Mr. William Maikisch - an SMC Icon Retires
By Peggy Hodge, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published January 04, 2008
Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Mr. William Maikisch, a member of the Senior Executive Service and Executive Director of the Space and Missile Systems Center, officially retired Jan. 2 after 34 years of federal service. He began his career in the program office that evolved into the GPS wing.
"That's kind of fun because of what GPS has turned out to be--we obviously did not envision back in 1973 that it was going to be a world capability--a world utility," he said.
"Since then, I've worked in every program office at the Center," Maikisch said. "I've had the opportunity to work in many of those offices in different roles--in program management, contracting, as well as various staff positions. So, I've had the opportunity to experience most of the elements that make our programs 'go.'"
The challenges are different depending on the mission area, he said. There are interesting challenges away from the main-line hardware and software kinds of issues. The programmatics, the people you're working with, the financing issues--must all come together, he explained.
"The challenge of my career has nothing to do with space," he said. "I had the opportunity to be involved in SAMS--there were so many times in that project we were up, we were down, we were in, we were out ... I was involved in negotiating the final deal. Everytime we ran into an issue, someone would step up. It was uncanny how when things needed to happen, they happened."
Maikisch had the opportunity to work in a lot of very interesting and different venues, "but the big thing it all comes down to in all honesty is the people," he said. "I've worked with the most wonderful set of people--on the military and civilian side, the Aerospace folks, and the contractors."
And when asked what will you miss the most--Mr. Maikisch said "People--the people-- by far the people, it's the interrelationships--as an individual you can't do it--it's your ability to work through people and work with people that make it work, and I've worked with some great, great people!
"I would like to work for another 7 or 8 years," Maikisch concluded. "I don't want to go fishing."
Maikisch holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business, a Master of Business Administration degree, a Master of Science degree in Management, and attended the Program for Senior Managers in Government at Harvard University. He was also a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Well done Mr. Maikisch, and Godspeed.