Vic See, senior vice president at IAI, spoke with ExecutiveBiz about his background in the Navy and what the future holds for his firm.
ExecutiveBiz: Could you tell me a little bit about your background?
Vic See: Prior to joining Integrity Applications in March of 2009, I spent 29 years in the Navy. I started as a helicopter pilot and then became an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer and an acquisition professional. During my last five years, I was the leader of Navy space acquisition ““ accomplished via three jobs: the Communications Director at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the Program Executive Officer for Space Systems reporting to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Space Field Activity (SSFA). The SSFA encompasses all Navy personnel working in space acquisition.
ExecutiveBiz: Currently you serve as the SVP at IAI. What do your duties entail?
Vic See: Responsible to the President and Board of Directors, I am a member of the senior leadership team and help run program operations across our four business areas.
ExecutiveBiz: One of the big issues, of course, has always been making sure that organizations and companies are able to both recruit and then retain some of the best people in the business. How does IAI go about doing that?
Vic See: IAI prides itself on hiring extremely capable technical individuals, culled from a very structured hiring process. Members from the Board of Directors, President, SVP and VPs are all willing to sit in on interviews. Usually two or more of the seniors sit in as we conduct a panel interview. I participate in many of the interviews with other senior and technical leaders in the company. We hire after consensus is reached and the BOD approves. IAI has a good screening system and I think this recruiting and hiring process has served the company very well. IAI has a very high percentage of individuals with technical Masters and PhDs
ExecutiveBiz: In both the short and long term, what's in store for the future of IAI?
Vic See: IAI has had good growth over the last five years ““ over 20%. IAI wants to be the premiere, non-conflicted, system engineering and technical assistance contractor of choice. That's our vision and we intend to keep working hard to be successful.
ExecutiveBiz: What kind of steps do you guys plan to take in the future to achieve that or at least keep moving towards that?
Vic See: IAI has a diverse set of customers. The company supports the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and other US Government agencies. Some of the agencies we support include the NGA, NRO, Air Force, Navy, and NOAA. Our mission is to make our customers successful. We are always trying to go above and beyond for mission success. IAI's success is directly attributed to giving our mission-focused employees challenging work and putting them in an environment to succeed. That is why our company has been recognized as a great place to work in America.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you think your Navy background has influenced your leadership style, particularly now in the private sector?
Vic See: One of the things that I really enjoy about IAI is that it has a very similar atmosphere and attitude as to the way I led Navy space. I was the senior member in the Navy space cadre, which had close to 1,000 people, both military and civilian. The way IAI hires, manages and takes care of its people is very similar to the tenets I used when I was on active duty. IAI prides itself on having great benefit and great pay. We have great customers that we always put number one. Taking care of your customers and succeeding in the mission is our top priority.
ExecutiveBiz: Do you have any interesting hobbies or anything about yourself that most people probably wouldn't know about you?
Vic See: I like to play golf and enjoy woodwork. My son graduated college last month and my daughter graduated a few years ago, so our family is out of the “college“ era. For the past 11 years, our family has been involved in a charitable volunteer organization in Southwestern West Virginia called the PV Volunteers, of which I am the Chairman of the Board. We work in Wyoming County, WV during the summer months. We stay in a school provided by the county, fix houses, trailers and work other job sites, and help run the Itmann food bank in Mullins, WV.
If you have ever driven past my house in Chantilly, you would see that my packed garage is being used as the organization's “distribution warehouse.“ We have a bi-monthly truck pick-up from my house to deliver the supplies to the food bank. My son also started a children's soccer camp in Wyoming County seven years ago and it's still running. Both he and my daughter were big soccer players and there was no soccer in the county. Now, seven years later, there is soccer in the schools and a league, which plays teams from other counties. Volunteering takes some time but many folks are willing to help us, which makes it very worthwhile.
ExecutiveBiz: But in a good way, right?
Vic See: Yes, it is ““ it's a great thing. There's a lot of need in our country and Wyoming County is only six hours from Northern Virginia. There is a huge amount of poverty and need down in that part of West Virginia due to the closing of all the coalmines.