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Alvin Swanner

Alvin Swanner

Alvin Swanner of New Orleans, Louisiana [2] has been a dedicated philanthropist in the greater New Orleans area since the sale of National Car Rental. Rita, his wife of 63 years, has stood graciously by his side and has been an ardent supporter of his business endeavors and philanthropy. [-1]

Alvin E. Swanner
BornLouisiana, U.S
ResidenceNew Orleans
OccupationInvestor, Philanthropist
Years active1970s–present
Net worth[[INLINE_IMAGE|https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Increase2.svg/11px-Increase2.svg.png|//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Increase2.svg/17px-Increase2.svg.png 1.5x, //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Increase2.svg/22px-Increase2.svg.png 2x|Increase|h11|w11]] US$282 million (September 2012)[1]
ChildrenSusan, Michael, Laure, Holly

Early life

Alvin Swanner grew up in Louisiana and attended Jesuit of New Orleans, a private all male high school.

Swanner never went to college and instead joined the Marines at age 16 and taught ROTC at Jesuit.

Later Swanner opened up three service stations and after earning enough money started his own small rental car business.

Thrifty and National

Through hard work and a dedicated entrepreneurial spirit, Swanner's business eventually grew into several national ventures such as Thrifty Automotive Group. Thrifty was later sold to now Dollar T hrifty Automotive Group by Chrysler in 1989. [4]

Swanner then went on to purchase National Car Rental systems from General Motors. Both endeavors were conducted with long time partners William Lobeck and Archer McWhorter. Later NCR was sold to AutoNation, [5] the world’s largest group of retail dealers in 1997. Industry analysts estimated the sale price of National, the fifth-largest car rental company in the United States, at about $1 billion. He has also been active in the insurance business in the northeast with the Preserver Insurance Group for the past 19 years. [-1]


In the heart of north Kenner sits the green expanse of golf course on either side of Chateau Boulevard, near the center of which the unmistakable façade of a French mansion welcomes members to the Chateau Golf and Country Club – a place to rest, recreate and gather together.

For Alvin Swanner, Chateau’s owner since 1992, the club has also served as a launching point for his quiet efforts to help better the city.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the stands of young oaks that line Kenner's, Williams Boulevard from the lake to the river, down West Esplanade, up Chateau Boulevard and along Vintage.

All of these were donated and planted by Swanner as part of the city’s “Green and Growing Program" initiated by, a former Kenner mayor.

While providing Kenner residents with aesthetically pleasing vistas was important to Swanner before Hurricane Katrina, according to his family, the aftermath of the storm led to his heightened sense that what people in the city saw going on at his club could help local recovery efforts.

In metro New Orleans, Al Swanner is well known as a supporter of various causes and non - profit groups, offering discounts at Chateau’s ballrooms so that those seeking to make a difference for the community can host fundraisers there.

He is also a strong supporter of the and in Jefferson Parish.

Perhaps most telling about Al Swanner is that he does not like to talk about himself or his good deeds, but those close to him reveal his kind nature and unacknowledged acts of goodwill.

While Al Swanner declined to be interviewed for this story, a Chateau employee recounted one of the area’s best kept secrets– Swanner’s directive to his staff to keep the neighborhoods around the club clean for those who live there.


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Citation Linkkennerstar.tcb123.net"Al Swanner's quiet impact felt in surrounding community"
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Citation Linkarticles.baltimoresun.com"GM to sell car rental businessGeneral Motors Corp. said..."
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