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."

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

The Future of Federal IT- FCW (Volume 28 Number 18)

Click here for profiles of all the 2014 winners.

Or get the complete package in print form, with the digital edition of FCW's November/December issue.

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.


  • People
    Federal CIO Suzette Kent

    Federal CIO Kent to exit in July

    During her tenure, Suzette Kent pushed on policies including Trusted Internet Connection, identity management and the creation of the Chief Data Officers Council

  • Defense
    Essye Miller, Director at Defense Information Management, speaks during the Breaking the Gender Barrier panel at the Air Space, Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept. 19, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Chad Trujillo)

    Essye Miller: The exit interview

    Essye Miller, DOD's outgoing principal deputy CIO, talks about COVID, the state of the tech workforce and the hard conversations DOD has to have to prepare personnel for the future.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.