Mat Swanson and Jack Lynch, two long time members of the Board of Directors of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, will be honored next Thursday night by the Foundation at its “Prospectus and Achievements Night.”
The pair will be given the Robert Hamilton Award. That award, named for the Founder of the Foundation who died earlier this year, was established at last year’s 25th Anniversary celebration.
Mat Swanson, as President of the American State Bank in North Judson, provided funding during the early years of the Foundation. So did the Farmer’s Bank and Trust Company, under the direction of Mr. Hamilton.
Development Foundation Executive Director, Charles Weaver, talks about Mat Swanson.
“Mat Swanson is that kind of that quiet fellow behind the scenes. He doesn’t say a whole lot but we’ve learned over the years when Mat Swanson pauses and reflects and says something, you had better listen. He was not on the initial Board of Directors for the organization. He was behind the scenes getting support for the organization. He was largely responsible for the initial Board of Directors that served on the organization. It was Mat’s goal to make sure that this was truly a county-wide organization from all the corners of the county. He’s the heart and soul of the organization.”
Weaver said Jack Lynch was the first board member selected for the foundation, and continued serving for 23 years until his retirement in 2007.
“When the organization began, Jack was the person who had the get up and go to out and sell the organization, to get the attention of people that this was needed, convince people that it was our obligation and opportunity to help ourselves, pull ourselves up by our boot straps and don’t expect someone else to come and do it. While Jack was apt to talk the talk, he also walked the walk because he was the person, not only was he out there with the people, but when it came time to do something, he was at the forefront.”
Helping to make the presentation will be State Representative Nancy Dembowski who has served on the Board since its inception. Four members of Mr. Hamilton’s family will be traveling to the event on November 10th which will take place at the Knox Community Center.