community remembers entrepreneur and philanthropist William Zammer | Mashpee News
“It was a great loss. Mashpee has lost another great man. He believed in sharing his wealth, and he did. Just look at what he was involved with, you wonder how the man got time. The influence the man had and his ability to unite people was amazing, all good. Bill never said anything bad about anyone.
These are the words of Carol Sherman, President of the Mashpee Board of Selectmen, about William Zammer Jr., a prominent businessman and restaurateur who owned The Flying Bridge and the Coonamessett Inn and was a generous benefactor to many. causes and organizations. Mr Zammer, who was the husband of Linda (Raub) Zammer and who lived for many years in Mashpee, died at his home in Osterville on June 26. He was 75 years old.
Prior to moving to Cape Town and establishing his company, Cape Cod Restaurants Inc. in the 1980s, Mr. Zammer was President and CEO of Seilers / Sodexo Company, a food service and facilities management company employing 15 000 employees in the United States. At one point, he was a newspaper editor at the Tribune Publishing Company and operated eight weekly newspapers and one radio station. He was also a senior labor consultant for modern management methods, and in the 1970s was a hospital administrator at Tufts New England Medical Center.
When he and his wife bought the Coonamessett Inn in 1996, the sale made Zammers one of Cape Town’s largest food operators. At that time they had been operating the Popponesset Inn in Mashpee for nine years and two years previously they had purchased The Flying Bridge in Falmouth. They also operated Ballymeade’s restaurant in Hatchville.
Mrs. Josiah K. Lilly III was president of the company that owned the Coonamessett Inn when the Zammers bought it. They made it a successful business for the next 21 years. They sold Coonamessett Inn in 2017 to boutique hotel company Lark Hotels.
In May 1999, he was honored at the “Evening of Excellence” organized by the organization Pride on Cape Cod. Mr. Zammer received an award recognizing his contribution to a healthy Cape Town economy through his work with the Coonamessett Inn. Doreen Bilezikian, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, congratulated him on successfully transforming the Inn into a ‘first class meeting / reception room for the Upper Cape’ and creating a number of jobs throughout the year; She noted that Coonamessett’s success has had a positive effect on other businesses: “The hostel has built a year-round business that not only supports itself but also does business with local musicians, hair salons, wedding vendors and other hotels and restaurants, ”she said.
While Mr. Zammer was grateful for the award, he noted that it was the teamwork between himself, his wife, Linda, and his management teams that contributed to the hostel’s success. “I couldn’t do it myself,” Zammer said. “They care about this place, they take care of it and it shows. They understand that the front reflects the back.
Mr Zammer purchased the old Falmouth Hotel on Main Street in May 2000 and, after renovation, the building accommodated 56 of its employees in apartments on the second and third floors. His effort was one of the first of its kind in town and he received national media attention for it. He said at the time he was grateful to the chosen men and the Falmouth Zoning Appeal Board, who he noted strongly supported his plans.
In late 2000, Mr. Zammer expanded his business by renting The Dome restaurant in Woods Hole and purchasing Roland’s Catering in Falmouth.
Mr Zammer also owned the Red Horse Inn, which he bought in 2002, Clancy’s in Dennisport since 2012 and Tugboats in West Yarmouth, now under new ownership.
Mr. Zammer was recognized in the summer of 2004 by the National Restaurant Association as the winner of the Massachusetts Restaurant Neighbor Award in the multi-unit division. In addition to his two establishments in Falmouth and operating the restaurant in Ballymeade, he then operated the restaurant at the Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth.
He was inducted into the Massachusetts Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2003. President of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and President of its Hospitality Institute, he was honored by the association as the 2009 Restaurateur of the Year and testified before Congress of United States on behalf of the National Association of Conservators.
He was instrumental in launching the ProStart program at Falmouth High School, a two-year internship program for students interested in catering.
In 2004, the hospitality industry leader established the Linda and William Zammer Institute for Hospitality and Culinary Studies at Cape Cod Community College with a $ 100,000 fundraising donation to enable the college to expand the program and to renovate its hospitality suite, which had not been updated since 1984.
Mr. Zammer had been involved in efforts to expand the academic program and training facilities at the college for several years. “I think this is a very important project,” he said. “We provide affordable education for students on Cape Cod and the Islands.” Once the renovations are complete, the program could triple registrations.
The Falmouth Chamber of Commerce named Mr. Zammer Citizen of the Year in 2016 in recognition of his work as an entrepreneur and volunteer with Falmouth organizations as well as his behind-the-scenes support to the community.
“With the silent and anonymous work he and his wife do, he touches hundreds, if not thousands,” said Michael D. Kasparian, president of the chamber. “It means a lot to the chamber to honor him for all he has done for our members and the community. “
Mr Zammer and his wife have supported the charitable work of organizations supporting the homeless and needy, such as the Falmouth Service Center.
Other organizations Mr. Zammer has worked with range from the Falmouth Education Foundation and the Marine Biological Laboratory to the annual Veterans Day Breakfast and the Cape Symphony and Conservatory. He helped create the Pops Goes the Summer concert. He has served on the Advisory Board of Johnson & Wales College and Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.
In all of his community work, his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cape Cod Healthcare has stood out. “The challenges facing Cape Cod Healthcare are enormous. It keeps me busy, but it’s a fulfilling role, ”he said. “We have the best community hospital and some of the best doctors. “
Two years later, he and his wife were named 2018 Citizens of the Year by the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce. The award recognized the couple’s contributions to the Mashpee community, from volunteering and philanthropy to helping build the business community in Mashpee.
After moving to Mashpee in the late 1980s and living in the city full time for a year, Mr. Zammer helped form the local chamber of commerce and then worked from an office on Mashpee Rotary. Back then, the city was a different place, with barely the Mashpee Commons in it today, a fraction of the population, and very few businesses. “The group was very small when we started,” Zammer said of the room. “We had maybe 20 members at most. The chamber has grown to well over 300 members, a credit to Mr. Zammer’s vision.
Katy Acheson, Executive Director of the Mashpee Chamber, said of Mr. Zammer: “Usually Citizen of the Year in my experience, we give them two tickets to attend the event and they will buy some. two or three more, maybe they’ll buy a whole table of 10, but Bill bought about 40 tickets because everyone he knew wanted to come support and celebrate him, which was really telling the kind of … you know, he made a family, an incredibly large and vibrant family. This is the thing I remember the most. “
The Zammers have worked with the Mashpee Scholarship Foundation for two decades, and through their work with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Education Foundation, have helped deliver ProStart culinary programs to local high schools; in 2017, the Mashpee High School culinary team ended up representing Massachusetts in the nation’s first high school culinary arts competition, the National ProStart Invitational in Charleston, South Carolina.
Mr Zammer was a founding member of the Boys & Girls Club of Cape Cod and also served on its board of directors, and his wife helped organize a monthly fundraiser for the club to feed the children coming in after school . A long list of organizations not specific to Mashpee was also noted.
“He was just an incredible man, larger than life. Last year in particular, when we were looking at P3 loans, Bill was there to advise me. As soon as he knew the loan applications were opening, he called me. He and Linda were actually behind the campaign we ran this winter to beautify the club, ”said Ruth Provost, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club. “It was that kind of advice that I could count on. If I had a question about something I could always pick up the phone and call Bill and Bill would call me if there was anything I needed to know.
Mr. Zammer’s other leadership and philanthropy awards included the Joshua A. Nickerson Society Award in 2012 and the Cape Cod’s Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year Award in 2005 from Philanthropy Partners of the Cape and Islands.
John Miller, who recently received the Mashpee House Citizen of the Year award, said of Mr. Zammer: “He was a pretty guy, a character in his own right, one of the most engaging and enterprising that I know. He was certainly successful in all of his business ventures and had a huge impact here in Cape Town through his restoration efforts and philanthropy, which was legendary. The memory of this will last for many decades. “