Made It Possible: Bonnie and Four Generations of Company Pride

From Thiokol Chemical Corporation to today, Bonnie and her family have served more than 165 combined years at Northrop Grumman heritage companies.

I was always taught that if you landed a job at Thiokol Chemical Corporation — a Northrop Grumman heritage company — you had a career for the rest of your life. I learned this from my father, Art, who joined Thiokol's Promontory, Utah plant as a production operator in May 1959, when I was just three months old. My father's employment became more than a job: it sparked a long-lasting relationship between our family and Northrop Grumman heritage companies that has spanned four generations.

My brother, Bobby, and I both followed in our father's footsteps. Bobby worked on the Space Shuttle program, putting in 27 years before retiring in 2005. I was hired as a recruiting clerk — at 28, the same age as my father when he was hired — and I've been with the company for 32 years. My father was also key in getting my husband, Roger, a job at the Promontory plant; Roger currently works on A-350 program at ASD and has served 30 years on several programs, including D5 and the Space Shuttle.

Like my parents, Roger and I moved from California to Utah for our jobs, with a young family in tow. Growing up, I have many family memories from my father's job, like static fires of rocket motors, and we've continued to make many of those same memories with our children and grandchildren.

Roger began taking our grandson, Jordan, to static fires when he was two years old. Once, he even took Jordan to a rocket motor ground test, where the motor fires horizontally secured by a test stand — but Jordan was disappointed because he thought it would actually launch! Jordan actually worked here for several months as a production operator, just like his great-grandfather, but moved away from the area to pursue a career in industrial technology.

In total, I'm proud to say our family has served more than 165 combined years at Northrop Grumman heritage companies. My daughter, Desiree, has worked in flares and the Minuteman program for 13 years, while my son, Ryan, has worked flares, the Space Shuttle program and the A-350 program for 14 years. My niece, Julie, has worked as a production operator for the D5 program for 17 years.

And, of course, there's my father. Over his career, he became a foreman and supervisor for C4, D5, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and Minuteman programs, retiring with 33 years of service.

Over the decades, I've come to share my father's firm belief that this company treats employees well and provides the opportunity to perform exciting work.

Roger and I have both done exciting work over the course of our careers. With the company's support, I went back to school to earn a degree in information technologies and, after graduation, I continued my career path at Northrop Grumman as a human resources information systems analyst. The company's education assistance program was vital in achieving this goal I had set for myself. And, thanks to Roger's work on the Space Shuttle program, we had the unique privilege of witnessing a Space Shuttle launch. The proud feeling we had after launch was incredible, especially knowing Roger actually worked on the boosters.

For us, this is the American dream: contributing to innovation within the space program and to our nation's safety.

About Bonnie:

Bonnie is a human resources information systems analyst based in Promontory, Utah. Following in her father's footsteps, Bonnie joined Thiokol Chemical Corporation, a Northrop Grumman heritage company, at the age of 27 and, in the following decades, has become matriarch of a Northrop Grumman family — her husband, brother, children, niece and grandson have all worked for the company.

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