Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"It's Destruction for the Public Good"

From today's WaPo:

Hire of the Week
Julie A. Rochman is moving from blowing up legislation to blowing up buildings.

Rochman, 45, is a senior vice president with Glover Park Group, an all-Democratic lobbying and public relations firm. Before that she worked for the American Insurance Association, one of Washington's most potent lobbies.

She was recently named chief executive of the Institute for Business & Home Safety, the insurance-backed organization that tests structures under extreme conditions to see how well they hold up. It pelts houses with hail and re-creates other types of disasters for the purpose of reducing structural risk.

"We will test full-scale houses and commercial structures; we'll blow them up," she said with a smile.

The group's mission is not unlike that of another group Rochman once worked for. From November 1996 until late 2000, she was vice president of communications for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is best known for crashing cars -- as a way to make them safer, of course. "I loved crashing cars, I'm going to love crashing buildings," she said. "It's destruction for the public good."

At the Institute for Business & Home Safety, which is located in Tampa, Rochman will succeed Harvey G. Rylan, who is retiring.

A lifetime ago (actually September and October of 1979), Julie and I were high school seniors, spending two months in Israel studying at the American High School in Israel with fifty other 16 to 18 year old kids.

I love it when old acquaintances turn up in the news doing cool things.

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