Palm Beach Daily News: Palm Beach couple remember Nancy Reagan as nice person and “the boss”

Evelyn Holtzman, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Seymour Holtzman

News of former first lady Nancy Reagan’s death on Sunday brought back memories for a Palm Beach couple who were friends with the Reagans before and during their years in the White House.

Seymour and Evelyn Holtzman have several photographs of themselves with the Reagans, including some taken at a state dinner, at the Reagans’ ranch in California and in the backyard of the Holtzmans’ home in Kingston, Penn.

“She was very nice and very courteous,” Seymour said of Nancy Reagan. “He was such a nice guy. People would try to take advantage of him and she protected him. She was the boss.”

The Holtzmans also were among a few friends who waited in the Rose Garden for President Reagan when he returned to the White House on Marine One after being treated in the hospital following an assassination attempt in 1981.

“He was just a wonderful, nice guy,” Evelyn said. “She was very sweet, very nice.”

Seymour Holtzman is a business executive. The couple is from the Wilkes-Barre, Penn., area but have lived since 2003 in Palm Beach, where they have a home on Chilean Avenue.

The Holtzmans met the Reagans in 1976 through their son, Marc, a passionate supporter who at age 16 wrote a $50 check to the Reagan campaign. Reagan later appointed Marc Holtzman executive director of his 1980 presidential campaign in Pennsylvania. Marc left college at age 19 to take the job, becoming the youngest person to run a statewide campaign in a presidential election.

After Reagan was elected, Marc Holtzman was named executive director of Citizens for America, Reagan’s national issues advocacy group.

Seymour Holtzman said he was a Democrat who had voted for John F. Kennedy in 1960. Yet, through their son, the couple became Reagan supporters, hosting fundraisers and having the Reagans to dinner at their home

“I chartered my plane to them on several occasions during the campaign,” Mr. Holtzman said.

The Reagans asked the Holtzmans to the White House many times during the 1980s, and, on at least one occasion, invited them to share the president’s box at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Reagans were unable to attend that night, but the Holtzmans were thrilled to meet Elizabeth Taylor following her performance in The Little Foxes.

Evelyn Holtzman said she was drawn to Ronald Reagan because of “the hope” he offered to the country during a trying time in its history.

Seymour Holtzman called Nancy Reagan a standout among first ladies because of her campaign against illegal drug use and because of her combination of strength and grace.

“She was just a nice person and a good friend.” he said.

by William Kelly (Daily News Staff Writer)

Courtesy of the Palm Beach Daily News

Times Leader: Local couple remembers friendship with Reagans

First Lady, Nancy Reagan and Seymour Holtzman at the Holtzman residence.

WILKES-BARRE – The country lost a former first lady Sunday while Seymour and Evelyn Holtzman lost a close friend.

The Holtzmans recalled their friendship with Nancy Reagan, who died Sunday at the age of 94.

“She was a very good friend and a wonderful lady,” Seymour said from Florida. “President Reagan was always so nice to everybody and sometimes people tried to take advantage of him. Nancy was his guardian. She protected him in all ways.”

The Holtzmans visited the Reagans often – in Washington, D.C., and in California at the Reagan ranch. When President Reagan returned to the White House following the 1980 assassination attempt, Seymour said he and his wife were two of just 10 people gathered in the Rose Garden to welcome him home.

“I still remember the helicopter landing,” he said. “We were very glad to see him again, and we felt honored to be a part of his welcome home.”

The Holtzmans have several photos of their times with the Reagans’ at state dinners at the White House, on horseback and even in the Holtzman’s backyard in Kingston.

“In 1979, when Mr. Reagan announced he was running for president, we held a fundraiser at our house,” Evelyn said. “It was only the second fundraiser for him in Pennsylvania.”

The Holtzmans have a picture of that event signed by the former first lady.

The Holtzmans also attended a controversial 1982 dinner at the White House that featured Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The Holtzmans said it was the first state dinner that Nancy Reagan had.

“We were invited and we have a picture of my wife shaking hands with Nancy and Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak of Egypt. The dinner featured new White House china that was termed “extravagant”. The controversy subsided when it was revealed that the cost of the dinnerware was covered by a private donation.

“That was the dinner when there was all that hub-bub about the new china for the White House dining room,” Seymour said. “Later that night, Nancy Reagan called Evelyn and they talked for 20 minutes.”

And then there was the time that President Reagan and Nancy invited the Holtzmans to an event at the Kennedy Center. The Reagans were unable to attend, so the Holtzmans sat in the president’s box.

“There we were and everybody in the building was turning around to see who was sitting in the president’s box,” Seymour said. “And we got to meet Elizabeth Taylor, who was performing that night.”

The Holtzmans said their son, Marc, is now working in Hong Kong. When Reagan ran for the presidency in 1979, Marc was named campaign director for Pennsylvania.

“Marc was just 19 years old,” Syemour said. “He dropped out of Lehigh University to work on that campaign.”

by Bill O’Boyle

Courtesy of Times Leader


Palm Beach Daily News: ‘Serial entrepreneur’ finds time to mind his own business(es) Palm Beacher’s latest venture is new licensed Rolex boutique in Miami

“The key to success is hard work,” Seymour Holtzman said.
“And you have to listen and learn all the time”.

At 78, Palm Beacher Seymour Holtzman has not lost his youthful sense of adventure, especially when it comes to business opportunities and investments.

A self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” Holtzman has been involved in several businesses since his 20s, when he operated an advertising and printing enterprise in his home town of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

“Some of them were successful,” he said with a slight twinkle in his eye.

Currently, Holtzman is the chairman of, and largest shareholder in, DXL Group, which owns and operates retail stores catering to the big and tall men’s market. He also owns, with his wife Evelyn, Internet retailer; C.D. Peacock; a Chicago area jewelry store, with four locations; and he recently opened the Rolex Boutique Luxury Swiss in Miami.s Design District.

“The key to success is hard work,” he said. “And you have to listen and learn all the time.”

He also keeps current with market trends. For instance, he was convinced, in the mid-1990s, that the Internet would be a lucrative and expanding place for retailers to set up shop.

Holtzman saw the potential for a successful venture when he pursued a deal with Rolex to open one of two licensed watch boutiques in Florida.

“Miami, right now, is on fire as a luxury retail destination,” he said. “Rolex is a fabulous brand, and the Design District is the right place for it at exactly the right time.”

Having been a Rolex dealer for more than 20 years via C.D. Peacock, Holtzman was a familiar and trusted figure to the prestigious Swiss watchmaker.

“C.D. Peacock is very financially stable, and I’m a known entity to Rolex,” Holtzman said, explaining that he was confident about being selected to operate the Miami boutique. The company has reduced its distribution points by half over the past several years.

“And I can’t resist an opportunity,” he said.

Known to Rolex

Seymour Holtzman’s Rolex Boutique Luxury Swiss in Miami’s
Design District opened in January. Seth Browarnik / WorldRedEye

“Seymour is a world-renowned businessman with a lifelong passion for fine jewelry, timepieces and art,” said Victor Herrera, vice president of new-store development for Rolex Boutique Luxury Swiss LLC.

“The calculated decision to open the first Rolex Boutique in the Miami Design District coincides with the rapid growth that the South Florida market is experiencing, as it becomes one of the top international shopping destinations for exclusive brands,” Herrera added. “We are proud and honored to be here, as the timing is just right.”

The sleek 1,400-square-foot boutique, which sells only Rolex products, cost Holtzman more than $5 million to open.

He believes it is money well spent, as the store is stocked with an “unbelievable assortment of watches”. Due to limited distribution, some of them cannot be found at other Rolex dealers.

The boutique is “a simple concept, which is something I also like,” Holtzman said.

He is in daily contact with the store, to which he makes weekly trips in order to keep an eye on his investment.

But he is always happy to return to the island, where he has lived for the past 11 years. “We come from a small town and like that quality about Palm Beach — it feels like home,” he said.

by Robert Janjigian (Daily News Business Editor)

Courtesy of the Palm Beach Daily News

The NewTimes: Rwanda: $65 Million to Be Invested in Pharmaceutical Plant

Seymour Holtzman, President Kagame of Rwanda, and Marc Holtzman

Rwanda is set to have one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s premier pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities worth over $65m.

CSM GlobalPharma, a partnership between Cadila Pharmaceuticals, India’s largest family-owned pharmaceutical company, and U.S.-based Holtzman group, have announced plans to invest more than $65 million in the project.

According to Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the ambitious project seeks to deploy advanced technology to help Rwanda achieve independence from most pharmaceutical imports by manufacturing high quality products in-country for sale at competitive prices.

The project development plan will see four phases of production, solids, mainly tablets and capsules. The liquids section will be producing gels, ointments, creams and syrups while biological section will produce injectables and vaccines.

The plant will also have an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) line.

The project will also help develop the country’s technology sector through partnerships with Rwanda’s universities and other institutions of higher learning.

According to the CSM GlobalPharma Chairman, Marc Holtzman, the investors were drawn to Rwanda by the country’s business and investment friendly atmosphere.

“Rwanda is an extremely attractive environment for us to partner and help grow the pharmaceutical sector. The transparent, business friendly policies of the Kagame Administration and the eagerness of the workforce make us incredibly enthusiastic about Rwanda,” Holtzman.said.

Construction planning has already begun with ground-breaking to follow this year. Manufacturing will start within two years from ground-breaking.

Cadila Pharmaceuticals is one of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world with over 50 years in the business.

“CSM GlobalPharma is eager to bring Cadila’s 59 year legacy of excellence in healthcareto East Africa. Estimates indicate that up to 30 percent of pharmaceutical imports into Sub-Saharan Africa are counterfeit,” said Dr. Rajiv Modi, the CSM GlobalPharma Managing Director and Cadila Chief Executive.

“By helping Rwanda to manufacture its own pharmaceuticals, we expect the project to go a long way toward providing improved health standards and security for the country’s population,” he added.

CSM GlobalPharma Managing Director Seymour Holtzman hailed the efficiency and effectiveness of the RDB One-Stop Centre describing it as one of the best incentives for investors.

“Thanks to RDB’s “one-stop shop” approach, we are off and running to implement plans to serve the people of Rwanda with world-class pharmaceutical products and to create hundreds of jobs.” Holtzman said.