The Millennium Seoul Hilton is pleased to announce that its General Manager, Eric M. Swanson (age 50), was awarded with honorary citizenship of Seoul at a conferment ceremony held by the Seoul Metropolitan Government at Sejong Hall on October 28th, 2009.
Honorary citizenship is an acknowledgement of the important impact foreign residents can have. The certificates were awarded by Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who in 2007 bestowed an award to Mr. Swanson for his ongoing contribution to the development of the local community, in particular, his contributions to the welfare of children in Korea.
The honorary citizenship award highlights Mr. Swanson's community efforts as well as his contributions to the Korean hotel industry. Mr. Swanson took over the helm of the Millennium Seoul Hilton in 2006. Prior to that, he spent over two decades of service in hotel projects worldwide, including at the Ritz-Carlton, Seoul.
Most recently, Mr. Swanson headed up the SKAL Asia Congress, a convention of hotel and tourism industry professionals, which took place in Korea from May 21st to the 24th.
Mr. Swanson has managed various hotels worldwide including the Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt; the Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida; the Leeela Palace Kempinski Hotel in Bangalore, India; as well as the Marco Polo Parkside in Beijing, China. Mr. Swanson also served as a member of the United States Coast Guard for five years.
The Millennium Seoul Hilton is very pleased to have its own General Manager bestowed with such a prestigious honor. Mr. Swanson has been a strong and positive addition to the Hilton family, and it is befitting that he be recognized for his contributions to the city of Seoul as well.
Mr. Swanson's mother is Cho Chang Soo, curator of the Korean wing at the Smithsonian Museum. Ms. Cho's brother (Mr. Swanson's uncle) was Cho Chango Ho, the first prisoner-of-war to escape North Korea. A first lieutenant in the South Korean army, Cho Chang Ho spent over 40 years as a hostage before escaping to freedom in 1994. He died of cancer on November 29, 2006, and his ashes have been laid to rest at the Seoul National Cemetery.