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 Geoffrey Swaebe

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MessageSujet: Geoffrey Swaebe   Mar 21 Fév 2012 - 5:24


Geoffrey Swaebe a été ambassadeur des USA à Bruxelles de 1983 à 1988.

C'était un voisin et un intime de Ronald Reagan.

C'était aussi un homme d'affaires. Aux USA, il dirigeait des "grandes surfaces" ("May Company").


http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambassadeur_des_%C3%89tats-Unis_en_Belgique

http://memory.loc.gov

The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

Interview with Mr. David Michael Wilson

(...)

Now one of our other ambassadors, a political ambassador, a guy named Jeff Swaebe, who then went on to become ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium in Brussels, happened to have been a good friend of the President. At one point, this is a true story, the director of the Arms Control Disarmament Agency came out for some talks. In an obligatory way, he had to "brief" the sitting U.S. ambassador. He sort of went in and did it with a lick and a promise, as if to say you dumb bastard, you don't know what the hell I am talking about do you? He didn't say that obviously but that was his attitude. Well, this got back to the President, and the director of the Arms Control Agency was not long for this world as director of the Arms Control Agency. I mean, he didn't take this ambassador seriously. That was a major mistake. He belittled him; he downgraded him, and paid the price. This guy had a lot of influence with the White House, and the reason he had influence with the White House was his property in California was contiguous with the Reagan property in California, and it was contiguous with the property of a guy named Charlie Wick. The wives used to carpool, so the wives were very close. Jeff Swaebe who had been with Florsheim shoes and then with the major department stores, he had been head of the major department stores, put together a consortium of retailers to refurbish the White House when Ronald Reagan came in. This was for the White House.

This wasn't for Ronald Reagan to take home afterwards as Clinton seems to have done. So he had a certain amount of influence with President Reagan, and certainly with Charlie Wick who had a lot of influence with President Reagan. So if you came out, you had to learn very quickly that you could not just slough off the ambassador to the commission in Geneva. You couldn't just ignore him, or at least you shouldn't just ignore him.

(...)

_ _ _ _ _


Geoffrey Swaebe, a senior businessman from California. He had been head of the May Company. He was a personal friend of Nancy Reagan's.

_ _ _

May Company ???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Company_California

_ _ _


http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/24/world/geoffrey-swaebe-86-former-envoy-to-belgium.html

Geoffrey Swaebe, 86; Former Envoy to Belgium

By ROBERT McG. THOMAS Jr

Published: February 24, 1997


Geoffrey Swaebe, a department store executive who ran the May Company's southern California operations for 10 years and later served five years as Ambassador to Belgium under Ronald Reagan, died on Tuesday at a hospital near his home in Los Angeles. He was 86.

His son, Geoffrey Jr., said the cause was complications of pneumonia.

By the time he settled down in California in 1962, Mr. Swaebe had been a merchandizer on the move. A native of London who came to Boston with his family when he was 12, he passed up college to take a job with the Florsheim Shoe Company. With time out to serve as an Army Captain in Europe in World War II, he eventually held executive positions with Florsheim and I. Miller & Sons in Chicago, with Thalheimers Department Store in Richmond, Va., with Pizitz Department Store in Birmingham, Ala., and, from 1950 to 1962, with the Hecht Company in Baltimore.
After the May Company took over the Hecht chain, Mr. Swaebe moved to Los Angeles in 1962 as president and chairman of its regional operations, remaining with the company until 1972, when he set up his own management consulting company.

Except for a brief stint in New York in 1976 as chief executive of Abercrombie & Fitch during the store's bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Swaebe stayed in California, becoming increasingly active in civic affairs and Republican politics.

An early supporter of Mr. Reagan's run for President, he became a key fundraiser in the 1980 campaign. The next year the new President made him the United States' representative at the United Nations in Geneva. In 1983, Mr. Swaebe was named Ambassador to Belgium, where he again faced a problem in connection with efforts to persuade Belgium not to back out of a plan to accept American nuclear missiles.

In the face of a vocal opposition to the missiles that developed in Belgium early in 1985, Mr. Swaebe helped work out a plan that satisfied the Belgian leadership's political concerns.

Under the plan, the missiles were shipped in and secured on a Belgian base within 24 hours after the Government gave its final approval, virtually assuring there would be no protracted protests between the time of the Government's decision and the deployment.

Mr. Swaebe remained as Ambassador until 1988.

In addition to his son, a Justice Department official in New York, he is survived by his wife, Mary.

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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Mar 21 Fév 2012 - 5:51



Interview with William Harrison Marsh

(...)

At any rate, I remember distinctly when John Heyman, my predecessor, met me at the airport in 1984 and we drove into Brussels, it was as if I had never left! Everything just looked exactly the same, and sure enough the political counselor's house I was given, was one I had helped the previous political counselor find, and it was located about a half mile from where my place had been the first tour. So there was a sort of sameness about it. But the Department here upgraded very intelligently in my view. They wanted to build on my knowledge of Belgian internal politics, and particularly of Belgian politicians in order to obtain Belgian government assent to the deployment of cruise missiles in Belgium.

What was the importance of this? Well, the importance of it was, of course, that the SS-20 threat from the Soviets in the early '80s was a very serious challenge to meet. That the countries where we were go put the missiles in Europe were Germany and Belgium and the Netherlands. Also Denmark, as I recall now. But the Netherlands was very unready to do so. Had Belgium not assented, I think that it would have been impossible for the Netherlands to say yes. In Belgium there had been mammoth demonstrations against cruise missiles. At one point, for example, there were about half a million demonstrators in Brussels against deployment. That is a rather considerable proportion of a country of nine million people. So there was a lot of work to be done.

I took up the job very happily. The ambassador was a very fine man, God rest his soul. He died just a matter of a few months ago, Geoffrey Swaebe.

Q: Career or political appointee?

MARSH: President of the May Company. He was a retailer. He was actually a man born in Britain.

Q: Did they make Maytag appliances?

MARSH: No, no...retail...the May Company. They own Hechts, among others; the May Company is in California. He had been connected with the California operations and later became the CEO of the May Company. He and his wife were very, very close friends of the Reagans so that every New Year's eve the Reagans had dinner with the Swaebe, the Wicks...Charlie Wick was the head of USIA at that time, and the six of them had dinner.

Q: Back in Washington?

MARSH: Back in Washington or in California or wherever. That meant that the embassy had access to the White House, but the thing of course that President Reagan wanted from Belgium was agreement to deploy those cruise missiles. You couldn't make up a nice package of other concessions and agreements and so forth and say, well, we couldn't get the cruise missiles but, look here, we got increased trade and we got this and we got that. Sorry, no interest in those sorts of things. So we were gambling for very high stakes and we devised a strategy and a campaign and we involved President Reagan himself in it. We arranged for Prime Minister Wilfred Martens to call at the White House in Washington. President Reagan did a really great job on him, no question about it.

Q: It sounds like you were sort of the point man on this particulaeffort.

MARSH: It is fair to say that I was, as a matter of fact.

Q: Who were your principal contacts in the Belgian government?

MARSH: First let me explain that Prime Minister Martens, Wilfred Martens who served as Prime Minister eight times, if I'm not mistaken, was the contact I had made in the early '70s, a dozen years before. It had been my practice to ask the Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Party who he might suggest receive a Leader Grant to the United States. At one point he mentioned this fellow from West Flanders who was the head of the Christian Democratic Youth in that province. West Flanders is pretty much an agricultural province. He said this would help his career, if he could get a Leader Grant. So I arranged for Wilfrid Martens to go to the United States. Frank Swaelen, the Secretary General, who later became Minister of Defense in Belgium by the way, and a long time member of the Chamber and later of the Senate in Belgium, Frank Swaelen said the cachet of this visit helped make his, Martens', career. So I knew Party officials. I knew a number of Ministers

(...)
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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Mar 21 Fév 2012 - 6:04



Un Kitchen Cabinet (littéralement « cabinet de cuisine » en anglais) est un terme utilisé en politique pour décrire négativement le rassemblement officieux de conseillers proches d'un chef de gouvernement ou d'un président en parallèle d'un cabinet gouvernemental officiel.

Ce terme est aujourd'hui utilisé dans plusieurs pays anglo-saxons comme le Royaume-Uni, le Canada et l'Australie, et également en Israël.

_ _


Interview with Gerald B. Helman

(...)

It was a while after that, towards the end of the summer, that the decision was made to send Geoff Swaebe. Geoff was a reputed member of President Reagan's old kitchen cabinet from California, along with Judge Clark, Charlie Wick and others. He subsequently was our ambassador to Belgium. He replaced me, I think it was sometime in October or November of '81. His background was as a department store executive, and he was successful at that and quite wealthy. Certainly an interesting, likeable and well-meaning fellow, but I don't think he brought anything special to the job. But, as I understand it, if he ever wanted to call Ronald Reagan, for whatever reason, Ronald Reagan would answer. But Geneva wasn't that kind of a job. It didn't require that kind of clout. But Geoff was a most responsible person. Years later I visited with him in Brussels and we got along very well.

(...)
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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Mar 21 Fév 2012 - 6:28


Pour information ...


Citizens for America

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Citizens for America (CFA) was a United States conservative grass-roots organization founded by President Ronald Reagan's "Kitchen Cabinet" (principally Jacqueline “Jack” Hume, CEO of Basic American Foods of San Francisco, and including Southern California car dealer Holmes Tuttle and others) to support President Reagan's national defense and economic initiatives. CFA called itself "President Reagan's Lobby" and was lead first by drugstore magnate Lewis E. Lehrman and later by Gerald P. Carmen, who had served as administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations mission in Geneva, Switzerland. CFA was organized as an IRS 501 (C) (3) and (4) non-profit. Among the early employees was Jack Abramoff, who was later terminated for cause. [1]

Citizens for America staged an unprecedented meeting of anti-Communist rebel leaders called the "Democratic International", including Nicaraguan, Laotian, Angolan and Afghan (Mujahideen) rebels in 1985 in Jamba, Angola. The meeting was held in the UNITA headquarters of Angolan rebel Jonas Savimbi. The guerrilla leaders were presented with a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, and a letter from President Reagan supporting CFA was read, although the Reagan administration refused to officially support all of the guerrilla groups.

Mark Holtzman (who later ran for governor of Colorado) served as CFA's first executive director. He resigned in 1985 and was replaced by Abramoff, who had been director of College Republicans. Lehrman fired Abramoff after only nine months due to his mismanagement of the organization’s $3 million budget and his hiring of friends and cronies.

Abramoff was replaced by CFA's legal counsel Frank Trotta, who served as interim Executive Director until Bill Wilson, formerly of Right to Work, came on as executive director. Wilson served for a year, after which attorney and writer Jack R. Stevens became the executive director. Stevens served for two years and was the organization’s executive director in its final days under President Reagan. Wilson and Stevens (who had earlier served as CFA’s western regional director) were credited with restoring CFA's finances and reputation after Abramoff’s brief but damaging tenure.

CFA supported its grass-roots lobbying campaigns by hosting two fundraisers annually. The "Founder's Circle" required a contribution of $25,000 per year and included donors like Joseph and Holly Coors, Holmes Tuttle and Jack Hume. President Reagan hosted CFA donors and staff regularly at the White House. At one such session in 1987, he recognized CFA National Director Gerald P. Carmen and Executive Director Jack Stevens for their efforts in orchestrating the organization’s successful campaign to secure $100 million in congressional aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. CFA staff met in the White House with Reagan Administration officials on a weekly basis to coordinate field activities.

(...)
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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Jeu 3 Juil 2014 - 13:50


Extrait du livre de Richard L. Holm :




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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Jeu 3 Juil 2014 - 14:24


http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1981/100781a.htm

Nomination of Geoffrey Swaebe To Be United States Representative to the European Office of the United Nations

October 7, 1981

The President today announced his intention to nominate Geoffrey Swaebe, of California, to be the Representative of the United States of America to the European Office of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador. He would succeed Gerald Bernard Helman.

Mr. Swaebe was executive officer with Florsheim Shoe Co., in Chicago, Ill., in 1936 - 38, and divisional merchandise manager with Thalhimers Department Store in Richmond, Va., in 1938 - 48. He was general merchandise manager with Pizitz Department Store in Birmingham, Ala., in 1948 - 50; general manager, director, and vice president of the Hecht Co., in Baltimore, Md., in 1950 - 62; and chairman of the board and president of the May Department Stores of California in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1962 - 72. Since 1972 he has been self-employed as a business and management consultant in Los Angeles.

Mr. Swaebe served as commissioner of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, and as a member of the Mayor's Advisory Committee. He served in the United States Army in 1942 - 46 and attended Boston University. Mr. Swaebe is married, has one son, and resides in Los Angeles, Calif. He was born March 23, 1911, in London, England.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Company_California

_ _ _


http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=40478

Nomination of Geoffrey Swaebe To Be United States Ambassador to Belgium

September 20, 1983

The President today announced his intention to nominate Geoffrey Swaebe, of California, to be Ambassador to Belgium. He would succeed Charles H. Price II.

Mr. Swaebe was executive officer with Florsheim Shoe Co. in Chicago, Ill., in 1936-1938 and divisional merchandise manager with Thalhimers Department Store in Richmond, Va., in 1938-1948. He was general merchandise manager with Pizitz Department Store in Birmingham, Ala., in 1948-1950; general manager, director, and vice president of the Hecht Co. in Baltimore, Md., in 1950-1962; and chairman of the board and president of the May Department Stores of California in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1962-1972. In 1972-1981 he was self-employed as a business and management consultant in Los Angeles. Since 1981 he has been Representative of the United States of America to the European Office of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.

He served in the United States Army in 1942-1946. He was a commissioner of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the city of Los Angeles and a member of the Mayor's Advisory Committee. He attended Boston University. He was born March 23, 1911, in London, England, and became naturalized in 1942.

-------

Citation: Ronald Reagan: "Nomination of Geoffrey Swaebe To Be United States Ambassador to Belgium ," September 20, 1983. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=40478.

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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Jeu 3 Juil 2014 - 14:42



De memoires: gedreven door een overtuiging
Par Léo Tindemans




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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Jeu 3 Juil 2014 - 14:48



Pieces of History: The Life and Career of John J. Harter
Par John J. Harter




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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Jeu 3 Juil 2014 - 14:54



Met weloverwogen lichtzinnigheid: de biografie van André Leysen
Par Jan Bohets




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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Jeu 3 Juil 2014 - 15:23


http://archives.lesoir.be/gib-group-seize-a-table-pour-defendre-la-sainte-trinite_t-19930319-Z06JDP.html

GIB GROUP : SEIZE A TABLE POUR DEFENDRE LA SAINTE TRINITE

VANESSE,MARC

Page 3

Vendredi 19 mars 1993

(...)

Grosso modo, le conseil se divise en deux catégories: les représentants de la famille et les représentants des actionnaires principaux.

Commençons par la famille... Chez GIB, trois branches familiales - sous les noms Vaxelaire, Vaxelaire et du Monceau de Bergendal - réunissent ensemble 14 % de l'actionnariat. Comme aucune famille n'a déclaré posséder le seuil fatidique des 5 %, on suppose que les actions sont réparties harmonieusement entre les trois portefeuilles.

Font partie de la famille, Yves et Diego du Monceau de Bergendal, John Goossens, Georges, Raymond et Roland Vaxelaire. À l'exception de Diego du Monceau et de Raymond Vaxelaire, respectivement administrateur délégué de GIB et directeur général de la distribution spécialisée, les représentants familiaux n'occupent pas d'autres fonctions dans l'entreprise.

Les actionnaires... Comme représentant de la Cobepa, qui détient 15,1 % du capital et est, à ce titre, premier actionnaire de GIB, Pierre Scohier préside le CA. Pour la Cobepa toujours, on retrouve à ses côtés Nicole Hardenne, Loïc de l'Arbre et Christian Varin. Deuxième actionnaire «hors famille», la Sofina, un des holdings de la constellation Boël avec 3,2 %. D'où la présence d'Yves Boël et de Jean-Pierre Ruquois. Avec 1,8 % des actions, Albert Frère et Jean-Pierre de Launoit représentent GBL. Enfin, André Leysen siège à côté de ses collègues pour représenter le groupe Gevaert (1,5 %).

(...)

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MessageSujet: Re: Geoffrey Swaebe   Jeu 3 Juil 2014 - 16:34


Comme me le fait remarquer un lecteur attentif, les familles Goossens et Vaxelaire sont liées.

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Goossens

http://archives.lesoir.be/le-portrait-john-goossens_t-20021109-Z0MGGU.html?query=vaxelaire&queryor=vaxelaire&firstHit=40&by=10&when=-1&sort=datedesc&pos=43&all=170&nav=1

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