For inaugural parade, a familiar voice

Washington native and PR executive Charlie Brotman will continue his 63-year streak of announcing the inaugural parade on Monday. President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade will be Brotman’s 16th consecutive time in the announcer’s chair. (JulieAnn McKellogg/The Washington Post)
January 13, 2013

Charlie Brotman is now in Cal Ripken-esque territory.

The chief executive of Brotman Winter Fried Communications public relations firm will again be the voice of the presidential inauguration when he mans the microphone this month at President Obama’s second inauguration.

Brotman has been the voice of presidential inaugural parades since 1949, when he introduced President Harry Truman.

Since then, Brotman has introduced presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama. (Ford did not have an inauguration or a parade).

The dean of Washington public relations, Brotman is celebrating his 85th birthday Jan. 26 at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place at Washington Harbour in Georgetown.

“I always thought 40 was old,” said Brotman, who works out every other day in his basement, plays golfs and has a mean tennis stroke. “I am 85 and loving it. I like getting older. I can do things that I could never do before. I am really fortunate, because my health is good. That’s the key.”

Here are some other Brotman tidbits:

3 His voice has been heard at Griffith Stadium, RFK Stadium and Nationals Park as “Voice of the Washington Senators and the Nationals.”

3 Movie buffs can hear him as the stadium announcer in the motion picture, “Damn Yankees.”

3 He recruited fabled boxing trainer Angelo Dundee to train Sugar Ray Leonard.

3 In addition to Leonard, he has worked with Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Sonny Jurgensen, Redskins Coach George Allen, Ted Williams, Abe Pollin, Arnold Palmer and Harmon Killebrew.

3 He handled PR for satirist Mark Russell’s concerts at Ford’s Theatre.

“I began working for Charlie in 1985 as an unpaid intern,” said Washington native Fred Sternberg, who is flying in from Denver for the event. “By the time I left in 1998, I was vice president of his company, still earning the same salary. Charlie said he wanted to protect my humbleness.” As for Brotman’s Ripken-esque inauguration streak, Sternberg called it “a profile in courage and thermal underwear.”

The Buzz hears:

Havit Advertising is growing. The firm — headed by ex-Comcast execs Scott Mikolajczyk and Kevin Oxendine — has added another 1,200 square feet to its 1010 Wisconsin Ave. NW headquarters in Georgetown, so it will now occupy 4,000 square feet. Employee head count has climbed from 18 in 2011 to 26 at the end of 2012, with four positions still open. Havit also billed $30 million last year and claims new clients such as First Potomac and Oya/SEI/Sax Restaurant Group.

Falls Church-based Tin Cup Products President Cabell Fooshe is boasting the firm pulled in $1.5 million in revenue last year and has expanded into 1,400 retail locations in the United States and overseas. The niche golf company, which has tripled its custom golf ball stencil revenues in three years, is headed to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando later this month.

Restaurateur Bo Blair spent $375,000 to build the interior at his new Jetties sandwich/salad store, which opens Wednesday at the corner of I and 20th streets in Foggy Bottom. This is the fourth store in the chainlet.

Chocolate Chocolate, the savory sweet shop on Connecticut Avenue owned by sisters Ginger and Frances Park saw revenue increase 12 percent last year over 2011. The increase came despite a sub-optimal Christmas, which fell on a Tuesday.

Reston Limousine already has booked reservations for 5,000 people for transportation to the various inaugural balls.

Factoid of the week

794 million pounds That’s the weight of the dirt being excavated from the 3.5 acre residential/retail site under construction in downtown Bethesda. Stonebridge Carras is developing the property with PN Hoffman. The 162 apartments and 88 condos will open in 2015, and will include 40,000 square feet of retail space and 940 public parking spaces. Another 300 spaces will be private. The parking opens in the fall of 2014. So how much is 794 million pounds? Doug Firstenberg and Jeremy Lena of Stonebridge crunched the numbers and said the weight is equal to 1,435 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, filled to maximum capacity. The size of the hole is 248,000 cubic yards. That’s big enough, when fully excavated, to comfortably fit four Washington Monuments or five Lincoln Memorials or 200 single-family homes.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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