Kent Swig

My Thoughts.

Israel Bonds Delegation to Israel

Recently, I participated on a delegation to Israel through Israel Bonds, on whose National Board of Directors I serve. We spent four days there and held several meetings with many key dignitaries including a briefing with Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu. The Prime Minister gave us many keen insights into the current events of the Middle East and Ukraine. He also thanked the Israel Bond organization for all the work and efforts that we undertake and pointed out the deep gratitude that Israel has to the Jewish Diaspora, “our family”, for our continued support and investment and faith in Israel and its citizens.
Kent Swig with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (on right with red tie).

Kent Swig with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (on right with red tie).

Kent Swig overlooking the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Kent Swig overlooking the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Kent Swig along Israel Bonds Way in Jerusalem

Kent Swig along Israel Bonds Way in Jerusalem

Israel Bonds International Delegation

Israel Bonds International Delegation

Written by swigeq

September 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A Weekend in the City

This Saturday and Sunday, August 2nd and 3rd, were so beautiful in New York City as the weather was “Fall like” and a nice break from the typical “dog days of August”.  I was able to take advantage of the cooler weather and spent the weekend walking for miles and miles throughout the City, including through Central Park and the Boat House, the 79th Street Boat Basin on the Hudson River, throughout the new Riverside Park along the Hudson River, SoHo, the West Village, and so many other areas.
New York City is filled with so many micro-neighborhoods each with its own unique character and it is such a treat to explore them!
The Boat Pond in Central Park.

The Boat Pond in Central Park.

The statute of Balto in Central Park....now gaining luster with being pet by all of the children who visit him.

The statute of Balto in Central Park….now gaining luster with being pet by all of the children who visit him.

Making huge bubbles in Central Park.

Making huge bubbles in Central Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boat Basin at 79th Street and the Hudson River.

The Boat Basin at 79th Street and the Hudson River.

The Boat Basin at 79th Street at the Hudson River.

The Boat Basin at 79th Street at the Hudson River.

A magnificent sunset along the Hudson River.

A magnificent sunset along the Hudson River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The remnants of the 69th Street Transfer bridge from the New York Central Railroad along the Hudson River.

The remnants of the 69th Street Transfer bridge from the New York Central Railroad along the Hudson River.

The plaque commemorating the old New York Central Railroad transfer bridge along the Hudson River.

Old pilings from a previous pier along the Hudson River.

Old pilings from a previous pier along the Hudson River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The street furniture that has been designed for the Riverside Park along the Hudson River is so well done, such as this bench with incorporates lighting in the canopy that provides shade.

The street furniture that has been designed for the Riverside Park along the Hudson River is so well done, such as this bench with incorporates lighting in the canopy that provides shade.

There is nothing like Times Square on a beautiful summer night.

There is nothing like Times Square on a beautiful summer night.

Little Italy's street fair on a cool summer day.

Little Italy’s street fair on a cool summer day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Italy's street fair.

Little Italy’s street fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by swigeq

August 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Annual Gala Dinner for the Municipal Art Society

On June 11, 2014, I attended the annual gala dinner for the Municipal Art Society (MAS), on whose Board of Directors I serve. The gala dinner honored two good friends of mine: Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman, and Maryann Gilmartin, President and CEO, both of Forest City Ratner Companies.  Both shared the honor of receivng the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis Medal Award.   The evening for a great success for MAS, raising over $1 million for the organization!

For more than 120 year, MAS has made New York City a more livable city by advocating for excellence in urban planning and design, a commitment to historic preservation and the arts, and the empowerment of local communities to affect change in their neighborhoods. From saving Grand Central Terminal and the lights of Times Square to establishing groundbreaking land-use and preservation laws that have become national models, MAS is at the forefront of our City’s economic vitality, cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability, and social diversity.

I am indeed proud to be a part of MAS and look forward to continuing my participation on the Board of Directors.
The 2014 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal

The 2014 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal

Invitation to the Annual Gala Dinner for the Municipal Art Society

Invitation to the Annual Gala Dinner for the Municipal Art Society

The MAS Board of Directors

The MAS Board of Directors

 

Written by swigeq

July 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Bedford Avenue Street Fair

I had the wonderful experience of visiting the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn over the weekend of June 14th and walked from Greenpoint to Dumbo. The area is dynamic and changing so quickly.   During my walk, I spent time at the Bedford Avenue Street Fair which was filled with so many activities and events, not to mention the fresh grass that was temporarily installed in the street transforming concrete roads into green sanctuaries! What a terrific experience!

Street Artist at Work

Street Artist at Work

Bedford Avenue Goes Green

Bedford Avenue Goes Green

 

Written by swigeq

July 20, 2014 at 8:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Visit to the U. S. Capitol

Kent Swig with Terry Gains, immediate past (38th)  Sargent of Arms of the House of Representatives.

Kent Swig with Terry Gains, immediate past (38th) Sargent of Arms of the House of Representatives.

Our final stop that we made as part of the Israel Bond Leadership Conference was to the U. S. Capitol on June 10, 2014. There, we met with Terry Gains, the immediate past Sergeant of Arms (38th) to the House of Representatives, and with the current Sergeant of Arms (39th), Drew Wilson. Terry Gains gave us a brief history of the U.S. Capitol and shared with us many personal amusing and touching stories during his tenure as Sergeant of Arms.

We next went on a tour of the Capitol which is always interesting and so lively. It is a testament to our country to walk through the Capitol and see all of the tourists walking among the many Congressmen as they walk from their meetings and votes. This intermixing of American citizens and our Representatives is unique among the World’s governments and is a physical manifestation of our democracy and its openness!

Kent Swig with Democratic Leader of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi of California.

After our tour, we had a luncheon at the Canon Office Building where we heard from many of our Congressional leaders and Representatives including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California); Michelle Bachman (Republican of Minnesota); Dan Maffei (Democrat of New York) among others. The remarks made by each of our Representatives were informative, interesting and very supportive of Israel Bonds. All in all, a great turn out and a wonderful luncheon.
Kent Swig with Representative Dan Maffei, Democrat from New York

Kent Swig with Representative Dan Maffei, Democrat from New York.

Representative Michelle Backman, Republican of Minnesota.

Written by swigeq

July 2, 2014 at 9:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Visit to The White House

Kent Swig overlooking the  The White House

Kent Swig overlooking The White House

The Israel Bond Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. also met at The White House on June 10, 2014. Specifically, we met in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building where we spent 90 minutes listening to three high level briefings which followed a warm welcome by Matt Nosanchuk, Director for Outreach at the National Security Council.

The first briefing was given to us by Jason Miller, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director within the National Economic Council who provided us with an overview of the economy of the United States.

The next briefing was given by Laura Blumenfeld, Office of the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotions within the U.S. Department of State who provided us with a very insightful perspective of Secretary of State John Kerry’s view of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The final briefing was given by Nitin Chadda, Director for Iran within the National Security Council who spoke about the very sensitive negotiations going on with Iran in regards to the nuclear issues. His talk was very candid and certainly highlighted the great sensitivity and urgency with the nuclear negotiations that are currently ongoing.

Overall, the briefings were very informative and very interesting and of the utmost importance.
Invitation to the White House

Invitation to the White House

Kent Swig at the entrance to The White House

Kent Swig at the entrance to The White House

President Obama's motorcade

President Obama’s motorcade

Kent Swig in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at The White House

Kent Swig in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at The White House

Written by swigeq

June 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A very emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery

Kent Swig at the amphitheater at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Kent Swig at the amphitheater at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On June 9, 2014, the Israel Bonds Leadership Conference participants visited  Arlington National Cemetery after departing from briefings and a tour of the Pentagon. At Arlington, we had a private tour of the Museum building and then viewed the “changing of the guard” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I was given the extreme honor of laying a wreath just after the changing of the guard ceremony.

Kent Swig laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Kent Swig laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

As this honor is predominately reserved for Heads of State, I was overwhelmed at being selected to participate. To commence the ceremony, we walked down the stairs from the Museum to where the honor guard was waiting. From there, we presented the Israel Bonds wreath to the guard and together, laid the wreath at the Tomb.

Then, the honor guards played “taps” while we stood with our right hands placed over our hearts (the soldiers stood at attention and saluted).

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while Taps was played

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while Taps was played

In front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

In front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then turned around, and walked back up the stairs to the Museum as the honor guard escorted us up.

Also escorting us was Lt. General Michael S. Linnington, U.S. Army, who turned to me and thanked me. When I asked why he was thanking me, he responded that during his 34 year career in the military, (and even being posted with President Obama), he never had the honor and privilege to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier until this day. And, he continued to tell me, that this was among the great honors in which he was able to participate. I was overwhelmed by the General’s graciousness and openness.

Needless to say, the entire ceremony was deeply emotional and it was very difficult not to openly shed tears. This was a day that I will certainly never forget and ranks among my most proud moments.

At Arlington National Cemetery from left to right: Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery Jack Lechner; Richard Hirsch, Chairman of Israel Bonds; Kent Swig; Operations Officer of Arlington National Cemetery Dave Kemmen

At Arlington National Cemetery from left to right: Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery Jack Lechner; Richard Hirsch, Chairman of Israel Bonds; Kent Swig; Operations Officer of Arlington National Cemetery Dave Kemmen

After laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

After laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The stage at the Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery

The stage at the Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by swigeq

June 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.