World Class

By Peter Nagy

October 2015

After 20 years as a U.S. Air Force contracting officer and two years as a subcontract manager in the aerospace industry, I joined the Boeing team in 1987 and had a great career as a buyer and then purchasing manager. Boeing gave me the opportunity to see all of the USA -- I moved five times in the first eight years, from Seattle to Sacramento to Oklahoma City to Cleveland ...

I was fortunate to spend my final 11 years with Boeing as the purchasing manager for the Air Force One Program, stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. What an exciting program! The thrill of supporting the president of the United States and working with the flight and maintenance crews was all new and all exciting every day.

Unfortunately, most of the stories that go along with the job "stay inside the fence" -- but I can say that the day of Sept. 11, 2001, and the months that followed will forever be a significant part of my life. It was one of those jobs that makes life meaningful and identifies who you are. I thank Boeing for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Air Force One Program and the memories I have because of it.

Working with Boeing, I learned a lot about strategic management and the basic principles of management that make a company "world-class." In my retirement, I continue to espouse these principles in classes I teach at a university for students who are on the MBA track. I am grateful for the experiences I had with the Boeing team and for the opportunity to pass on the lessons learned to new business leaders.