MILLENNIUM Seoul Hilton’s General Manager, Eric M. Swanson was awarded an honorary citizenship of Seoul, at a conferment ceremony held by the Seoul Metropolitan Government at Sejong Hall in late October. The certificate was awarded by Oh Se-hoon, the Mayor of Seoul. The honorary citizenship award highlights Mr. Swanson’s community efforts and his contributions to the Korean hotel industry with his over two decades of experience in the hotel industry worldwide, including three years at the Ritz Carlton Seoul in 1996. In 2007, he was also awarded for his ongoing contribution to the development of the local community, especially his contributions to the welfare of children in Korea. Mr. Swanson has been a strong and positive addition to the Hilton family since he started serving as the General Manager to the Millennium Seoul Hilton in 2006.
“This is a very big responsibility and I will do my best to continue my efforts to help the poor children of Korean, and through my affiliation with SKAL Korea I will do my best to continue to support the development and sustainability of the Korean Tourism Industry,” said Mr. Swanson upon being nominated for an honorary citizen of Seoul. As the vice president of SKAL International Club Seoul, Mr. Swanson headed up the SKAL Asia Congress, a convention of hotel and tourism industry professionals in May, fulfilling his role as a civil diplomat.
Mr. Swanson’s family history cannot be spoken about without mentioning his strong ties to Korea. His mother, Mrs. Cho Changsu, is a Korean who immigrated to the United States in 1948. While raising two children, she also pursued her educational goals and worked tirelessly to develop the Korean Cultural program at the Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History. She worked at the museum from 1965 until retiring earlier this year. She is known to have dedicated her life to developing the Korean Cultural program at the Smithsonian and working as a Korea Specialist of the East Asiatic Library at the University of California, Berkeley. She dedicated over four decades of her career to promoting Korean culture, and in 1997 she was cocurator of three major exhibitions featuring Korea at the National Museum of Natural History. In 2007 Korea finally had its first permanent exhibition hall at the National Museum of Natural History, “Korea Gallery,” thanks to Mrs. Cho’s lifetime dedication.
She even bequeathed to the National Museum of History, Department of Anthropology, Asia Program approximately 400 million won from her estate. With this background, Mr. Swanson expressed his great interest and passion in Korean art by opening up the Millennium Seoul Hilton’s lobby to the Korean artists as an exhibition hall, enabling unique Korean art to be introduced to the hotels’ guests.
His uncle, Mr. Cho Chang-ho, who lost with touch with the family during the Korean War, escaped to freedom and returned to South Korea from North Korea in 1994, a huge issue in Korean society at the time.
In 2007, Mr. Swanson, having great interest and passion in Korean culture, introduced traditional and modernized Korean cuisine to 100 foreign VIPs and local and foreign reporters in collaboration with the Korea National Tourism Organization’s Grand Leisure in an attempt to promote unique Korean food to the world. He not only strives to contribute to the improvement of the Korean hospitality and tourism industry but also to promote Korean culture in every aspect possible.
For additional information, please call Millennium Seoul Hilton’s Public Relations Office at 02-317-3012.