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Jamaican named White House chief usher

Published:Wednesday | October 5, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica-born Angella Reid (left) is now the chief usher in the Obama White House. Reid, a former general manager of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, greets Jamaica's ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, at a welcome reception upon the latter's arrival in the United States capital last year. Reid is the first female White House chief usher in the US. - Photo by Barbara Ellington

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer


Jamaica-born hotelier Angella Reid has been appointed the first female White House chief usher.

Reid, who was born in Trinityville, St Thomas, attended the Excelsior High School in Kingston before she became a front office trainee at the Half Moon hotel in Montego Bay in 1978.

As news spread across the country yesterday, The Gleaner caught up with her sister, Fiona Shaw-Davis, who said her entire family was elated by the appointment, but not surprised, having watched Reid excel in the hospitality sector over the years.

"She is a go-getter, and she wanted her next job to be in the government service of the United States," said Shaw-Davis.

Reid, the highest achiever to date in the close-knit family, takes over from Rear Admiral Stephen Rochan, who has reportedly accepted a job with the US Department of Homeland Security. She assumes the position next month.

The 52-year-old career woman's formal title will be director of the president's executive residence and chief usher.

She will be responsible for executive residence activities, as well as operations on the executive residence grounds. Reid will liaise with the White House Historical Association, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, the US Commission on Fine Arts and other entities to preserve the People's House.