said Gary Nelson, who will remain involved with the company and iWorkGlobal as the founder.   “In addition to Monty’s experience in staffing and board leadership, he’s a hands-on professional in strategic planning and corporate governance. Under his guidance, we’re expecting great things in 2012.”