Jamaican-born Angella Reid last week made White House history when she was appointed Director of the President’s Executive Residence and Chief Usher. She is the first woman, first Jamaican-American and ninth person to serve in that role.

The 52-year-old, who was born in Trinityville, St. Thomas, is the former general manager of the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City, Virginia. She has worked in the hotel industry for several years, holding down top jobs in the luxury chain.

Members of the Jamaican community in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC, have expressed pride in Reid’s appointment. “I know it would only be a matter of time before a Jamaican served in the White House. The Jamaican community is very vibrant in this region, highly educated and very supportive of the Democratic president,” said Kameisha Phillips, who is also a hotel executive in Virginia.

Reid was once a protégé of hotel industry guru, Myrtle Dwyer, current director of sales and marketing at Glamour Destination Management.

“When she started training with me in 1978, I saw tremendous potential in her. I encouraged her to take up one of the scholarships to Germany and she did. Since then Angella has never looked back,” Dwyer was reported as saying.

In response to her appointment to the White House job, Reid reportedly told a friend that she is “overly excited by taking on this new position.”

Reid will take over from Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon, who has reportedly accepted a job with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She will be responsible for Executive Residence activities as well as operations on the Executive Residence grounds. She will oversee the annual inventory of White House property; liaise with the White House Historical Association, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and other entities to preserve the home of the U.S. president.

Reid will take up her new position in November.

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