March 25, 2023

Simon Ruvalcaba

Loyalty….. Silence usually follows the word if you are to ponder who is loyal to you? Now President Trump may have his silent moments of wondering who is loyal to him? Rewind 30 years ago and then business/casino mogul Donald Trump lost 3 solidly loyal staff members in a helicopter crash. The copter, heading back to Atlantic City from a New York City Press conference to announce the Hector Camacho vs Vinny Pazienza fight when a rotor detached and caused the crash. Along with the three Trump executives killed in the crash, Pilot Capt. Robert Kent of Ronkonkoma, New York and Co-Pilot Lawrence Diener of Westbury, New York also died in the crash.

No one knows if any of the executives would’ve later followed Trump into the political arena, or perhaps the executive’s would’ve brought the boardwalk Casinos to greater sustained prominence and President Trump never would’ve ventured into politics? Whatever the case, our Nation’s leader would’ve had three great choices to consider for any role in his administration.

Mark Etess, 38 years old: When it comes to the boxing community, Etess’s loss was the biggest blow, considering all that he did to bring great fights to Atlantic City. Helping bring the Mike Tyson vs Michael Spinks fight to Atlantic City, he was recognized as the sports and entertainment genius and the Trump Taj Majal was going to be his baby. Although now the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, they kept the showroom name of “Mark Etess Arena” in honor of the man who put his passion and poured his love into his craft.

Stephen Hyde, 43 years old: From all accounts of the Casino business dealings, if Trump was the strict father behind the deals, it was Hyde’s soft touch and humane approach that would seal the deals and his attention to detail is what kept the Casinos in smooth operation.

Jonathan Benanav, 33 years old: The youngest of the victims in the crash, Benanav was Director of Hotel Operations and Executive Assistant Manager of the Sands Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

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