An article in the Business section in the Dec. 18 edition (“Family-run Nelson & Small executes smooth break-up”) marks the end of the era of a remarkable Portland-based family business, Nelson & Small.

Several divisions of the wholesale supply company have been sold and some have been reorganized with new management structure, and the company is no longer led wholly by the second-generation owners, Kenny Nelson and David Small.

Harold and Millie Nelson founded the company in 1936, and Irving Small, Harold’s cousin, joined the venture later. It is noteworthy, but not surprising, that in the complex process of the sale of the businesses, all local jobs were protected.

While the day-to-day business activities of Nelson & Small may not be familiar to Portland-area residents, the leadership provided in many community projects by Kenny and Mary Nelson and David and Betty Small is admirable.

Family-owned companies have long been a meaningful part of the foundation of philanthropy in the arts as well as religious and secular interests in Greater Portland. The two retiring executives have faithfully kept their company in the forefront of that distinguished group, continuing the example set by their parents.

We wish Kenny and David and their families well in their “retirement” and thank them for their myriad contributions to our special quality of life here in Portland and throughout the state.

Mary and Stephen Anderson

South Portland

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