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Vince Gigliotti - Just Can't Get Enough of Goddard
03.20.12
 
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After working at Goddard for 49 years, and at the age of 84, Vince Gigliotti retired but immediately returned as an Emeritus because of his sense of duty to continue working.


Name: Vince Gigliotti
Title: Program Specialist Emeritus and Building 8 Facilities Operations Manager (FOM)
Formal Job Classification: Same
Organization He Works For: Flight Projects Directorate (400), in the Flight Projects Directorate Business Management Office (403)

What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard? How do you help support Goddard’s mission?


I started working at Goddard on March 3, 1963. I retired on Friday, February 17, 2012 but returned the following Monday as an Emeritus employee. I returned in an Emeritus status because I felt a sense of duty to continue where I had left. So now I am working as a volunteer. That makes 49 years and counting. I am now 84 years old.

As a Program Specialist, I maintain records and control concerning our launched satellites. For the last 15 years, I have also been the Building 8 Facilities Operations Manager (FOM), which means that I help with the maintenance and upkeep of Building 8 and also enforce parking regulations. My secret is that in all these years I have only turned in four parking tickets out of all the tickets which I issued. I really don’t believe in parking tickets; I prefer warnings.

Photo of Vince Gigliotti in his office› Larger image
Photo of Vince Gigliotti in his office. Credit: NASA/J. OLeary
I returned as an Emeritus because I felt a sense of duty to continue with the work that I had left. Goddard is a great place to work. It is full of people who are always willing to work together to get the job done. Other than five years at General Electric, I have worked my entire career at Goddard.

Vince Gigliotti in 2009› Larger image
Photo of Vince Gigliotti in 2009 in his Chief Warrant Officer uniform. Credit: V. Gigliotti

Who is the most interesting, inspiring, or amazing person you have met or worked with at Goddard?


One of the most inspiring people I ever met was Mr. Pete Burr (former director of Flight Projects and deputy center director). He believed in what I was doing and that made me believe in myself and motivated me to do more than was expected. He helped me to find and believe in the common good in most people. He led by believing in his people. I recently saw him again at his wife Valerie Burr’s retirement party. Mr. Burr was surprised to hear of my retirement but understood.

What is the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at Goddard?


One of the most rewarding things I ever did while at Goddard was work with Mr. Bob Bauman (former director of Flight Assurance, Code 300, and deputy director of Flight Projects, Code 400) as one of his employees and also as his maintenance helper and prop man for the Music and Drama (MAD) club productions. Mr. Bauman was a great leader and manager. He knew how to effectively interact with people. Being around him was always rewarding and pleasant. Unfortunately, he died at an early age.

What lessons or words of wisdom would you pass along to somebody just starting their career at Goddard?


The main thing that I learned is how to get along with people and to cooperate with everyone. Learn to listen and do your best. Be yourself and do not pretend to be anyone else.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing?


If I had to do it all over again, I’d be an engineer. When you accomplish something as an engineer, it is highly rewarding. I’d want to work with satellites. I used to help coordinate the launches, so I would go to the Cape quite a bit to watch their unmanned launches.

Is there something surprising about you, your hobbies, interests, activities outside of work that people do not generally know?


For the last 30 years, I have enjoyed photography. I prefer to shoot pictures of scenery rather than people because scenery does not generally move. I am also a big basketball and baseball fan and watch as many games as I can.

Do you have a favorite book, magazine, movie, or TV show?


I enjoy reading about world history especially during the Renaissance period. History teaches us how to try to do the right thing in the present and also gives us the chance to prepare for the future.

Photo of Vince Gigliotti during World War II› Larger image
Vince Gigliotti in his World War II uniform. In this image, Vince was 17 years old. Credit: V. Gigliotti

Is there someplace in the world that you want to visit or someplace you have been and want to go back?


From 1945–1948, I was a paratrooper in the Army’s 11th Airborne Division. I travelled all over Europe and even part of the Pacific. When I was in Germany, I saw some of the concentration camps outside of Frankfurt and Nuremberg right after they had been evacuated. It was devastating to see those people had suffered. It made me realize how the world was changing and to appreciate the value of human life.

There are many interesting places to visit in Europe. My favorites place is the Netherlands because the people there are the friendliest.

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Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.