Capital Hilton's bellman Joseph Goverman has brought many smiles and hospitality to hotel guests for seven decades since he began working at the historic hotel on May 17, 1949 when Harry S. Truman was President and the cost of a room for a night was less than $20. Eleven presidents later, Joe is marking a milestone 60 years working at the hotel located two blocks north of the White House on the bustling corner of 16th and K streets - which puts Goverman among the longest serving hospitality employees in the nation's capital, and is the longest serving team member in the international network of over 3,000 Hilton Family Hotels.
Since the hotel opened in 1943 the name of the hotel has changed, and yet Joe Goverman remained a constant, friendly fixture welcoming guests Mondays through Fridays, during his daily shift from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Joe has stood at the front doors through the muggy days of DC's hottest summers and Washington's worst winter storms. When he first joined
the hotel, it was the Statler Hotel in Washington, known as one of the few grand hotels built in the nation during World War II. Then, Conrad Hilton purchased the Statler chain in 1954, and the hotel later became known as the Statler Hilton. And, in 1977, Joe was at the front doors on 16th Street when the hotel's name changed again - this time to Capital Hilton as it is still known today.
Over the years, Joe has greeted through the front doors business travelers, statesmen, world leaders and celebrities - among the favorite people he has met are Frank Sinatra and Rock Marciano. His favorite story, however, involves a U.S. President, then U.S. Senator Richard Nixon. After delivering ice to Nixon's guestroom three times a day for a few days they engaged in polite conversation, and Nixon told Goverman that when he became president, he'd give him something to remember him by. One day, years later, a limousine from the White House pulled up to the hotel's entrance. Inside, someone rolled down the window and stuck out an autographed pen for Joe from Nixon, which he keeps now among many other mementos from the hotel.