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Sandra Miller Jones

Marketing executive Sandra Miller Jones was born on August 6, 1946 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1968, Jones received her B.A. degree in sociology from Howard University, where she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She then became the first African American woman to graduate from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business when she received her M.B.A. degree in 1971.

Upon graduation, Jones was hired as the first African American woman manager at Quaker Oats Company, where she managed several of the company’s major franchises including the $100 million-plus Quaker Oatmeal franchise. In 1978, Jones left Quaker Oats and founded Segmented Marketing Services, Inc. (SMSi), a national marketing services company. SMSi’s client list includes Procter & Gamble, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Revlon, Quaker Oats, Kraft Foods, General Mills, and the United States Postal Service, among others. In 2013, Jones founded SMSi Health Insurance Solutions, whose mission is to help underserved consumers acquire affordable health insurance. She also became an adjunct professor of marketing at Wake Forest University’s Babcock School of Management.

Jones helped establish the National Black MBA Association and the Chicago Minority Purchasing Council, and helped start a business initiative for the League of Black Women in Chicago, Illinois. She has served as board chair of the Jack and Jill of American Foundation’s WIN (We Invest Now) for Tomorrow, a program that teaches financial and investment skills to African American teenagers. She has also served on the boards of Family Services, Inc. and Summit School in Winston-Salem, as well as board chair of the Winston-Salem YWCA. In addition, she was active in women’s and youth activities at Goler Memorial AME Zion Church in Winston-Salem.

Jones is married to her business partner, Lafayette Jones. They have one daughter, Bridgette.

Sandra Miller Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 14, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.214

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/14/2014

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Miller

Schools

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business

Kimberley Park Elementary

Paisley IB Magnet School

Howard University

First Name

Sandra

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

JON39

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

8/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Marketing chief executive Sandra Miller Jones (1946 - ) was the founder and CEO of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Employment

Quaker Oats Company

Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Job Corps RCA

Winston-Salem Journal

First National Bank of Chicago

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:5250,62:9436,198:49136,840:49808,848:58040,984:60315,1047:71680,1206:74110,1261:74470,1266:76360,1294:91136,1478:97080,1561:97935,1574:104015,1695:104490,1701:108005,1747:117442,1911:119193,1935:119914,1944:120532,1950:124432,1976:126588,2009:126980,2014:127960,2022:128352,2027:128842,2033:129724,2045:130704,2056:131586,2068:132272,2078:138924,2113:140902,2178:141762,2207:142106,2212:144084,2324:145116,2391:161630,2563:184712,2845:187400,2867:187958,2873:188702,2882:189167,2889:190748,2914:191957,2931:192329,2936:192794,2942:195677,2989:196049,2994:196700,3006:197630,3018:198188,3024:206050,3121:206626,3128:208930,3174:215503,3226:219598,3283:220334,3292:227786,3438:233377,3566:233791,3572:235630,3595:236070,3601:240646,3663:241174,3669:247450,3740:248300,3751:249745,3791:250595,3803:250935,3808:260030,3906:260800,3920:269348,3987:270644,4001:271940,4014:273776,4047:289442,4220:290351,4234:291664,4249:292775,4263:296613,4317:305568,4403:306304,4412:306856,4419:307316,4425:307684,4430:313960,4492$0,0:2772,43:14060,123:23606,286:30394,359:37090,458:37927,468:38671,477:39415,489:39787,494:47070,561:48855,594:49620,604:49960,609:50470,616:50810,621:58029,726:61935,801:62400,807:72260,869:72685,875:74130,896:74895,906:76255,923:77105,950:100758,1095:106510,1356:115950,1540:123089,1838:142700,1950:144026,1965:152989,2077:156742,2118:157066,2123:160954,2187:162979,2228:167824,2262:171432,2311:174248,2390:180510,2432:193748,2548:207610,2644:208576,2710:218340,2855
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sandra Miller Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her father's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Kimberley Park Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sandra Miller Jones describes the African American community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers John W. Paisley Senior High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the Safe Bus Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers the entertainment of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers her favorite teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the influence of Winston-Salem Teachers College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls her decision to study sociology at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls the takeover of the administration building at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her decision to attend the Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her extracurricular activities at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her experiences at the Graduate School of Management in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the influence of sociology in business

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her position at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers the black business leadership of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls the founding of the National Black MBA Association

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Charles H. Curry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the administration of the Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her role at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers working with minority businesses at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her accomplishments at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her reasons for founding Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers her first client at Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her parents' involvement in her company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the early clientele of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers meeting her husband, Lafayette Jones

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Harold Washington's mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the logistics of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her civic involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her success as an entrepreneur

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon the success of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the development of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the future of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her business philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones shares her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her adopted daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

2$8

DATitle
Sandra Miller Jones talks about the development of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions
Sandra Miller Jones remembers working with minority businesses at the Quaker Oats Company
Transcript
Oh, 1999, you launched Shades of Beauty. Now that, that's--is that again Lafayette's, or (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's Lafayette's.$$Okay.$$Yes, yes.$$But--okay. And how is that different from Urban Call? Did it have the--did it focus on the cosmetology industry?$$Well, that's a Lafayette [Jones' husband, HistoryMaker Lafayette Jones] question, so--$$Okay. All right. All right (unclear).$$(Laughter) All that is his--all that publishing stuff is, is his area.$$Okay. Well, then I'm going to jump way ahead, you know (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay (laughter).$$Past the election of Barack Obama [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] and everything else to 2013--$$Okay.$$--to the founding of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions [Winston-Salem, North Carolina].$$Yes.$$Yeah.$$Yes.$$So this is an affordable health--$$Yes, yes. When we found out that the Affordable Care Act [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010] was coming into existence, we knew that the message was not getting out to our community, African American community especially and Hispanic community secondarily, because we weren't hearing anything. All that we knew was what we heard on the media, and that was so often very negative, and we knew that there was--that, that having people insured was a good thing, so we had to find a way to get that message out. We wrote to the president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina [Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina], Brad Wilson [J. Bradley Wilson, Jr.], and asked him if we could come in and talk to his people about sponsoring an outreach effort, and we were able to get that done, so we went in, and we talked to Blue Cross Blue Shield about starting an outreach effort to inform African Americans throughout North Carolina about the Affordable Care Act, and although our business [Segmented Marketing Services, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina] is national, to be able to focus on North Carolina, we had to build territories that--just as though they were in some other part of the country or part of the world, so instead of our territory being the Chicago [Illinois] market, now we built a territory that was the Greensboro [North Carolina], High Point [North Carolina] market, and the Durham [North Carolina], Wake [Wake County, North Carolina] market until each one of our markets in North Carolina we treated as a separate market as opposed to just a part of the--of one whole state execution. So we built teams in each of those markets just like we have in our other cities, and these teams of people went out and developed relationships and continue to do so now with the gatekeepers in churches and community organizations; beauty salons, barbershops, to help us get the message out about the Affordable Care Act. We were able to do this. We were able to reach about a half million households in North Carolina with a message and face to face presentations to over three thousand opinion leaders, and, as a result, we were part of the movement in North Carolina that enabled us, as North Carolina, to be the fifth largest state in terms of number of people signing up for the Affordable Care Act in the nation, and by far, the largest state in the nation that did not accept Medicare [sic.]. North Carolina--the Medicare expansion that was offered as a part of the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina was one of the states that didn't accept that Medicaid expansion. South Car- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) With a Republican governor [Pat McCrory] or something or--$$Absolutely.$$Yeah.$$And South Carolina, for example, right next to us, North Carolina did about 350,000 enrollments, and South Carolina did about thirty-two thousand enrollments, so you can see the difference between the efforts that were made here despite the fact that we didn't have the support of the government here and the results. One of the things that we learned as we were doing our executions is that there just are not enough agents servicing our community to even sign up or enroll, help the people to enroll, into the Affordable Care Act, so that's why we decided to start an agency, and that's SMSi Health Insurance Solutions, so that we could; one, provide this excellent job opportunity to people in our community to be their own boss because that's what an insurance agency is, their own boss. They're an entrepreneur. And to--to develop some residual income while also being of such a significant service to the community at large.$And would you--how--now how did you--were, were you able to--well, how much of your job had anything to do with, you know, marketing the products to the black community specifically?$$None.$$Okay.$$But I did connect with the black community only because I had an interest there and did some outreach to the community, and that's why I knew all of the African American advertising agencies. I worked very hard to get agencies both advertising and promote and marketing research agencies at that time. I didn't know of any black promotion agencies, but marketing research, yes. Tried to get them contracts with Quaker Oats Company. I brought them in and introduced them to the powers that be who could make those decisions, and whenever I was able to make a decision that would enable me to work with a black supplier, I did that, so I was quite aware of the need to, to bring more blacks into the marketing world, to the--$$Were they working with any black or, or contractors before you started?$$Probably not. Probably not, yeah.$$That's what I would guess. Just--$$That's what I would guess at that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I, I figured I would ask.$$Yeah. (Laughter) Yeah.$$And were you ever criticized for, for bringing in too many black people?$$No.$$No, okay.$$No, no, no, never was. I, I think it was quite a fascination for them. We brought groups in to, to do things with us, and, so, yeah.$$Well, that's good because there's some many times I hear the story that someone gets into a position to hire black contractors that have never been involved before in, in the--that--in a particular business, and then they criticize for you're, you're only, you know, you're trying to make our organization--make all the contractors black and that sort of thing.$$Yeah. No. It wasn't that.$$But, but you never did get that.$$Never that problem.$$Okay.$$[HistoryMaker] Byron Lewis who started UniWorld advertising agency [UniWorld Group, Inc.] recently had a tribute to him in New York [New York] and invited us to come and speak at--to be one of those people who talked about him. And, oh, he always credits me with saving his agency, and that can't be so, but he credits me with that. He says that his agency was on the skids, and we came to Quaker Oats Company. And I was able to help them get a major contract to do a black soap opera ['Sounds of the City'], as a matter of fact, that was what they had proposed, and that contract he maintained saved his agency. He was able to go on and build from there, and so I'm always pleased about that.$$Right. Well, that's, you know, heretofore, and I guess, prior to '68 [1968] or so, there were very few blacks in business that had--that got any contracts from major corporations.$$Absolutely.$$For any reason, so--$$Yeah.$$--so this is, this is all ground breaking at this time, so Byron Lewis, okay.

Valerie Norman-Gammon

Media executive and television producer Valerie Norman-Gammon was born on May 14, 1951 in New York City, New York to Irene Robinson and Edmund Greene. Norman-Gammon attended P.S. 166 Elementary School in New York City and graduated from Brandeis High School in 1968. She went on to receive her B.A. degree from Baruch College in New York City in 1979. Norman-Gammon received her M.A. degree in journalism and broadcast management from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1981. She worked as a legal secretary for Cravath, Swaine & Moore before working in several successful broadcasting positions.

In 1980 Norman-Gammon worked as a talk show host for WYTV TV in Ohio. From 1981-1988 she worked as senior producer for WBBM TV in Chicago, Illinois. While with WBBM TV, Norman-Gammon produced the weekly talk show The Lee Phillips Show for which she won a Chicago Emmy award in 1983. During this time, she also served as executive producer for various documentary specials, including The Sounds of Soul, the fifth installment of the Time Warner syndicated series, The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In 1988, Norman-Gammon became president and CEO of Amethyst Entertainment Inc., a television, music festival production, and media company. She has produced a number of mega music events, most notably, the Essence Music Festival from 1995 to 2002. From 1994 to 2007, Norman-Gammon served as the executive producer for FOX Chicago and My Network TV’s six time Emmy nominated, Christmas Glory.

Norman-Gammon is the recipient of three National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards for her work with The Essence Awards on the FOX Network. Norman-Gammon has also served as an adjunct professor in television, film, speech communications, and media relations at Johnson & Wales University. Norman-Gammon’s expertise in media management, television and mega event production make her one of the top executive producers in the entertainment industry. She is a long time member of numerous media related and professional organizations, including the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences. Norman-Gammon lives with her husband, Parker Gammon, in Miami, Florida.

Valerie Norman-Gammon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 22, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.233

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/22/2012

Last Name

Norman-Gammon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

P.S. 166

Louis D Brandeis High School

Baruch College

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Valerie

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

NOR06

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

It has to be fabulous.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

5/14/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Media executive and television producer Valerie Norman-Gammon (1951 - ) had over thirty years of experience in mass media management, television, and mega event production. She worked with Amethyst Entertainment, Inc.

Employment

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

WYTV TV

WBBM TV

Amethyst Entertainment, Inc.

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:12890,146:15900,178:16846,191:17362,198:18824,228:22737,251:58830,656:59180,665:69080,837:75966,906:86788,1102:99804,1263:185315,2455:197550,2687:234998,3233:235406,3241:241380,3305$0,0:16454,142:17690,162:22676,210:23036,216:23828,229:24548,241:28724,324:29372,335:30236,349:32180,381:32684,401:33332,412:34052,425:35492,451:35780,456:36356,466:37076,481:37508,488:39596,539:39884,544:40532,554:40964,561:46590,575:47565,594:48165,603:48690,611:50865,646:51165,651:51465,656:56720,694:57040,699:60642,753:61846,775:62448,784:63308,796:64684,812:65114,818:65802,827:68468,883:70016,906:81792,1040:82122,1046:82716,1058:83310,1067:83838,1076:85356,1123:85686,1129:86346,1145:86874,1156:87336,1166:89184,1187:90042,1202:96672,1275:97870,1281:98638,1296:99470,1316:99726,1321:100302,1331:100750,1340:101070,1346:101582,1356:103502,1405:104718,1430:104974,1435:108622,1510:113634,1548:113999,1554:114291,1559:116919,1612:117941,1628:123927,1769:124292,1775:124803,1784:125168,1790:130030,1812:130270,1817:131650,1847:132070,1855:132790,1870:134890,1935:136810,1979:137350,1992:139450,2045:143617,2069:144565,2084:144960,2090:146856,2124:147962,2142:148594,2151:149147,2160:157074,2268:157578,2279:157866,2284:160458,2328:160746,2333:161394,2348:162114,2365:162474,2371:166824,2399:167300,2404
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Valerie Norman-Gammon's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her maternal great grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Valerie Norman-Gammon remembers picking tomatoes with her grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Valerie Norman-Gammon shares her great grandmother's stories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes the foods that her grandmother made in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about meeting her father for the first time

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about seeing her father for the last time

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about the brief period in which she knew her father and his occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her mother's occupations and ice skating at Rockefeller Center

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes the building where she grew up in the Upper West Side, New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Valerie Norman-Gammon lists her favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes her mother's move to New York City at a young age

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her mother's sacrifices for their Manhattan apartment

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about starting grade school, her love of reading, and Christmas as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Valerie Norman-Gammon remembers her high school, Louis D. Brandeis High School, and the teacher that influenced her the most

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Valerie Norman-Gammon compares racism in Manhattan and the south

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes how she understood race as a child in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her church in Harlem and its pastor, Adam Clayton Powell

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes being in a cotillion

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her first boyfriend

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about working while going to school at Baruch College

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her scholarship to go to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her first marriage to Marvin Norman

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about working in the World Trade Center towers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about TV anchors that she admired and an internship at NBC

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about balancing work and college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about the skills that she gained working at a law firm, and the individuals who influenced her

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about leaving her job at law firm to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Valerie Norman-Gammon reflects upon New York City's black culture in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her maternal family's reaction to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about meeting Cindy Walker, who helped launch her television career

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about becoming cohost of Good Morning Youngstown in Youngstown, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois and becoming a producer at WBBM-TV

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about producing the show "Common Ground" in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about producing television shows at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois and her friendship with Lee Phillip Bell

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about Chicago politics and culture, and Harold Washington becoming mayor, in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks her struggle to achieve balanced political representation WBBM-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about how she coped with the stress of working in television

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about some close friends from Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about writing a book with Dr. Terry Mason

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about producing the second Essence Awards show in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Valerie Norman-Gammon reflects upon meeting John H. Johnson at the Essence Awards

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about the Chicago entertainment and journalism community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about producing the Essence Awards for a decade

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about how she became connected with the Essence Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes the process of producing the Essence Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about producing the Cancun Jazz Music Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about producing music festivals throughout Mexico and the Caribbean

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about developing and producing Sinbad's Soul Music Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about Apostolic Church of God and convincing Bishop Brazier to go on television

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about Bishop Brazier and the conception of Christmas Glory

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes the Christmas Glory television event

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her community outreach goals in creating televised church events

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about the awards that she won for Christmas Glory

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about working with Quincy Jones on "The History of Rock n Roll"

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her contributions to the Essence Music Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Valerie Norman-Gammon describes meeting and marrying her husband, Parker Gammon

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her husband's occupation

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about moving to Miami, Florida with her husband, Parker Gammon

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about winning three NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about some of her current projects

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her parents' deaths and her relationships with family members

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her brothers

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her step sons

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her regret of not having children

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Valerie Norman-Gammon comments on her future aspirations

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about how she would like to be remembered and shares some advice for young adults

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about the women that she has admired over the years

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Valerie Norman-Gammon reflects upon the importance of paying it forward and helping others

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Valerie Norman-Gammon narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

1$1

DATitle
Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about producing television shows at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois and her friendship with Lee Phillip Bell
Valerie Norman-Gammon talks about her contributions to the Essence Music Festival
Transcript
I came to Chicago in September of 1981 over the Labor Day weekend. I drove my little car through the "S" curve and found my way to the hotel and then realized that CBS WBBM was actually two blocks down and so I would just walk down there to work. I came here during a time when Bill Curtis was here and Walter Jacobsen. WBBM was number one for everything for everything so it was exciting to be here and be a part of that whole collection and group of people; winning awards like crazy and everything. When I--after I worked on 'Common Ground' for so many months and then the 'Lee Phillip Show' became available because Bruce Dumont left. Cindy Walker made the decision to give me the show which then gave me two shows, 'Common Ground' and Lee Phillip. And the Lee Phillip show was really a prize possession. There were many other producers who wanted to have her show but I got it. It was a lot of work but I loved it. I was reading all the time because I had a two hour show in 'Common Ground' where you had to have a lot of material and you had to really delve into what was going on in the city and the community. But then I also had Lee Phillip who had a half hour day time Sunday magazine show with three segments that had all the biggest names in entertainment that came to town. So I was always going to plays, I was always going to big entertainment events, I always going to celebrity parties, I was always going to everything that was very high brow for her show and very community and local for 'Common Ground.' So I met everybody. I was being interviewed, I got numerous awards because I was everywhere doing everything and it was crazy but I loved it, I absolutely loved it. My relationship with Lee Phillip [Bell]--I did not know who she was obviously before I came here. I was unaware of the fact that she was married to Bill Bell and that she actually was Lee Phillip Bell and that they owned 'The Young and Restless' and also 'The Bold and the Beautiful.' So I didn't know that they were a powerhouse couple living over on Lake Shore Drive and that every afternoon Bill was on a conference call with his LA [Los Angeles, California] team executive producing 'The Young and the Restless.' I had no idea until I met her and we started working together and she and I actually shared a huge office. So we would look each other every day. We became very close. I remember she invited me to dinner one night and I went over there. She lived in one of the apartments, I've forgotten the actual address but it looks out on the lake, beautiful entire floor. And her daughter was there and her sons who now are big stars in television and we just had a good family time. Because they were just regular, family oriented people and it was phenomenal, it was just phenomenal.$$Now you mentioned that her sons are now big names in television.$$Her daughter is Lauralee Bell who is on 'The Bold and the Beautiful' and her sons have been working in the business so they are something. The father, Bill Bell has passed on but recently Lee ran into someone, a mutual friend and she called me to say hello. So she is out in LA now doing her thing and they say that--she says that she is over there a couple of times a week.$$On the set?$$On the set that's amazing, that's wonderful.$So Valerie in 1995 to 2002 you were a producer for the main stage of the Essence Music Festival?$$Yes, I am proud to say that I'm part of the team with Ed Lewis, Clarence Smith, Susan Taylor, Karen Taylor, and Terry Williams who created the actual Essence Music Festival. We created the concept; we went around the country working on selecting the right venue. We decided on New Orleans [Louisiana] because we could do two things at once. Have the main stage and then have that second level with the four quadrant rooms. We could have four different things going on. We created that and I actually decided that the main stage should be more than just another concert venue and I loved the fact that Essence, to my knowledge today, with the Essence Music Festival is the only one that has an actual produced stage presence when the performers are not on. And I created that for them and I created the designs for the quadrant rooms. So I asked a set designer that worked with me at CBS to come in and to meet us in New Orleans in the first year and to create a backdrop that was Essence because Essence [Magazine] is first class, it's all about, you know, the significance and the admiration and respect for African American women. And I didn't want us to just have a black curtain in the back. We needed to have something that was first class and lovely. So we did that, I brought her in and we created that and then we went around and created the themes for the different rooms and designed them so that they would like the blues or the disco ball hanging for the seventies or whatever. And so I was responsible for designing and creating all of that. Then I said to Clarence [Smith] and Ed [Lewis] and Susan [Taylor] that I thought there was money on the table that was being left by virtue of the fact that when we normally go to a concert they play some music between acts, right we'll be back, you know, and now we're back, you know, want to the stage so and so like in that little block; we should be something that's going to generate revenue. So I created all of these little moments where a host could come on stage and interact with the audience and they could be sponsor driven and they could sell them. So, since we've done that they now, in fact, have been able to increase the revenue for Essence in ways that we didn't start out in the first year. So I'm very proud of that.

Joyce E. Tucker

Experienced advocate of equal-opportunity employment Joyce Elaine Tucker was born on September 21, 1948 to Howard (George) and Vivian Tucker in Chicago, Illinois. A middle child with two sisters, Tucker attended Irving Elementary School and Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois where she received her diploma in 1966. Tucker earned her B.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1970 and began working as a substitute teacher for Chicago Public Schools.

In 1970, Tucker was also hired as a mental health specialist at Tinley Park Mental Health Center. Four years later, she served as coordinator of the Illinois Department of Mental Health’s equal employment opportunity and affirmative action (EEO/AA) programs. Tucker was then promoted to chief of the EEO/AA Title VI program at the Illinois Department of Mental Health. She received her J.D. degree from the John Marshall Law School in 1978 before becoming acting director for the Illinois Department of Equal Employment Opportunity. In 1980, Tucker was hired as director for the Illinois Department of Human Rights and was the first black woman to serve in the Governor’s cabinet.

In 1990, Tucker was appointed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by President George H.W. Bush and in 2001 President George W. Bush appointed Joyce to the White House Initiative Advisory Board for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Tucker began her own EEO management company Tucker Spearman & Associates in 1997. Since 2002, she has been vice president of Global Diversity and Employee Rights for the Boeing Company.

Tucker has been named a “Diversity Leader” by Women of Color magazine and was the keynote speaker at the Executive Symposium for Women Business Leaders in 2006. She has also received the Legacy of Opportunity Award, awarded by the Black Law Students Association at the John Marshall Law School.

Joyce Tucker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.033

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/24/2010

Last Name

Tucker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

John Marshall Law School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Proviso East High School

Irving Elementry School

First Name

Joyce

Birth City, State, Country

Chciago

HM ID

TUC06

Favorite Season

September

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Francisco, California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/21/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Corporate executive Joyce E. Tucker (1948 - ) has more than thirty years of experience with civil rights and equal employment. She has served in the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, appointed by the president.

Employment

Boeing Company

Tucker Spearman & Associates

Illinois Department of Human Rights

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Illinois Department of Equal Employment Opportunity

EEO/AA Title VI Program, Illinois Department of Mental Health

Title VII Program, Illinois Department of Mental Health

Tinley Park Mental Health Center

Chicago Public Schools

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joyce E. Tucker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her maternal great-grandfather's store

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her father's childhood and service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joyce E. Tucker describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her childhood personality and likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her father's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joyce E. Tucker describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joyce E. Tucker recalls playing outside in her childhood neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker recalls a spooky experience in her childhood basement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker describes the television shows and music of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience at the Hayes School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience at the Hayes School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her awareness of politics as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her elementary schools in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois and being a minorette

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her friend Kathy Walker Owens (ph.)

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker describes the racism she and her friends experienced at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker describes herself as a student at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her interest in football and basketball at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about discussions about Fred Hampton's assassination and shootings at Jackson State University during college

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about Fred Hampton and racial divisions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joyce E. Tucker recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about the political atmosphere at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois in 1968 and 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her social life at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her dating life at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience as a substitute teacher in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience as a substitute teacher in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience working at Tinley Park Mental Health Center in Tinley Park, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience working at Tinley Park Mental Health Center in Tinley Park, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joyce E. Tucker describes filing a discrimination grievance against Tinley Park Mental Health Center in Tinley Park, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joyce E. Tucker recalls becoming Coordinator of Affirmative Action for the Illinois Department of Mental Health

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her promotions within the Illinois state government

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker describes becoming Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker describes becoming Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience as Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience with partisan politics in the Illinois General Assembly, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience with partisan politics in the Illinois General Assembly, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joyce E. Tucker remembers the tragedies that hit her family, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker remembers the tragedies that hit her family, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker describes the campaign and election of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in 1983

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about Bernard Epton and Republican politics in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about the death of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in 1987

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience as Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker describes being appointed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about the reasons she was not reappointed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1996

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about starting her consulting firm, Tucker Spearman and Associates

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker describes the success of Tucker Spearman and Associates

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker describes being hired by Boeing in 2002

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience as Vice President of Global Diversity and Employee Rights at Boeing, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience as Vice President of Global Diversity and Employee Rights at Boeing, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her department at Boeing

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her experience on the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her experience with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Joyce E. Tucker describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Joyce E. Tucker recalls developing her principles as a child

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Joyce E. Tucker reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Joyce E. Tucker reflects on her career

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Joyce E. Tucker talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Joyce E. Tucker describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Joyce E. Tucker describes becoming Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights, pt. 1
Joyce E. Tucker describes being appointed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Transcript
What was [Chicago Mayor] Harold Washington like?$$He was fabulous. I mean he was fabulous. He was definitely committed to equal employment opportunities, civil rights. He was brilliant. I mean his, his concept of language and he was a fighter. And when I was working on helping deal with the, the implementation of the legislation and the, getting the budget for this agency [Illinois Department of Human Rights], I'm working with him all the time. You know, and I'm not understanding that a senator is someone that you are supposed to ask permission to meet or whatever. When I would go by his office, if I, if I saw him, I went in. And he was available. I mean he never told me, you're not supposed to do that. Now his staff would look at me like I was out of my mind but it was like Harold, bam, I was, I was in there before they could come get me. But I never knew that there was any protocol or whatever. You know, if I need a person, I see the person, I go talk to the person. And with senators and legislators you're supposed to make an appointment, you do that but I think Harold kind of enjoyed that naivete. And the fact that, you know, I believed in what I was doing. And I never really let anything be a barrier 'cause I really didn't know I was supposed to. So while they were doing a national search for the director, the Governor [James Thompson, Jr.] mentioned to me, he said Harold Washington is recommending that you become the director of Human Rights. And I said "Really, I didn't know the search committee recommended me" and the Governor said, "It is my job (laughter) so I'll decide who get it, who gets it." But as I was setting up the staffing plan and I was, you know, coming up with the criteria for the director, and I was giving the search committee what I thought the criteria of the director should be, I looked at it and said "Well, that looks like me." And then I resigned from some of the committees that I was on because I thought it would be a conflict of interest but the people on the search committee told me that my chance of getting the directorship was slim to none. There was no way that I could be considered because one lady said I didn't pay my dues. And so I asked her, "How much are they?" (Laughter) that didn't go over too well. But, you know, I mean I felt like if you want something, you go for it or you asked yourself for the rest of your life "What would happened if I--" You know, the, the worst that could have happened was I would have been turned down. Well, I didn't have it anyway. And the best that could have happened was I got it, which I ended up getting it. But they were, you know, there's no way. So Harold recommended that I get, the governor consider me for the position and I think it was on a Friday the 13th, governor was supposed to announce the position on a Monday and the Thursday the 12th, his, one of his staff people caught me in the train station going back to Chicago [Illinois] and said, "Governor wants to interview you tomorrow morning." And my first response was, "That's Friday the 13th," and they said yeah. And then I said, "Well, I don't have any clothes." "Look, governor wants to see you tomorrow morning 9 o'clock." So I did whatever I needed to do, got a room, you know, went to the Governor's office, interviewed, and he said, "Why should I give you this job?" And I said, "Well, Governor, because it's the only thing that makes sense, you know. I know the budget, I know the staffing plan, I know the legislature, I know your staff." I said, "Anybody that comes in to this position, I'm gonna have to train." And he said, "Thank you," and that was it. That was the interview. And I'm thinking, like okay. I mean, I've never had an interview that short. There is no way I got the job. So I remember going on the train writing him thank you for the interview because I knew someone else was gonna get this job. So I get a call that Monday on my direct line and I pick it up, and I hear "This is the Governor speaking, congratulations Director." And I went like, "who is this?" This is the Governor speaking. And I'm going like, "yeah, yeah, who is it?" I mean I didn't know it was the governor. He says, "Joyce, you got the job." And I said oh--and he goes, "Why did you say that?" I said, "My grandmother says be careful what you ask for, you just might get it."$So what happened in 1990 that you left the--, what happened (unclear) (simultaneous)?$$Well, I was the Director of [the Illinois Department of] Human Rights, and as a 706 Human Rights Agency we interface a lot with EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], which meant we interface a lot with Clarence Thomas who was the chair of the EEOC. And we were an aggressive agency then, I mean we set some things in place that other agencies modeled in terms of how we enforce the Human Rights Act. We were, Illinois was one of the bigger human rights agencies, so we kind of stood out. I was the, had been president of the Illinois Association of Official Human Rights Agencies which were all the 706 agencies. And we kind of like made a mark for ourselves. And, Har--, Clarence was a friend and so he was going to the Appellate Court [United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit] and he asked me, he said, "Do you wanna take my spot at EEOC?" And I said, "Well I don't know if they would give it to me or not." He says, "Well I told 'em you're not like me. You know, (laughter) you're not conservative like I am." And he says, "You want the spot?" I said, "sure." He said, "Send me a resume." So I sent him a resume, he sent it to the White House, and they called me and they asked me to come in for an interview. Well the same thing happened when they called me at home and said this is the White House, I went through that "Really, who is this, give me your number I'll call back." And so I called back, it was the White House. And they said we wanna interview you, you know, Clarence sent us your resume and we wanna interview for, you know, Clarence's position. And I went in for an interview with Chase Untermeyer [Charles Graves Untermeyer], who was Chief of White House staff [assistant to the President and director of the Office of Presidential Personnel]. And, you know, he interviewed me and all this stuff, and then finally when the interview was over, I said, "Look, I am a supporter and advocate of affirmative action. I can't work for anybody who doesn't like affirmative action because that's what I do." He showed me the White House Affirmative Action Plan under Bush. And he said we have no problem with that, you know.$$Now this is [President] George Herbert Walker Bush?$$George, right.$$The, the older Bush.$$I served Bush I.$$Bush I.$$And then he took me through a tour of the White House. Now everybody told me when you meet Chase Untermeyer, don't have a problem because he's gruff, he doesn't any personality, he's cold, he's distant, he's all of these things. With my interview he was the nicest, warmest, kindest, friendliest person ever. And they couldn't, really couldn't believe it was the same person. But we connected, you know. It was, it was a great interview. And that's how I ended up getting that job. I filled his spot. I wasn't designated chair, you know, 'cause they gave that to someone who was more conservative than me. But I became one of the commissioners.$$Okay. For the EEOC?$$For EEOC.$$Yeah.$$And it was a challenge. You know, it was a challenge when the Republicans were in the majority, it was a challenge when the Democrats were in the majority because I had been raised to think that these kind of jobs weren't political. That you don't look at the politics of the situation, you do the job. And I came there with a civil rights background, you know. That's what I did. And not everybody who gets appointed to those positions brings the same kind of background.