Mike Lewis - Scheduling the Events of Goddard's Life
Event Coordinator Mike Lewis keeps everyone on the same page, from scheduling events in our auditoriums to playing R&B music.
Organization He Works For:
Code 271, Technical Information Management Services Division, Management Operations Directorate
What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?
I schedule and coordinate the logistics of all meetings in the Building 8 auditorium, the Building 3 auditorium, and the Building 8 Management Conference Center. Our auditoriums can be booked up to a year in advance and prime time books at least six months in advance. Generally speaking, prime time means 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. all year long except for August and late December. I stay organized using a computerized scheduling system that sends out automatic reminders 90, 60, and 30 days before the event plus the actual day before the event. Even so, on occasion, a group fails to show up usually due to a last minute cancellation. I also coordinate with our Video Conference Coordinator, Katease DeVaughn and our audiovisual technicians who work the lights, sound, and visuals including presentations. Teamwork is what makes it all go. I help keep everybody on the same page.
Which event do you remember the most?
I am also the floor manager for high-level events in the
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Mike Lewis in his domain, the Bldg. 8 auditorium. Credit: NASA
Building 8 auditorium. One event that stands out was when I helped with Queen Elizabeth’s visit in May of 2007. The crowd was so excited that you could also see them giving off electricity.
What is the coolest presentation you ever booked?
In July 2010, I booked the visit of all the astronauts from the Shuttle mission STS-132. I got to meet all of them and even received their group autographed photo. It was a big thrill. All the astronauts who have come here have been very down to Earth. Another time, in January 2011, I met Julian Bond, an African-American civil rights leader. I’m the guy who put the microphone on him. While doing that, I got a chance to speak with him.
What was your best day at Goddard?
The best day out of my five and one half years here was when I received a personalized thank you letter from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden for helping with his first visit to Goddard in August 2009.
When working with VIPs, what words of wisdom would you pass along to someone who has never worked with one?
Be yourself. They are just like you and me, so do not have any preconceived notions. Unless your job is to assist them personally, then don’t approach them unless asked. Even then, the correct protocol is to go to their staff first. Their staff’s main job is to keep their VIP on point and on schedule so they try to minimize any interruptions.
Is there something surprising about you, your hobbies, interests, activities outside of work that people do not generally know?
From 2005–2009, I was an internet DJ with my own R&B and jazz show that aired weekly for three hours. Also, I play drums and keyboard. In 1988, I played drums on a Christmas R&B album with doo-wop musicians including the Orioles. A few years ago, I was in a mall and heard one of the songs from our album.
If you could meet and talk to anybody, living or dead, who would it be and what is the first thing you’d ask them?
I’d definitely love to meet the greatest guitar player ever, Jimi Hendrix. I’d pull out my drums and we would have a jam session starting with his song “Foxy Lady.”
Is there someplace in the world that you want to visit, or someplace you have been and want to go back?
I really want to go to the Montreal Jazz Festival which is held every July for two weeks. Everyone comes from all over the world, and someday I will get there.
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Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.