Great Southeast Flooring America’s Nelson Green opens heart and wallet to the Space Coast

When a business thrives, the owner often feels a profound sense of gratitude toward the surrounding community whose patronage they have earned. That feeling can create a charitable impulse; a desire to support the community’s various foundations and efforts. Nelson Green is one of those business owners. He knows the feeling well. Every year, the longtime owner of Great Southeast Flooring America in Melbourne undertakes a number of philanthropic endeavors to help better the community he loves. 

“We’re so grateful that this community has given us so much business over the years, and we want to reciprocate,” said Green. “We’re more than happy to use our resources to improve life here, to support this place as much as we can. It’s a privilege.”

Derby DaysDerby Day

One of the signature events Green commits himself to yearly is Space Coast Derby Day, which takes place May 5 in connection with the Kentucky Derby. Proceeds from the event help support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, Crosswinds Youth Services and Hidden Acres Rescue for Thoroughbreds. 

“It’s an opportunity to help some outstanding charities in the area and have a lot of fun in the process,” Green said. “We look forward to it every year. People have a great time.”

Derby Day is a major fundraiser for Rockledge Rotary, of which Green is a longtime member. Every year, he contributes to the event both financially and with his time. For example, he furnishes raffle prizes, including pieces of professional art and other high-end contributions. Held at Wickham Park in Melbourne from 2 to 7 p.m., the event includes live horse racing and wagering on the Kentucky Derby – both for charity – along with raffles and dinner by the local Carrabba’s. Attendees can watch live streaming from Churchill Downs. 

Scholarships and Sports

Derby Day is just one of many enterprises Green pours himself into. In recent years, he has undertaken efforts to help young people attend college. His scholarships for Satellite High School and Rockledge High School – the former being his alma mater – help defray the tuition costs for selected students.

“This is a serious undertaking for us, because education is so critical to the health of a community,” Green said. “Not only that, but college costs have skyrocketed over the years. If we can help carry some of that burden for young people, we’re glad to do so.” Great Southeast Flooring America has also been heavily involved in sponsoring sports in the area, particularly at Satellite High. “Over the years, we’ve sponsored so many sporting events at Satellite High that I think we’ve been involved in helping nearly every team there,” he said. “We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Giving and Receiving

Green said he does these things chiefly for the love of Brevard County and the Space Coast. But helping others also strengthens his business in the long run, he said.

“When we work to bring the community closer together and assist people in need, it helps us in return,” Green said. “These efforts improve to the community in countless ways. A stronger, more vibrant community will improve the business climate here. It also provides us with quality employees who want to work for a business
that gives.”

And while it’s undeniable that charitable giving is a networking opportunity leading to future business, Green sees that benefit as subordinate to his prime motivation: helping others.  

“It’s nice that giving to the community eventually comes back to us in one form or another, but that’s purely secondary,” he said. “We mainly just want to help people because it’s the right thing to do.” ◆