Avionics News July 2015 - 70

AVIATION ACES

Today, Sandia Aerospace has 11 full-time employees
and one contractor.
As Sandia Aerospace approaches its 20th
service," Schmidt said. "I also learned a lot about
anniversary, I asked Schmidt what the biggest
design from Doug Gibbs, Foster AirData's vice
difference is between owning his own company and
president of engineering. He and I hit it off well."
working for someone else. He instantly said, "You
Schmidt stayed at Foster AirData for 15 years, at
have to make payroll. When you get a business loan,
first being promoted to vice president of sales, and
you guarantee it with every personal asset you have -
then to vice president of sales and marketing.
and it's not protected by bankruptcy."
When Foster AirData was acquired by BF Goodrich,
Having said that, Schmidt enjoys the entrepreneurial
Schmidt stayed for five years
life. "One of the things I
until he was next recruited
realized is that I do not like to
by Dick Donovan at Terra
ask permission or forgiveness,"
Avionics. "When I interviewed
he said. "I've always liked my
with Dick, he wanted me to
bosses as people, but sometimes
get the company in a position
I didn't like working for them."
so it could be sold," Schmidt
At Sandia Aerospace, he added,
recalled. "We had a five-year
"The satisfaction I get out of it
plan, but we hit the goal in
is tremendous. I am blessed with
THE FIRST RULE IS THAT NO
two years and sold to Trimble
great people, the best people I've
ONE
IS
ALLOWED
TO
RAISE
Navigation. Now came a
ever worked with."
problem, at least for me."
Schmidt has simplified people
THEIR VOICE. THE SECOND
His three daughters and
management to two rules. The first
RULE IS THAT THERE ARE
wife were all established in
rule is that no one is allowed to
NO STUPID IDEAS.
Albuquerque, New Mexico,
raise their voice. The second rule is
and didn't want to move to
that there are no stupid ideas. "Even
Texas. "My wife and I talked
in what appears to be a dumb idea,
at length," he said, "and I decided to start Sandia
there is usually a kernel of a good idea," he said.
Aerospace in my garage." That was 1997. "Of course,
As for his role at Sandia Aerospace, Schmidt has
I had help along the way," Schmidt added.
three purposes: set goals; provide his staff the tools to
One of his first projects was to develop the
get the job done; and remove obstacles to success.
transmitter for the UPS transponder for the Capstone
Although total retirement is not in his near future,
program. UPS offered him more money than he was
Schmidt has started taking Wednesdays off. When
asking - and according to Schmidt, Sam Seery told
asked why Wednesday and not a three-day weekend,
him, "You need to be successful."
Schmidt said, "My wife doesn't want me three days
"That sure helped me," Schmidt said. "I thought it
in a row." He said he gets bored sometimes sitting at
was such a magnanimous thing to do."
home and is trying to develop hobbies. "I know I'm
Sandia Aerospace also has developed seven projects
getting older, but I don't feel old. I go to shows and
for Garmin - "all but one on just a handshake,"
know I'm one of the older people there."
Schmidt said. "I can't say enough about Garmin. They
Schmidt takes particular pleasure in his
have been honest and fair with me."
grandchildren. After three daughters and an allBut it hasn't been all smooth sailing. "We took a hit
female house, he now has four grandsons and one
in 2008, then another one in 2009 where we had to lay
granddaughter. Still, his heart is still clearly at work. "I
off people, then another one in 2010," he said. "Now
love technology," he said. "I love being around young
we're back and we're hitting our stride again."
people. I just love what I do." q
Schmidt noted how difficult layoffs are. "I paid the
people for a few months and let them use the office to
look for jobs. You're affecting an entire family," he said.
To learn more about Sandia Aerospace, visit sandia.aero.
Continued from page 69

SCHMIDT HAS
SIMPLIFIED PEOPLE
MANAGEMENT TO
TWO RULES.

70

AVIONICS NEWS

*

JULY

2015


http://www.sandia.aero

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News July 2015

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View from Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
ADS-B Strategy Accelerated
Member Profile
More Power to the Panel
Legacy of Small Town Airports
A Conversation With...
Current Status of ADS-B Deployment in the U.S.
Member Profile
Garmin’s G3X Touch
Artisanal Avionics
The Standy Power Dilemma b
What’s Working?
Business Basics
Aviation Aces
What’s New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News July 2015 - Intro
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover1
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover2
Avionics News July 2015 - 1
Avionics News July 2015 - 2
Avionics News July 2015 - 3
Avionics News July 2015 - Point of Communication
Avionics News July 2015 - 5
Avionics News July 2015 - AEA Now
Avionics News July 2015 - 7
Avionics News July 2015 - 8
Avionics News July 2015 - 9
Avionics News July 2015 - 10
Avionics News July 2015 - 11
Avionics News July 2015 - The View from Washington
Avionics News July 2015 - 13
Avionics News July 2015 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News July 2015 - 15
Avionics News July 2015 - 16
Avionics News July 2015 - 17
Avionics News July 2015 - ADS-B Strategy Accelerated
Avionics News July 2015 - 19
Avionics News July 2015 - 20
Avionics News July 2015 - 21
Avionics News July 2015 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2015 - 23
Avionics News July 2015 - 24
Avionics News July 2015 - 25
Avionics News July 2015 - More Power to the Panel
Avionics News July 2015 - 27
Avionics News July 2015 - 28
Avionics News July 2015 - 29
Avionics News July 2015 - 30
Avionics News July 2015 - 31
Avionics News July 2015 - Legacy of Small Town Airports
Avionics News July 2015 - 33
Avionics News July 2015 - 34
Avionics News July 2015 - 35
Avionics News July 2015 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News July 2015 - 37
Avionics News July 2015 - Current Status of ADS-B Deployment in the U.S.
Avionics News July 2015 - 39
Avionics News July 2015 - 40
Avionics News July 2015 - 41
Avionics News July 2015 - 42
Avionics News July 2015 - 43
Avionics News July 2015 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2015 - 45
Avionics News July 2015 - Garmin’s G3X Touch
Avionics News July 2015 - 47
Avionics News July 2015 - 48
Avionics News July 2015 - 49
Avionics News July 2015 - 50
Avionics News July 2015 - 51
Avionics News July 2015 - Artisanal Avionics
Avionics News July 2015 - 53
Avionics News July 2015 - 54
Avionics News July 2015 - 55
Avionics News July 2015 - The Standy Power Dilemma b
Avionics News July 2015 - 57
Avionics News July 2015 - 58
Avionics News July 2015 - 59
Avionics News July 2015 - What’s Working?
Avionics News July 2015 - 61
Avionics News July 2015 - 62
Avionics News July 2015 - 63
Avionics News July 2015 - Business Basics
Avionics News July 2015 - 65
Avionics News July 2015 - 66
Avionics News July 2015 - 67
Avionics News July 2015 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News July 2015 - 69
Avionics News July 2015 - 70
Avionics News July 2015 - 71
Avionics News July 2015 - 72
Avionics News July 2015 - 73
Avionics News July 2015 - What’s New
Avionics News July 2015 - 75
Avionics News July 2015 - 76
Avionics News July 2015 - 77
Avionics News July 2015 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News July 2015 - 79
Avionics News July 2015 - 80
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover3
Avionics News July 2015 - Cover4
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