Swartz family honored with ‘Business Owner of the Year Award’
By Elizabeth Jackman
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl presented the Swartz family, a second-generation family of builders, with the Glendale and Kachina Rotary clubs’ Second Annual Business Owner of the Year Award at a ceremony held Feb. 17 at Glencroft Retirement Community.
“They are a remarkable family of builders,” said event emcee Jay Shetler, president and CEO of Glencroft.
Honored were the descendents of Alvin and Katherine Swartz and Roy and Katie Swartz, that included Bonnie and Ron Swartz of Ron Swartz Construction; Wilda and Jim Swartz of Swartz Construction Company Inc.; Donna and Dale Swartz and Marcia and Dewaine Swartz of Roy Swartz and Sons Remodeling Inc.; and Mary Jo and Paul Swartz of Swartz Concrete.
“Today, we honor a very special family,” Kyl said. “It is said the United States is a nation of doers and builders and this goes along well with that theme. This city would not be what it is today if not for the Swartz family; they were instrumental in building this city.”
Service Clubs banding together to do good works in the community is what has made America great, Kyl said.
“In 1830, a French historian visited the United States and in traveling the country, noted all of the groups, organizations and clubs doing things to help people,” he said. “It was a foreign concept in Europe. These clubs are all volunteer. The only thing they receive is the satisfaction of knowing they helped some folks out.”
Kyl said the Swartz family embodied that philosophy of service to the community and not just building, but building a community.
Afterwards, members of the community had the opportunity to make comments.
Long time customer of the builders, State Sen. Bob Burns said he appreciated his relationship with the Swartz family and Bill Hickman of Hickman’s Eggs related a storm in 1968 that devastated his farm.
“The next morning, the whole Swartz family was there to help put the farm back together, a debt I never repaid,” said Hickman as he presented Ron with a replica of the Hickman Chicken mascot encased in a glass box.
Former Vice Mayor Tom Eggleston said he was proud to have the Swartz family help build the city and Barrel District Councilmember Yvonne Knaack said she has known the family for more than 40 years and wanted to especially salute the Swartz women for being such a wonderful group of ladies.
Paul Swartz spoke on behalf of the family.
“You are about to find out we are better builders than public speakers,” Paul joked. “I want to thank you all for coming and for this award and want you to know we appreciate all of you.”