Rising Stars

Emily 'Millie' Maksymiuk

Rising Star 2013

When Millie Maksymiuk was hired at GovSmart, it was a four-person start-up company working out of a home kitchen in Virginia.

"We needed someone to handle our basic functions, [and] we were so busy we didn't even have time to stop and make food," said Brent Lillard, GovSmart's CEO and co-founder. "Millie showed up to her interview eight months pregnant, with a plate of lasagna, ready to work."

What started off as an administrative job quickly evolved into writing proposals and taking on major projects. Maksymiuk is now the proposal manager at GovSmart, a role she created for herself as she saw the company's growing need for one.

"It really doesn't matter where you start," Lillard said. "It's where you're going and the value you bring."

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GovSmart has since grown to 23 full-time employees and $50 million in sales of IT products and services. And Maksymiuk has led teams that have written more than 25 winning proposals and 15 competitive responses in the past year, resulting in nearly $16 million in contracts.

"She was 20 years old when we hired her, and now almost 2.5 years later, she is an experienced proposal writer and could walk into any company and be great," Lillard said.

Maksymiuk said she loves the challenge of figuring out how to take the requirements in a request for proposals and match them to what GovSmart can do for the customer. She taught herself the rules of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and proposal techniques and guidelines.

"She made herself an expert, she taught herself," Lillard said. "To me, that makes her a Rising Star."

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

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