June 26th, 2014

A Johnson & Johnson Working Mom Meets President Obama

By Laura Donovan, Manager, Social Media, Johnson & Johnson

Lisa with President Obama at lunch.

Lisa with President Obama at lunch in Washington, D.C. Photo by Getty Images.

Lisa Rumain has a few tips for going out to lunch with the President of the United States: Wear comfortable shoes (she didn’t); order what he’s having (she did); savor every minute (she absolutely did).

Earlier this week Lisa, a Total Rewards Manager for Johnson & Johnson based at World Headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ, got the surprise of her life when she found out she would be having lunch with President Obama in Washington, D.C.

“I had a fantastic time,” Lisa says. “It really was a once in a lifetime experience.”

The mom of three was in the nation’s capital representing Johnson & Johnson at the White House Summit on Working Families.  Organizers of the Summit selected Lisa after learning about how instrumental Johnson & Johnson is in helping her balance work and family. After the premature birth of her twin girls seven years ago, and with a young son already at home, Lisa thought her career might be over. On returning from maternity leave however, the company worked with Lisa, offering a flexible, part-time schedule that she maintains today.

Lisa with her husband, Brian, and their three children, 10-year-old Aidan and 7-year-old twins Madeline and Mia.

Lisa with husband, Brian, and their three children, 10-year-old Aidan and 7-year-old twins Madeline and Mia. Photo courtesy of Lisa Rumain.

She was invited to the event not only to tell her story about being a working mom, but also to introduce the President as the keynote speaker of the Summit.  Then, shortly before lunchtime, Lisa was told she and a few other participants would be having lunch with a few of President Obama’s senior advisors. It soon became clear that lunch would include the President himself.

“Knowing I was going to be introducing the President was exciting enough,” Lisa says. “I never imagined in a million years we would have lunch together. I was overwhelmed with emotion.”

Once President Obama arrived, he told the group they were going to go for a walk, leading them from the conference site to a nearby restaurant a couple of blocks away. Lisa walked as quickly as she could, but was wearing a pair of shoes that were slowing her down.

“I was having a hard time with my heels on,” Lisa says. “At one point President Obama motioned for me to catch up.”

At lunch with the President, Lisa said all she kept thinking about was what she could order that wouldn’t be messy.  She followed President Obama’s lead and ordered a burrito bowl so she could use a fork and knife and avoid spills. Once the group sat down, Lisa said she asked what he and the First Lady do to limit their daughters’ use of technology.

“He told me they limit it to weekends,” she says. “He was so down to earth.”

After returning to the event, Lisa prepared for her moment on stage. After she introduced the President to the filled ballroom, he gave her a hug and thanked her.

“I felt really proud being there and representing J&J,” says Lisa, whose husband Brian is a Senior Transportation Analyst for Johnson & Johnson, Consumer. “I’m so grateful to work for a company that values balance between work and home and provides medical benefits for my family. Because J&J is so flexible with me, I want to work hard for them.”

14 Responses to “A Johnson & Johnson Working Mom Meets President Obama”

  1. Kim Viccaro says

    Fantastic to see J&J’s efforts around work life balance highlighted at this forum and with the President of the United States. Thank you Lisa and well done!

  2. Euan Hutchinson says

    Go Lisa – what a cool story – we were cheering you on in the cafeteria Monday then gobsmacked as the lunch story came through – awesome! This story has tonnes of mileage – milk it forever. You did great – we are so proud of you in the TR&P team

  3. Deborah Berrien says

    Lisa, What a beautiful family you have! Would you ever have imagined you would have the opportunity to share your story with the President of the United States? Such an amazing experience for an amazing woman. Thank you for representing J&J so well!

  4. Denice Torres says

    Lisa, you are amazing from so many perspectives – mom, employee, and just a great overall human being. You make all of us proud!!!

  5. Lorraine Mahoney says

    Lisa, this is so very exciting! What a fabulous opportunity. Your family is beautiful. Congratulations!

  6. Sarah McKensey says

    Wow! I did a double take on this photo!! Lisa you are an inspiration & a role model! (Love the reference to sensible shoes #fail) And what an amazing opportunity for you & a wonderful story sharing how J&J has supported your career! So delighted to see you represent our working parents at J&J!

  7. Kalpit R. Patel says

    Lisa, you have such a wonderful family! Also thank you for representing J&J credo and values so well on such a big stage! Thank you and well done!

  8. Kalpit R. Patel says

    Lisa, you have such an amazing family! Thank you for representing J&J credo and values on such a big stage. Thanks and well done!

  9. Daisy Aguilar says

    Lisa, congratulations! This has to have been such a wonderful experience! Thank you for sharing your story, your family’s photo (gorgeous!!) and representing us so well (heels and all!!!)

  10. Helen Hwang says

    I was so impressed from the bottom of my heart on how much our company is supporting working women with kids to maintain their successful careers!

    Lisa,
    Really appreciate sharing your invaluable experience with the President of the U.S.

    All the best,
    Helen from S. Korea

  11. Ilona Rubino says

    what a wonderful example of how J&J upholds the values expressed in Our Credo and what a wonderful story you have to share with your children.

  12. Patty Crowley says

    Thanks for relaying your story, Lisa, and representing J&J so well. I felt for you when you said that you didn’t want to eat anything “messy.” You held your own and handled everything beautifully – well done!

  13. Don Grant says

    Such a fabulous opportunity Lisa! I enjoyed a hugely successful 13 year stint with J&J and witnessed first-hand how the J&J Credo thrives, building strong families and communities.

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