ULA Vice President, Program Operations, Mark Wilkins Retiring Following Distinguished 34-Year Career

Centennial, Colo., (June 28, 2013) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) named Jim Sponnick as vice president of Atlas and Delta Programs, a new position created at ULA following the announced retirement of Mark Wilkins, vice president of Program Operations, at the end of June.

Sponnick will be responsible for managing program performance of the Atlas and Delta systems, including acquiring and managing ULA contracts, managing reliable and well-integrated operations throughout the value stream, and ensuring the success of our customers’ missions.

The formation of this new role is a consolidation of the vice president of Mission Operations position held by Sponnick and the vice president of Program Operations position held by Wilkins.

“ULA continues its dedication to providing reliable, cost-effective launch services, and this realignment allows a greater integration throughout the entire value stream,” said Dan Collins, ULA chief operations officer. “Jim’s demonstrated leadership and focus on Perfect Product Delivery, coupled with his exceptional level of program management and technical expertise will serve the company well in this new role.”

Sponnick began his career with General Dynamics Space Systems Division in 1982 and joined Lockheed Martin in 1994 when the Atlas program was acquired by then-Martin Marietta. Most recently, he served as the ULA’s vice president of Mission Operations since 2010.  He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of North Dakota.  He has also completed several executive development programs, including the Executive Program for Scientists and Engineers at the University of California, San Diego. 

“Mark Wilkins’ outstanding leadership and endless contributions throughout his distinguished 34-year career will be deeply missed,” said Collins. “We thank Mark for his service and wish him well as he embarks on what we hope will be a long and fulfilling retirement.”

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo.  Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch.