Culture News

Director of LMI's DoD and VA Health Market on Relationship Building and Continuous Learning

August 14, 2019
Nathan Sanders

With more than 20 years of experience managing programs, leading medical countermeasures, and supporting logistics efforts, Nathan Sanders heads a team of talented individuals focused on providing excellent service to a growing set of customers across the federal government. Nathan sat down with us to share his thoughts on relationship building, continuous learning, and business growth.

What are you responsible for as Director of LMI’s Department of Defense (DoD) and Veteran Affairs (VA) health market?

I’m responsible for ensuring we’re providing top performance and quality to LMI’s DoD and VA health market customers. I also work with my teams to maintain relationships with our customers as we look for opportunities for LMI to expand capabilities and service line offerings. Finally, I ensure project leaders have what they need to succeed and to support their teams.

How do you plan to grow LMI’s DoD and VA Health market?

My goal is to make the Defense health market aware of LMI’s capabilities. We have some small but impactful business in this area, and a lot more to offer. I’m also working with business development to expand our base partners. Many opportunities come from small business and SDVOSB set asides—we want to improve the quality and quantity of our relationships with these key partners. We also intend to leverage LMI’s innovative service lines, which will hopefully lead us to new business areas we may not have considered in the past.

How has your experience brought you to this position, and what made you want to work for LMI?

I have spent most of my career supporting DoD R&D activities from basic research, through advanced development, to fielding. This gives me a broad perspective not only of R&D, but also of the method by which DoD goes about defining requirements, conducting acquisitions, and supporting the warfighter. When LMI acquired The Tauri Group in 2019 (I was with The Tauri Group for about 10 years), I was happy to come along for the adventure. I quickly saw that LMI presents a unique offering to the government in its objectivity as a trusted third party and its long history supporting defense and civilian customers.

How would you describe your leadership style, and what makes you a great leader?

My “greatness” is yet to be determined, but I can say that I believe I am successful in hiring people who have a passion for what they do and providing the support they need to do great things. I’m not a micromanager; I tend to provide some guidance to make sure we’re on the right track. I find when you have people who love what they do and are good what they do, we look good no matter what.

What advice would you give to those who are just joining LMI as they look to advance their careers?

LMI offers a lot of education and training, which everyone who joins the company should take advantage of because you should never stop learning. Beyond that, your quality will speak for itself. If you put in the extra work to deliver a quality product or to ensure the customer is satisfied with your work, you will rise to the top without having to try. People here will recognize your value, and you’ll be rewarded for it.

Who has been your most influential professional mentor?

John David, LMI’s sub-service line director for science and technology, has given me great advice throughout my career. We have worked together for a long time, beginning with our time at The Tauri Group. Over the years, he has given me some good perspective on how to deal with client challenges. He has also provided some much-needed objective viewpoints when I had my head too deeply into a problem—he encourages me to step back and see the bigger picture. John likes to challenge people who work for him, which is important because we shouldn’t settle, which can be easy to do when you’ve been at a job for a while.

Of your many professional accomplishments over the years, which one makes you most proud?

During my tenure at The Tauri Group, I led a large team of individuals to establish an Ebola clinical research capability in Uganda, which was great for a few different reasons. For one thing, it created opportunities for an entire community of people in Uganda where there wasn’t much opportunity. We provided improved healthcare and educational opportunities along with educational outreach. From the government’s perspective, we did something that was sorely needed. Being able to collect actual clinical data on highly lethal pathogens is a tricky thing that the government shouldn’t tread into lightly, but we were able to make that a successful reality.

— Nathan Sanders


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