Frank J. Gaziano "The American Dream"
Frank J. Gaziano, was a loving husband, father and grandfather, a caring employer, a visionary, a salesman, a philanthropist and an excellent businessman.
Frank was born in Waltham, Massachusetts on May 2, 1914, the son of Sal and Madeline (Schiclione) Gaziano. He was raised in Waltham, and graduated from Waltham High School in 1936 and from Dean Academy in 1937. He went on to Holy Cross College where he graduated in 1941 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
While at Waltham High School, Frank established several athletic records. He was the only freshman to play on the varsity football team. During his four years of high school, he played every minute of 32 out of 40 games. He played as a lineman on both offense and defense. He was selected as an All-State Guard for three consecutive years, an honor since unequalled. Due to his high school football prowess, he was awarded a full scholarship to Holy Cross College where he excelled both athletically and academically. At Holy Cross he was selected as an All-American football player.
Because of his athletic accomplishments on the football field, Frank played professional football with the Washington Redskins earning $200.00 per game. He also later played for the Boston Yanks, now known as the Indianapolis Colts.
Frank served in the US Army during World War II. Upon returning to his roots in Waltham after the war, he was elected to serve on the Waltham School Board, the first Italian-American elected to this board.
His entire business career was associated with Anheuser-Busch. He joined Anheuser-Busch in March of 1946 as a route salesman with the August A. Busch Co. in Boston, Massachusetts. Because of his strong performance as a route salesman, he climbed the executive ladder quite rapidly. He was promoted to branch manager in Boston, then branch manager in Westbury, Long Island, New York, and the Bronx and Manhattan branches of Anheuser-Busch. In 1952 he was promoted to Assistant Regional Manager responsible for Anheuser-Busch branches and wholesale operations. He then became the Division Manager and was assigned to manage the entire New England territory.
In 1960, Frank resigned from Anheuser-Busch and purchased National Distributors, Inc. in Portland, Maine. The company moved to Wallace Avenue in South Portland, Maine in 1980. Today the company employs 200 people, operates out of a 150,000 sq. ft., temperature controlled warehouse and has separate sales forces selling beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. In 2010, the company celebrated its 50th year in business. In May of 1996, Frank was honored for his 50 years in the beer business.
During his career, he gave back to the community in many ways. In 1985, in celebration of the company’s 25th year in business, Frank donated $50,000 toward construction of the bandstand in Deering Oaks. He was very proud of this gift and arranged for the Portland Symphony Orchestra to play and the Budweiser Clydesdales to be there for the dedication.
In 2000 Frank donated funds to the Portland Police Department to purchase a mobile, high-tech Intoxilyzer further stressing his wise approach to the responsible use of the product he was selling. In that same year, Frank offered a reward for the apprehension of the thief who stole $5,000 from the Center For Grieving Children.
His passion for sports was why he wrote a weekly sports column, as a paid advertisement, in the Portland Press Herald for many years. Each column started with the words, “I bet you didn’t know”. These columns featured sports trivia while promoting beer brands and facts about brewing, drinking, and enjoying beer.
This passion is also why he established several student scholarships.
Frank and his loving wife of 59 years, Norma, who passed away in 2007, generously donated to the restoration of St. Bartholomew’s parish hall which was later named after them.
Frank and Norma spent many summers with their daughters, Judy and Jill, in Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. He was a family man who was very proud of his daughters and their accomplishments both in athletics and in their professional lives. He was equally proud of his grandchildren, Ben, Lauren and David.
Forever the salesman, Frank was always thinking of ways to sell more beer. His ideas ran the gamut from developing a salesmen’s training program to developing glassware designs to sell more beer in certain on-premise genres, such as the glass that looked like a cowboy boot targeted for Country Western Bars with the accompanying theme of “Buy A Bootle of Bud”.
Frank left a lasting impression on many people and was living proof that, if you work hard, you too can accomplish your own American Dream.