Solutions intrigue Keith Maxie. He enjoys determining their reliability and efficiency, as well as designing the protocols necessary for implementation. The study of mathematics provided Maxie paths for problem solving in high school and as an undergraduate student at The University of Texas, but Maxie’s service in the United States Army best revealed his potential and exposed his aptitude for transforming situations and people for success.
“My belief is that there are very few people who do not have capacity to succeed academically or in whatever field. Many just don’t know it,” Maxie said. “We all have an obligation to find someone who has promise and help maximize their skills and ability.”
Maxie graduated from UT in 1967 and was commissioned into the Army. Specializing in field artillery and logistics, Maxie was assigned to a tour in Vietnam and at Fort Hood before being selected to attend graduate school and earn a master’s in business administration focusing on Information Technology Management.
Maxie said many of the Army’s first uses of technological automation were applied by logisticians. Quartermaster Corps officers like Maxie oversee logistical operations for field services, general supplies, equipment and provisions that sustain the troops. Essentially, Maxie trained to integrate mathematical principles with computer programming languages in order to design information systems and databases that helped ensure soldiers received what they needed, when they needed it.
“I was always motivated by the challenge because it was something we needed to accomplish, and we were all working toward that end together,” Maxie said.
Maxie said he has always believed that every job is an important job. Every good military leader and corporate manager should have an appreciation for the work subordinates perform. Maxie and his leadership teams purposely endeavored into the field to experience first-hand conditions and needs of enlisted soldiers and non-commissioned officers. As an example, Maxie’s team took time to drive forklifts and 18-wheelers, to set up generators, heaters and lights, so they all understood the functions performed by their subordinates.
“I didn’t have to know everything. We had so many specialists. I always said that I knew just enough of the technology to know when folks were trying to pull the wool over my eyes,” Maxie said. “I enjoyed putting the right team together to accomplish what we needed. It was always a team effort, and that is what I loved most about the Army.”
Maxie held numerous command and staff positions in logistics management and information technology. He retired as Colonel in 1989 and served his final four years on the Army Staff and Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
His enduring fingerprint is not just a database or operational plan. Instead, even in retirement, Maxie continues to serve through the multitude of officers and soldiers he trained and shepherded. While mentorship was not often regarded as a formalized aspect of leadership during Maxie’s 22-year Army career, it was for him an intentional practice.
Maxie said as a high school junior ROTC cadet in Houston, he was motivated and inspired by his instructors, two Black Korean War captains; and during the early years of his Army service, Maxie said he had mentors guiding him, though “it took me awhile to realize that is what they were doing.”
“I think mentorship means bringing people into the fold, taking them under your wings, and helping them avoid some pitfalls,” Maxie said.
Creating pathways and opportunities continues to drive Maxie. Following his retirement, Maxie was selected to conduct an 18-month Department of Defense-wide study toward defining a pipeline for equitable advancement of minority and female officers to the general officer level.
Additionally, Maxie serves on the UT Development Board and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement Advisory Council; he mentors and volunteers in a variety of educational settings, including local elementary schools.
“My focus is to be very positive with them,” Maxie said of his work with students at UT Elementary. “I want to be encouraging, so they believe they can find opportunities, and people will help them grow. I want minority kids to know they can do it.”
Thanks to the Texas Lottery, great things are happening all across Texas. The Texas Lottery now consistently contributes more than $1.6 billion of lottery revenue each year to good causes like public education and veterans’ assistance programs. Beginning with the first veterans’ dedicated scratch ticket game in 2009, the Texas Lottery has now contributed over $189 million to the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance.
Since 1992, the Texas Lottery has generated more than $35 billion in revenue for the state of Texas. Through strict adherence to their vision, mission and core values, the Texas Lottery is dedicated to ensuring that this support continues.