Honors banquet set for Monday

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital
The annual Pawhuska Honors Banquet provides recognition for top students from every high school grade. This is an image of the top freshman class students being recognized this year. From left to right are Dalton Hurd, Jordan Nelson, Madison Quinton, Lily Jones, Ryck Quillen, Leah McNeil, Linaye Jeffers and Ty Chinn. Courtesy

Former Pawhuska resident Alden Swartz is scheduled to be the featured speaker Monday at the 30th annual Honors Banquet for Pawhuska High School.

The banquet is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Elks Lodge, and its purpose is to recognize the academic achievements of students ranking in the top 10 percent of PHS classes. Tickets are available at American Heritage Bank, Pawhuska Public Schools and the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce.

Alden and his wife, Dena, currently live in Lafayette, Ind. He is the director of packaging equipment sales for the Veritiv Corporation.

The couple made their home in Pawhuska from 1985 to 1993, where all three of their children began their educational paths. During that time, Alden Swartz was the principal agent and owner of Swartz & Associates before joining Pawhuska-based G & H Contractors. Dena Swartz worked at the Pawhuska Journal-Capital and Osage Federal Savings and Loan.

Alden Swartz was very active in the Pawhuska community, serving as music pastor at First Baptist Church, the play-by-play announcer for the Huskies football and basketball programs on the radio, covering the Huskies for the Journal-Capital, and holding many offices in the Pawhuska Kiwanis Club. It was during his tenure as vice president of the Kiwanis Club that he started the work to begin the Pawhuska Honors Banquet, enlisting the support of fellow club members and local business leaders.

Shortly after leaving Pawhuska, Swartz began his career in the secondary packaging industry. His journey in the packaging industry has included working in both manufacturing and distribution disciplines. His first role was in direct sales of packaging consumables and systems. In his second year he was asked to become a packaging equipment systems specialist. Swartz left the distribution side of the industry, and took on management roles in the manufacturing sector, first with manufacturers of the equipment, and then he found himself working with a consumables manufacturer.

Today, Swartz is back on the distribution side of the industry where he directs a team of consultative sales engineers. He and his team work with many of the world’s largest manufacturers (Dell, Apple, Proctor & Gamble, Kraft Foods and a host of others), helping them develop high-speed automated packaging lines and the protective packaging products required to ship, protect and display their products.

His packaging career requires a great deal of travel. Often, when asks what his job is, Swartz will reply, “riding in airplanes, driving rental cars and sleeping in hotels.”

For the past 15-plus years, Swartz has averaged more than 120 flight segments and over 200 hotel night per year. He is a two-million mile flier as his work has taken him to more than 30 countries across the globe. He has worked on projects across Europe, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Central America, plus all 48 of the contiguous states, Canada and Mexico.

Outside of his work, Swartz continues to be active in his local church, where he is worship leader. He enjoys spending time in the home kitchen and entertaining in, as well as restoring the 165-year-old historic home he and Dena Swartz purchased a few years ago. He also enjoys keeping up with his adopted Oklahoma hometown, Pawhuska, through continued contact with local friends and staying up-to-date on the latest posts on Facebook.

Recently Dena Swartz retired after spending 20-plus years in the insurance industry, working in several State Farm agencies as they relocated for Alden’s work. Today, she is enjoying working in her local church, sewing and traveling with her husband. In addition to Alden’s work travel, the family enjoys leisure travel. These are typically family adventures with all kids on-board.

Although Alden Swartz has enjoyed success in the business world, he counts as most important achievement, the host of friends that he has made across the years and miles, many of which are people from the great city of Pawhuska. Huskie Pride!