From the White House to WACKER - Wacker Chemie AG


From the White House to WACKER

Many Americans dream of meeting the President of the United States once in their lifetime. For Vera Rohs, a WACKER employee in Michigan, this dream came true a total of four times. As a United States Army Non-Commissioned Officer, she had the honor of meeting Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Vera Rohs has happy memories of her encounters with four American Presidents.

She served at the White House Communications Agency from the mid 1970s to the end of the1980s. “We organized the President's trips and accompanied him worldwide. I even drove in one Presidential motorcade.” Rohs retired from the U.S. Army in 1995.

She has many memories of this time in her life, such as President Reagan's second Inauguration on January 21, 1985. It was so cold at noon on that day, –15 °C, that the parade was canceled and the ceremony was held inside the Capitol building. On one occasion, during an official Presidential Inauguration Ball, Rohs was asked to announce the arrival of the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. You can still hear the pride in her voice when she repeats the words spoken at that time: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States!” That was for President Reagan, her all-time favorite President. “He always had a nice word for us. He even shook my hand.”

She has been employed by WACKER in Adrian for almost 20 years now. The plant is not far from the small town of Manchester where she grew up. Her first job there was in the HR department, but for the past four years she has worked as an administrative assistant coordinating advanced training at the in-house training center. She definitely sees parallels between her work now and that of her former employer: “The Army placed great value on skills training so that we would always be ready for deployment. It is no different at WACKER.”

Obviously, the atmosphere in a private company is very different from that of the military, especially when it comes to work attire. In the Midwest, most employees come to work dressed in “business casual,” which usually means leaving the jeans at home and wearing dressier pants like corduroys. In contrast, formal business attire was mandatory at the White House – men and women both wore business suits. President Reagan even had his military attaché come to work in uniform on Wednesdays. “He wanted us to show our presence to the outside world, too.”

While working in Washington, she met her husband, who now also works for WACKER. A few years ago, the couple purchased her grandparents' ten-acre farm where they raise chickens, ducks, goats, sheep and peacocks. Occasionally, Vera Rohs wonders to herself whether life was better a hundred years ago – less complicated and closer to nature. Nevertheless, her feet are firmly planted in the 21st century and she enjoys the benefits of modern technology. If she had just one wish? “That everyone knew how to work with SAP,” she says with a laugh.