Christopher B. Emery , Topic: White House Usher: Stories from the Inside.
Chris Emery grew up on a farm in Howard County Maryland; he attended public schools, and earned his Bachelor's degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland. Chris has more than 40 years of information technology experience, including 25 years with the federal government. He has been the head of software applications development, a Chief Enterprise Architect, and a Chief Information Officer. From January 1986 until March 1994, Chris was part of one of the most unique jobs in the U.S. government—an Usher in the White House. After eight-plus years at the White House, he returned to the private sector then later rejoined the federal government in senior information technology management positions, working for the US Congress, Departments of Treasury, Homeland Security, and Justice. Today Chris lives in Washington DC. For more than 200 years, a small office has operated on the State Floor of the White House Executive Residence. Known as the Ushers Office whose mission is to accommodate the personal needs of the first family and make the White House feel like a home. The Ushers Office is the managing office of the Executive Residence and its staff of 90-plus. The staff consists of butlers, carpenters, grounds personnel, electricians, painters, plumbers, florists, maids, housemen, cooks, chefs, storekeepers, curators, calligraphers, doormen, and administrative support. Ushers work closely with the first family, senior staff, Social Office, Press Office, Secret Service Agency, and military leaders to carry out White House functions: luncheons, dinners, teas, receptions, meetings, conferences, and more. Chris was only the 18th White House usher since 1891, and had the honor and privilege to serve presidential families for three years during the Reagan administration, four years for President H. W. Bush, and 14 months under President Clinton. His vigneties recreate intimate White House happenings from an insider’s viewpoint.