Majority Staff Director Bob Simmons, who spent 26 years in the defense industry, was the CEO of Senior Aerospace in California when then-Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the House Armed Services chairman, called him.
“He thought, ‘What a great idea it would be if the industry guy came to Washington,’ ” Simmons says. After five months of saying no, Simmons accepted. “This is my military service. He reminded me that I didn’t serve. So I told him I would give him two years. That was 10 years [ago].”
Simmons, now 57, studied electrical engineering at San Diego State University, and although he enjoyed his time in the aerospace industry and corporate America, he says his Hill job overseeing dozens of staffers is the most fulfilling.
“Everybody working on this staff could be earning two or three times what they’re earning here,” Simmons says. “They believe in the mission. I’ve got cancer patients who ought to be probably figuring out what does the rest of their life looks like, and they wouldn’t even dream of missing a day of work. You want to talk about inspirational? It’s amazing.”
This article appears in the June 13, 2013, edition of NJ Daily.