Alumnus Winslow Swart ’03 BBA ’05 MAA thinks beyond boundaries. His organizational development firm, Winslow Consulting, has trained leaders and teams on three continents. He has been both a student and a master in the classroom and at the dojo.
Winslow is the first non-Japanese man in the world to reach the seventh-degree, master-level rank in the martial art of kenseido, an enviable accomplishment he attained this past summer in Japan.
Kenseido is a Japanese martial arts form that combines karate, kung fu, aikido and ju-jitsu techniques.
And lucky for martial arts enthusiasts, Swart along with several of his Japanese kenseido colleagues were responsible for bringing that self-defense discipline to the United States for the first time ever, and more specifically, to San Antonio in 1986. So you can credit Swart for the Alamo City’s recognition as the U.S. headquarters for kenseido.
In fact, you can find him during the afternoon and on weekends at his dojo – the Kenseido U.S. Headquarters – at 13133 Northwest Military Highway in Castle Hills, where he and other instructors teach about 100 students of all ages.
“It’s great to see how an art form like kenseido can help students, who walk in the door with health or self-confidence challenges or self-imposed limitations, and how it can free them from those obstacles,” Winslow said.
Winslow works to help individuals soar past their limitations.
As a current member of UIW’s Master of Arts in Administration Advisory Board he explained that the board is interested in engaging its colleagues, connecting and building the community of UIW leadership, and mentoring the university’s current cohort.
“We also seek new ways to enhance and enrich the professional development of the regional workforce and our member organizations,” he said.
He believes the education he received at the university has greatly enhanced his professional goals.
“As a capacity professional, it is a real asset to have a purely organizational development focused program in our city,” Swart said. “The toolkit I emerged with has helped both my global and regional clients to build culture and to define and achieve their organizational strategic goals. On the educational quality front, I found the academic rigor in my graduate field of concentration at UIW exceeded that of the doctoral colloquia I experienced at another institution.”
He added that it is important to him to remain involved with his alma mater.
“UIW is a values-based organization with a values-driven educational philosophy,” he said. “My work at the dojo, and in consulting, always involves a degree of soul-searching and internal compass calibration. As a community of learners, educators and leaders, we (UIW alumni) keep one another mindful of these core attributes as we infuse our organizations and the school with this collective energy.”
Having lived in San Antonio for the past 30 years, Swart has met a number of the city’s influential movers and shakers. He believes it was through the referral of one of those circles that he received an email in July 2012 from an advance team of the White House, requesting his credentials for a background check in relation to President Obama’s planned trip to the Alamo City.
He submitted them and thought nothing would come of it. Then he got a second email, congratulating him on being hand-selected to drive one of the support vehicles in the presidential motorcade.
“I didn’t know I was going to be the lead support driver until that morning,” Swart recalled. “Other support drivers were behind us. That was fun. I had some one-on-one meetings with their counter-terrorism team.”
Opportunities like that come once in a lifetime, so Swart relished every moment of that grand experience albeit a tad nerve-wracking with a few “selfies” here and there to commemorate the occasion.
It was on the tarmac of the San Antonio International Airport that he was feeling cool and collected until “all of a sudden two limousines with the presidential seal pull up next to me, and I’m thinking, ‘OK. This is real.’ Then Air Force One lands; the stairway comes up, and out comes the president.”
In addition to his involvement with the university, his consulting business and his work at his dojo, Swart is also president of OrgDevSA, a non-profit, professional association, and serves on the board of directors of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Swart also shares his time with Geekdom as director of strategic partnerships. And if that is not enough, he also found time to write a book entitled “The Resilient Leader,” published by Kenseido Press in 2010.