Story by Nicole Dohm
Photo by Luke Nankivell
“I have come to really love living in Des Moines,” Swartwood said.
Swartwood, his wife and their two then-young children moved to the city in 1994. He was an investor in a group that had acquired an investment banking business based in Des Moines.
Swartwood and his wife were also looking to move out of New York.
“Since then, Des Moines has evolved into a dynamic, progressive small city,” Swartwood said. “It offers a great variety of food, culture and entertainment, and all those things are accessible, as are the people who make them happen.”
“Not only do I tease our friends on the coasts that this is where we elect the president, but I have had opportunities to meet every governor, I know the mayor. If one is interested in a civic or community amenity, one not only can get involved, but one is expected to pitch in. I have met people from all over the world in Des Moines. I can do pretty much everything I enjoy: biking, golf, good food, hunting, fishing and more, within 20 minutes of my home or work. My wife rides in the foxhunt, my daughter was a competitive show jumper, and my son is now a music major after having served as drum line captain at Roosevelt. That accessibility and the numerous opportunities to get involved in our community and really make a difference in things is remarkable in my experience and is the element of living here that I appreciate the most. And of course we have found it very affordable; we work hard but have always had wonderful homes, great schools, and great services.”
Professor Swartwood talks about why he was chosen to be on the Today show and what kind of topics he discussed. “I have regularly appeared on WHO with Megan Reuther, and last fall she asked me to speak about Black Friday’s impact on small business. Theresa Sherwood, from Drake’s marketing department, sat in and when the photojournalist from the Today Show contacted Drake for someone to talk to, she suggested me. The theme of the questions was why does Des Moines keep showing up on “Best of…” lists. The “Wealthiest City” angle never really came up during my interaction with Durrell Dawson from the Today Show; I can tell you though, that we feel that we live a very rich life here. And I have now lived in Des Moines longer that any place else, and I am happy to be here.”
Des Moines is and hopefully will continue to end up on those positive lists.