Melwood employees visit with President Obama

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Melwood employees visit with President Obama

August 7, 2014

On Thursday, July 31st, President Barack Obama visited the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to welcome, Julián Castro, as his newest Cabinet Secretary. Before his appointment at HUD, Secretary Castro served as mayor of San Antonio, Texas. His twin brother Rep. Joaquín Castro serves in the U.S. House.

During the visit President Obama urged HUD employees to welcome their new boss. He remarked that Secretary Castro is “young, got drive and good looking.” Secretary Castro stood along side outgoing Secretary Shaun Donovan as President Obama welcomed him to the post and bid farewell to Donovan who was recently named President Obama’s budget director.

After concluding the welcoming ceremony, President Obama and Secretary Castro took time to visit with a group of Melwood custodial employees. Deborah Fisher, Melwood Project Manager/Custodial, reported that she and a team of nine other Melwood employees enjoyed a brief conversation with the president and secretary. Each complimented the crew’s work, noting their positive impact on the day-to-day operation of the department.

Group Photo at Housing and Urban Development

Pictured left to right, front row: Deborah L. Fisher, Melwood Project Manager; Maritza Rocha; U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro; Doina Portillo; President Barack Obama; Mirian Rodriguez; Diane Workman-Jones, Asst. Project Manager; Santiago Ramirez. Back row: George Love; Jose Umanzor; Stanley Queen; Edmond Koonce.

Photo courtesy of Anthony D. (Duke) McLarty, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Federal Housing Commissioner, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

About Melwood

Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries

Jewelyn Cosgrove
Vice President of Government and Public Relations
O: 240-846-3952
[email protected]


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