Elam Franklin Swann III is a native Tylerite and partner in Swann’s Furniture and Design (swanns.com), one of the oldest retail furniture companies in America, having been founded in 1895. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University School of Business, Elam went directly into his family’s business, at that time located in downtown Tyler. Years later, and after 2 new locations, he is a partner with his son, Elam (Franklin) Swann IV. In addition to Swann’s Furniture and Design, Elam is active in real estate, higher end climate controlled storage, ranching and various investments.
Elam and his wife Betty have 2 sons, Franklin and wife Brooke, Lewis and wife Naomi, and 4 grandchildren. Franklin is the current President of Swann’s Furniture and Design and Lewis is the Founder and President of Sight.org, a Christian sight restoring ministry in Togo, Africa. Elam and Betty are members at Grace Community Church, Tyler, and Mountain Life Church, Edwards, Colorado.
Elam has served on various boards and committees including The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, All Saints Episcopal School, East Texas Medical Center, East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Care System, Alzheimers Alliance of Smith County, Episcopal Diocese of Texas Suffragan Bishop Search Chairman, US Magistrate Judge Eastern District of Texas Search Committee, The Encouragement Media Group, Camp Allen, Christ Episcopal Church Vestry, Junior and Senior Warden, Susan G. Komen Foundation Tyler, Sheppard’s Heart Ministry, and UT Health Tyler. In 2019 he led CityFest East Texas by organizing and chairing a region wide outdoor Christian revival with the Luis Palau Association, drawing 37,000 to Tyler with another 91,000 online. He is also a founding board member and Chair of the East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) Foundation, a Tyler foundation created as a result of the sale of the East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Care System to The University of Texas and Ardent, creating UT Health Tyler. The ETMC Foundation has completed its first year of grant funding including 15 local organizations, all with an emphasis in “behavioral health” needs, 10 local organizations responding to COVID needs, and a seed money multi-year grant totaling $80,000,000 for the new University of Texas Medical School Tyler set to begin classes in 2023. The ETMC Foundation is “dedicated to improving the health and quality of lives in Tyler and the surrounding East Texas communities”.
Elam has a heart for Tyler and East Texas, as his local family history goes back to the mid eighteen hundreds. He is committed to the pursuit of answers and solutions for the behavioral and physical health challenges that we are experiencing in East Texas.