The Tenth Annual Chelsea Awards Night at city hall was once again a great success.
A large and enthusiastic crowd packed the city council chamber last Wednesday evening as ten awards were bestowed upon winners who to a person said they were proud and humbled to have received them.
Lifetime Achievement winner Anthony Simboli, the city’s largest and most successful owner of commercial real estate, won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In short remarks, he re-told the story of his coming to Chelsea and starting out.
“Every one of my friends in the real estate business told me not to come to Chelsea. Well, I didn’t listen to any of them…I’m very glad I came,” he told the appreciative crowd, which included his son and daughter, his wife and grandchildren.
Mr. Simboli’s family owned company, ACS Development, recently announced that they will be building the $100 million regional FBI Northeast headquarters in Chelsea – a tremendous announcement of the first order for a city our size.
The Public Servant of the Year Award went to City Councillor Brian Hatleberg. Hatleberg, easily one of the most outspoken and articulate of present board members, has made his reputation as an honest man who calls things as he sees them as he knows them to be.
He very rarely minces words.
“I am humbled by this award. I am proud of this award,” he said in brief remarks in front of the crowd and his wife and children.
Juan Gallego, Businessman of the Year, remained himself – humble, unaffected, warm and personable.
“Thank you all so much,” he said in front of family and friends. “This means so much to me.” Family and friends all applauded the well-known businessman.
The Chelsea real estate broker has carved out a positive reputation as a broker during the past 25 years.
Juan Vega, one of the best known and most highly respected people working in this city said, he, too, was proud and humbled to receive such an award as he is not inclined to be receiving awards so much as he is inclined to be giving them out.
Winner of the Community Organization Person of the Year, he spoke in a heart felt way about his relationship with Centro Latino, the organization he heads and with the city and its people.
“Chelsea is my life. Helping others is my job. I am a very proud man this evening,” he said with family and friends in front of him.
Elsa Nunez received the Youth Resident of the Year Award and was wildly applauded by her younger friends who attended the city hall ceremony.
The same can be said of Ilana Acher, the very popular longtime Chelsea High School teacher who won the Adult resident of the Year Award and who delivered compelling remarks about her feelings for this city the children she teaches.
Senior Resident of the Year Leona Grell couldn’t attend. Her award was received for her by the lovely Judy Mastrocola.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council received the Contributing Stakeholder of the Year Award. The Project of the Year Award went to Youth Star and the Chelsea Record was voted the second of the two Lifetime Achievement awards.
A mixed committee of city leaders, businesspeople and organization leaders headed by City Manager Jay Ash receives nominations and then votes the winners.