By Cary Shuman
Elliot Katzman is a true Chelsea success story.
He grew up in the Central Avenue housing development, attended Shurtleff School, Chelsea High School, and Salem State University before launching his dynamic career and becoming a highly respected executive who built four highly successful companies.
Katzman continues to achieve in the world of business as a general partner at Commonwealth Capital Ventures.
The Chabad of Merrimack Valley-Boston honored Katzman’s life of achievement, generosity, and kindness at its Annual Community Breakfast May 17 at the Bostonian Hotel.
Making it an even prouder moment for Elliot was the fact that his father, Myer Katzman, a resident at the Cohen Florence Levine Estates Assisted Living, was also honored at the breakfast.
Elliot Katzman’s longtime Chelsea friends, Mike Zullo and Tom Faitel, were among the guests who came to honor the former CHS track standout.
Katzman was typically humble in his acceptance speech, thanking Jon Hirschtick for his special friendship that began 20 years ago.
He thanked his wife, Donna (Frangiamone), calling his high school sweetheart “the heart and soul of our family.”
“If my mother were here, she would point out that from our first date, Donna gave me purpose and motivation to build a future together,” Katzman told the crowd that filled the function hall at the hotel.
He also thanked his father and mother-in-law, Chelsea residents Jack and Mary Frangiamone, who looked on proudly from the family table in front of the podium.
“I couldn’t ask for better parents in-law,” said Katzman.
He also thanked his sons and daughter-in-law, Matt, Katie, Dave and Emily. “I couldn’t be more proud of Matthew and david and the men they have become.”
Katzman lauded his father, Myer, “the man of the hour, the real honoree” at the impressive breakfast.
“While I received a wonderful formal education, much of what I accomplished in life is the result of the love and support from my parents and grandparents, and special life lessons I received simply by observing my dad,” he said.
“My father married Marilyn Rosenthal in 1955 and they settled in Chelsea. My father was a devoted husband and father. He has always been a dedicated father to my brother [Scott] and me.”
He recalled his father’s main job working at Revere Smoked Fish, which later become Sealect Foods, where he worked for over 50 years. He told the guests of the respect his father gained from customers.
“Today my father is thriving at the Leonard Florence Assisted Living,” said Katzman. “He says it’s the nicest place he ever lived. There are recreation activities and the staff makes him feel special and respected. I want to thank Barry Berman and Shelly and her husbad, Jimmy, and Kate Kelly, his nurse practitioner for the wonderful work they do.”
Myer Katzman took the podium to a warm standing ovation and an embrace from his son, Elliot.
“I love my sons, Elliot and Scott, very much and I am very proud of them,” said Mr. Katzman. “They both married wonderful women, Donna and Robin, and they gave me four grandchildren.I have much nachas, which is Yiddish, and means I am very lucky.”
Mr. Katzman also thanked “the people at the Assisted Living for everything you do.”
It was clear that Mr. Katzman was overwhelemed by the tremendous honor extended to him and his son on this memorable morning.
Said Elliot’s friend and classmate, Mike Zullo, “This was a deserving tribute to two outstanding individuals. I feel fortunate to be here today on such a happy occasion. I’m proud of Elliot for all his accomplishments in life and the fact that he has never forgotten his Chelsea roots.”