Donald Schwamb has deep roots in the Garden State, but his birthday perhaps foreshadowed the international business theme of his life.
Schwamb was born on July 14, 1939 – French Independence Day (“Bastille Day”) – and spent over 30 years of his career working for international companies based out of Switzerland and Germany well before the term “global economy” became a staple term of American business.
After joining Bloomingdale’s Executive Training program upon graduation from FDU in 1962, Schwamb spent seven years there before joining Swiss-owned Spinnerin Yarn Company as Vice President of their Sport and Ski apparel division. This would lead to an association with Bogner of America, based out of Munich, Germany, in 1973. His first role was as Eastern Sales Manager for the innovative, family-owned company who was at the time, were the world’s leading producer of high-end fashion ski, tennis and golf apparel.
Schwamb would go on to spend over 25 years with Bogner, moving up the ladder to National Sales Manager and Executive Vice President of Marketing before retiring in 2000 as its Chief Operating Officer. While working with Bogner, Schwamb in 1982 became the managing partner of the first franchised Callahan’s Hot Dogs location in New Jersey, a legendary staple of the Garden State for decades.
Besides his family, one of Schwamb’s greatest loves has been the FDU men’s basketball program. He began playing basketball at age 11 and went on to have a Hall of Fame career on championships teams at Cliffside High School which led to a basketball scholarship to FDU in 1958. He has remained an ardent and passionate supporter of the program since his graduation.
The eldest of two children, his family owned The Maple House, a legendary upscale North Jersey furniture store and he developed a love of music from his mother and of fishing from his father. His grandmother owned an ice cream parlor in Jersey City and his maternal grandfather was a diamond cutter in New York’s famous diamond district. He has traced his family roots back to 1538 in Germany.
He met his wife JoAnn (Cusanelli) in 1957 and the high school sweethearts have been married for over 60 years. Together they raised three children – Stephen, Wendy and Tracy.
Besides his volunteer work on behalf of FDU, where he was recognized in 2015 as its “Volunteer of the Year,” Schwamb has stayed busy in retirement giving back to his communities. He is a member of the Park Ridge, NJ Planning Board, currently serving as Chairman and spent five years as co-chairman of the Park Ridge Open Space committee. He spent 14 years as Vice President of Bears Nest Board of Directors and 20 years a co-chair of the landscape committee.
An avid tennis and golf player, he also enjoys boating and fishing and has been a long-time member of the Hackensack Golf Club and the Long Beach Island Yacht and Tennis Club.
Not surprisingly, given his long ties to international businesses, he loves to travel with family and friends. Besides seeing nearly all of Europe he has also visited Australia, New Zealand, Grenadines, St. Croix, Jamaica, Japan, Macao and the Dominican Republic as well as extensive travels across North America.