Friday, November 1, 2002

Office director to follow Steger out president's door

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

She keeps his schedule and his secrets. And don't call her a secretary.

Lynn S. Schnirring
Lynn Schnirring, Joseph Steger's assistant for 20 years, is executive director of the president's office. Anything that's on its way to his desk stops at hers first. If a pit bull is needed, she turns into one.

"I don't like people jerking him around," she says. "I don't like people wasting his time. And I don't like it when people are disloyal. That makes me crazy."

Every day for as long as she can remember, Ms. Schnirring, 48, and other staffers have prepared a 4-by-6-inch card with their boss' schedule on it. Dr. Steger carries it in his back pocket.

"That's his Bible for the day," she says. "You could put, `Go to the moon at noon,' and he'd do it."

Over the years, they've developed their own codes. Like "doody dos," something you don't want to do but have to do.

And never mind that she's just 5 feet tall. She has thrown people out and raised her voice. Once, she yelled at a national reporter. "National cameras and all were sent packing," she says.

What does Dr. Steger do?

"He kind of gets a big grin on his face," she says. "I think he appreciates somebody going to bat for him. I don't think he's even told me once I shouldn't have done it."

"I get my instructions from her," Dr. Steger says. "When things are to be done and the schedule needs to be set, there's no fooling around."

When Dr. Steger leaves office, Ms. Schnirring will go, too. She'll continue to be his assistant in whatever work he takes on next.

"He asked me to go with him," she says. "And I think I will."

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