Vada Horsch worked for the National Association of Manufacturers from 1932 until her retirement in 1966 as an administrative assistant/assistant secretary and director of the International Economic Affairs Department. But her role went well beyond office work into international economic affairs and labor relations.
Horsch was born August 21, 1906 in Woodbine, Illinois to Frederick and Marie Anna (Uhlrich) Horsch. She earned her Bachelors of Art from the University of Wisconsin in 1928. After graduation, she moved to Evanston, Illinois, and then Bronxville, New York in 1932. The same year she was hired by NAM as an administrative assistant.
While at NAM, Horsch was active in planning, promoting, and participating as an office-delegate in several international economic conferences in Western Europe, Latin America, and Canada. From 1954 to 1964, she served as Secretary of the U.S. Inter-American Council and was a U.S. representative at five different plenary meetings of the council. Additionally, Horsch served as secretary-treasurer of the Conference of National Organizations, and as NAM consultant to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations from 1947 to 1964. When she retired in 1966, Horsch was the assistant secretary and director of the International Economic Affairs Department.
Horsch received several honors over her career. In 1953, she was presented with the French Order of Merit. Five years later, she was again honored by France with the Legion of Honor for her contribution to Franco-American relations. In 1960, Horsch received the Order Al Merito of the Republic of Ecuador, in the rank of Cabellero, at a ceremony held at Ambassor Jose Correa’s residence. He noted accomplishments of the International Economic Affairs Department, and paid special tribute to the principles, aims, and achievements of NAM.
Vada Horsch’s subject files are included in the NAM material already available to researchers. During her tenure at NAM, she worked on a variety of projects involving international economic affairs and labor relations. Toward the end of her time at NAM, Horsch began to write a history of the National Association of Manufacturers. The files in this series include her research files and document the full range of NAM’s activities, programs, and positions from the 1930s into the 1960s.
Ashley Williams is the project archivist for the NAM Collection at Hagley Museum and Library.