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 Home > News & Policies > February 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 27, 2007

Personnel Announcement

President George W. Bush today announced two key appointments to the Executive Residence staff, naming Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon as Director of the Executive Residence and Chief Usher and Dennis Freemyer as Deputy Director of the Executive Residence and Deputy Chief Usher.

Admiral Rochon will be the eighth Chief Usher of the White House.

Admiral Rochon will serve his last day on active duty with the Coast Guard on March 9, and begin his service at the White House on March 12. Admiral Rochon succeeds Gary Walters, who retired in January 2007 after 20 years as White House Chief Usher.

President George W. Bush welcomes U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon to the Oval Office Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007. The New Orleans native was announced Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, as Director of the Executive Residence and Chief Usher. He will be the eighth Chief Usher of the White House. White House photo by Eric Draper "Admiral Rochon is a gifted leader and experienced manager who will be a great addition to the White House and the Residence staff," said President Bush. "Laura and I look forward to working with him."

With 36 years in public service, Admiral Rochon has an extensive background in personnel management, strategic planning, and effective interagency coordination. As the Coast Guard's Commander of the Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, Admiral Rochon is responsible for naval and civil engineering, financial management, personnel, legal, civil rights, electronic systems support, and contingency planning across 40 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Europe, and the Middle East.

A New Orleans native, Admiral Rochon served as the Coast Guard's Director of Personnel Management in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricanes, providing support for Coast Guard personnel and their families, and ensuring they had housing and new job assignments.

Admiral Rochon has a passion for history and historic preservation. He produced video documentaries in 1989 and 2005 honoring Alex Haley, USCG (Ret) and author of "Roots." Admiral Rochon also spearheaded the posthumous awarding of the Gold Lifesaving Medal to the African American crew of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station for their daring rescue in 1896 near the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He has contributed his expertise to a number of museums across the Nation, from Louisiana to Connecticut. Admiral Rochon helped rebuild and preserve the historic significance of three turn-of-the-century homes in New Orleans following the 2005 hurricanes.

Admiral Rochon is a highly decorated military officer, and has earned three Legion of Merit medals. He has also received numerous civic and community leadership awards.

Admiral Rochon enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1970. He rose through the enlisted ranks and received a commission as an Ensign in 1975 from the Officer Candidate School at Yorktown, Va. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Xavier University of Louisiana and a M.S in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.

Admiral Rochon is married, and has four children and eight grandchildren.

Dennis Freemyer has been named the Deputy Director of the Executive Residence and Deputy Chief Usher.

"Dennis has been a valued public servant to five Presidents and their families. Laura and I have known Dennis for more than 20 years, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as he serves the White House in this new role," said President Bush.

Mr. Freemyer has worked in the White House Usher's Office since 1986, most recently as the Assistant Chief Usher where he helped supervise the overall management of the Executive Residence and coordination with the First Family. He has also served as the Program and Project Manager for all design, renovation, maintenance, and construction projects of the White House.

From 1981-86, Mr. Freemyer served as the Architect and Project Manager for the National Park Service, where he was in charge of providing professional architectural expertise necessary for the plan, design, research, and supervision of National Park Service construction and renovations at the White House. During his time at the National Park Service, he also worked in the Contracting Division as an architect from 1978-81 and was detailed to the White House where he was a construction supervisor and construction inspector.

Mr. Freemyer holds a B.A. in Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is married and has two children.

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