Business Council of Alabama member Victory Solutions, Inc., CEO Kris McGuire founded the company in 2006 after spending the first half of her life raising a family and raising money for non-profits.
Today, Victory Solutions is headquartered in Huntsville and has locations across the United States. Victory Solutions provides proprietary aerospace products and engineering technical services to the military, government and commercial customers.
Victory Solutions and the passion that led to its creation can be traced to McGuire’s early life experience in and around the military. She was the first woman in the USAF to promote women in the maintenance career field. Her squadron at that time consisted of around 600 men and her, the lone woman.
McGuire recalls that they were like brothers, uncles, and fathers. McGuire’s experiences shaped her love for those who serve and fueled her desire to further serve them after she arrived in Alabama.
McGuire’s story is interesting because of how she ended up in Alabama. She moved from Texas to be closer to her two daughters who were attending the University of Alabama. Then she began raising money for local non-profit organizations, served on several boards, and learned the ins and outs of working with Alabama’s congressional delegation.
McGuire got involved in preserving the old armory in Guntersville and working on securing voting rights for our military overseas, a project that is still ongoing. Those projects brought her to Huntsville. Through her fundraising efforts, she met many other entrepreneurs who shared her passion for supporting the warfighter.
Starting her own aerospace company gave McGuire a platform to continuing to serve the warfighter. Through Victory Solutions, the Louisiana native established a Woman-Owned, Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business and took advantage of Alabama’s engineering and manufacturing expertise.
Because of McGuire’s lack of knowledge working with the government, the only way she could have started a company was with the help of a mentor, Pete Apple, who helped guide her through the company’s birth to infancy. Victory Solutions now has contracts with several large prime contractors and various government agencies.
“We do engineering support, space exploration, warfighter protection and homeland defense services and products for the government and commercial companies,” McGuire said.
McGuire said while she did not have business experience when starting out, she learned a sound practice that she follows today: “Always diversify your company and always take care of your employees and invest in your infrastructure early on.”
Because McGuire did not have any contracts when she started her company, she had to be very deliberate in her hiring, focusing on quality over quantity, and understand the importance of everyone working well together.
“I have a strong, solid company,” McGuire said. “If you hire successful people the rest will take care of itself.”
Victory Solutions has more than 120 employees in seven states – from private industry, the government’s senior executive service, active military reservists, and retired senior military personnel, with doctorate and master’s degrees, professional engineering certifications, and technical fellow elections.
Victory Solutions builds relationships with customers to develop, analyze, and integrate advanced aerospace systems by carefully measuring success against specific customer performance, cost, and schedule requirements.
Victory Solutions has won significant awards, including NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center’s (MFSC) Small Business Prime of the Year 2016, Northrop Grumman World Class Team Supplier Award, Boeing Supplier of the Year, 2012 and 2016, Department of Defense Nunn Perry-Perry Award for Outstanding Protégé performance, Northrop Grumman Supplier Excellence Award, Department of Defense Patriot Award for employer support of the Guard/Reserve, and Boeing Gold Supplier, 2012-2016, to name a few.
“There is nothing better than to be recognized by your customers for doing outstanding work,” McGuire said.
Her formula for success: “Hire successful people and let them do their job. The rest will take care of itself.”