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WBJ; ArtAID organizers end popular show

April 30, 2013

Wichita Business Journal

A popular fundraiser that has raised more than $1.5 million to benefit people living with HIV and AIDS is coming to an end.

Founders Tod and Linda Ernst, owners of Planet Hair, and Graham Ross said in a news release that the event has grown too large to manage. It started in 1993 as a small runway show with about 150 attendees, but it has grown to include silent and live art auctions and a complex show with more than 100 models, dancers, actors and acrobats.

Tod Ernst described it in the news release as “Wichita’s must-attend annual gala.”

The project included many business leaders, including marketing agency the Greteman Group and its founder, Sonia Greteman.

Ross and the Ernsts say they still plan to be involved in helping people with HIV and AIDS but in a different way.

ArtAID has benefited organizations including C-CAP, Connect Care, Donna Sweet Emergency Fund and Positive Directions.

© Wichita Business Journal, 2013

SpeedNews; FlightSafety Grand Opening Spotlights Maintenance Training

April 25, 2013


By Randy Bradbury of Greteman Group

If every new wannabe maintenance technician could learn the ropes at FlightSafety International’s new Cessna Maintenance Learning Center in Wichita, KS, there’d be no technician shortage.

With its massive hangar doors flung open and every surface spotless, on April 22 the center celebrated its grand opening in Wichita. Dedicated exclusively to training maintenance technicians for Cessna aircraft and Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, the bright, shining facility represents the leading edge of professional aviation instruction.

This and other maintenance training facilities face major challenges in the near future, says FlightSafety’s Director of Maintenance Business Development Mike Lee. In the next 20 years, the global aviation industry will need 620,000 new maintenance technicians – both to replace retiring technicians and to fill expanding demand.

Looking around the new training facility, Lee said there’s nothing like it anywhere on the globe. Which helps explain why maintenance technicians from around the world come to Wichita to train in this truly state-of-the-art facility. This week alone, Center Manager John Brasfield said, technicians came from 15 nations to take advantage of the factory-authorized training.

A Close Relationship With Cessna

Brasfield, Lee and everyone else with FlightSafety gave big thanks and credit to Cessna for its long, close partnership, ensuring training accuracy and the latest best practices.

FlightSafety’s maintenance training brings the virtual aircraft into the classroom thanks to interactive instructional software derived from the company’s advanced Level D full flight simulators. But technicians immediately put that classroom knowledge to the test on a variety of working mock-ups, part-task trainers and actual aircraft.

The different approaches reinforce each other, helping ensure that technicians emerge with a well-rounded, deep understanding of the aircraft and its increasingly sophisticated systems.

Although the Cessna center is the newest addition to the FlightSafety maintenance training portfolio, the company continues to expand worldwide – such as a new network of Pratt & Whitney Canada engine training programs, and a recently announced agreement to work with Lufthansa to expand its Gulfstream maintenance training in China. Stay tuned.

© SpeedNews, 2013

FlightSafety Continually Invests in Aviation Safety

I’ve never been more proud to be the agency of record for FlightSafety International than I was earlier this week. I was privileged to take part in the grand opening of the company’s brand new Cessna Maintenance Learning Center.

Looking around at top city officials and national aviation leaders – many from right here in the Air Capital – it was all smiles. There was no hand-wringing about the current aviation economy. Instead, we were celebrating a bright future.

And that‘s been FlightSafety’s approach through six-plus decades of growth that transcends aviation’s cyclical ups and downs.

The shining new center represents just the latest example of FlightSafety’s ongoing investment in experienced instructors, advanced simulation, instructional technology and training infrastructure. Does FlightSafety exercise caution during downturns? Of course. Does it shelve its plans and go into lockdown? Of course not.

Giovanna Schmidt and Victor White
Giovanna Schmidt, Product Sales Manager for FlightSafety’s Cessna Maintenance Learning Center, talks with Victor White, Director of Airports for the city of Wichita, at the learning center’s grand opening.

Part of a Long-Term Plan

FlightSafety conceived the Cessna maintenance center years ago during the depths of the recession, and began work in earnest in 2010. The center opened in 2012 and already has trained more than 1,400 maintenance technicians who work on Cessna aircraft and Pratt & Whitney Canada engines.

In the context of the aviation slowdown, this major investment might seem bold, even risky. But FlightSafety sees the long view, and acts accordingly.

The global aviation community needs this and many other maintenance training facilities to meet projected demand. FlightSafety’s Director of Maintenance Business Development Mike Lee says that in the next 20 years the global aviation industry will need 620,000 new maintenance technicians – both to replace retiring technicians and to fill expanding demand.

This isn’t the only investment FlightSafety has made in recent years. The list of new simulators, training programs and learning centers is long. As aviation emerges into the next up cycle, FlightSafety and other similarly forward-looking companies will reap the benefits of their foresight. We can all learn and profit from their example.

FlightSafety Grand Opening
FlightSafety Cessna Maintenance Learning Center Manager John Brasfield kicks off the grand opening ceremony inside the center’s spacious maintenance hangar.

*Originally published in BlueSky Business Aviation News on April 25, 2013.

WBJ; Chaney Kimball, People on the Move

April 18, 2013

People on the Move
Wichita Business Journal

Chaney Kimball photo of Chaney Kimball

Date added: April 17, 2013
Submission Type: Promotion
Current employer: Greteman Group
Current title/position: Senior Digital Director
Industry: Media & Marketing
Position department: Marketing
Previous position: Interactive Designer
Duties/responsibilities: After several years of co-owning his own business, in 2007 Kimball joined Greteman Group where he can fully unleash his unique and dynamic approach to digital design. He cares about every aspect – usability, content, design, code, analytics and more. Attending the 2013 An Event Apart conference reinforced his belief in intent-driven websites.

© Wichita Business Journal, 2013

10 Ways to Grow Marketshare

In aviation, when things get tough, leaders don’t retreat. They advance. Consider Bombardier’s extensive and seemingly ever-growing Learjet, Challenger and Global product lines. Their innovation and investment reinforce that the business of aviation is a long game requiring courage, patience and resources. Over the years, recession or no, Bombardier has continued developing compelling new product offerings – and telling the world about them.

Marketing Matters

We applaud Bombardier, Embraer, Signature and other likeminded, forge-ahead leaders. Delivering more even in challenging times. Standing strong with their marketing, suppressing the almost instinctual knee-jerk reaction to slash budgets. After all, it just makes sense that if less income is coming in, you can offset that by diverting marketing dollars. Right? Wrong.

1. Stay Close

I’m biased, but I’m also on the front lines. I’ve been in aviation marketing for almost 25 years and have seen what happens. Shortsighted thinking generates short-lived gains. Think of the message it sends when you stop communicating and reaching out to your customers at the very time they need to hear from you most. (That extends to internal communications, too. Your team needs to hear from you. To know what to expect.)

Business Jet Deliveries Chart
The very nature of aviation generates optimism. Its ability to improve efficiency. To enhance quality of life. To serve as a vital business tool. Economic cycles affect the aviation industry, but investing during downturns – in new products, services and marketing – positions you to maximize the turnaround. Which always comes.

2. Give It Time

Tough times drive customers to give more thought to purchases. They grow more conservative and selective. This means they need to hear from you more, not less. They’re looking for value, new ideas and new ways to do business with you. They also prefer to do business with people they know and trust. Relationships take nurturing and time. People need to see your value-proposition m

3.Spend Like Your Sales Depend On It

Most determine their marketing budgets as a percentage of revenue. The CMO Council notes that B2C companies typically allocate 17 percent to marketing and B2B, 11 percent. Those launching a new product/service or moving into a new market/region often increase their marketing-to-revenue ratio to 20 percent or more.

Learjet 50 Years
Communicate your successes, including product milestones.


4. Accelerate While Others Let Up

As others ramp down, a solid forward-thinking strategy would be to ramp up. Numerous studies support this advice. Standing strong during a downturn – increasing rather than cutting back on your marketing investment – can stimulate sales, profits and growth.

5. Focus on the Top

It’s not uncommon for the top 20 percent of your customers to generate 80 percent of your business. Put your efforts here. You can refine even more by narrowing your focus to the top 5 percent of your customers, which may account for 50 percent of your profits. Market to your existing top customers and others like them. Don’t worry about the rest. Your bottom customers probably cost you money, so the last thing you need is more of their (and similar) business.

6. Arm Your Sales Team

Consider putting all your collateral and product information in a handy, at-your-fingertips format. Last year, FlightSafety International created an iPad-optimized Resource and Information Center for its sales directors. Now with the swipe of a finger, they can call up everything from training program details and interactive maps to videos and photo galleries. It’s working beautifully in the field.

7. Retool Your Media

As the faint of heart withdraw their marketing resources, this means opportunity for you. Their diminished presence opens up more room for you. It’s like a crowded event when half the attendees go home. You can be more easily seen and heard. Plus, your marketing budget goes farther in a downturn. Media channels (both print and online publications) are more willing to make you a deal and deliver added value. That includes promotions and discounts today, but also tomorrow as you lock in favorable long-term media rates. Consider new media and digital channels you may have overlooked before.

Airbus Stencil
Marketing can be as simple as sidewalk chalk stenciling for memorable and temporary messaging.

8. Mix Things Up

Make all your marketing channels work for you – earned as well as paid media. Deploy a diverse marketing mix. Visit customers face-to-face. Keep your website updated with easy-to-find contact names and phone numbers. Optimize your site for search engines by using unique title tags, H1 (main headline) tags and permalinks. Provide thought leadership by being a source for reporters/editors, speaking at industry events and self-publishing (blogs, video, newsletters). Send mailers. Leverage digital channels: email, social media, mobile, eblasts, enewsletters.

9. Get Social

Think Twitter for real-time event posts, Facebook for sharing your corporate culture and LinkedIn for business development. We especially like LinkedIn for B2B. It provides a platform for telling your story, starting a conversation about a hot industry topic, posting what’s new, and engaging with current/prospective customers. Status updates encourage word of mouth. Authentic recommendations build trust and help others see you as someone they want to do business with. A premium account lets you conduct more advanced searches with access to full profiles, and dive deeper into analytics (who visits your site, what attracts them, what they do when they’re there). InMail provides a guaranteed, highly credible means of connecting with any of LinkedIn’s 200-plus million users.

10. Be Consistent

Stick with a disciplined, methodical marketing plan. One that preserves and perhaps even increases your marketing budget. The old axiom is true. It takes money to make money. Marketing can be your best investment. Especially when the economy is less than robust.

*Originally published in BlueSky Business Aviation News on April 17, 2013.

Greteman Group adds senior digital director

Chaney Kimball, Senior digital director Chaney Kimball may be laid back, but Greteman Group colleagues and clients alike confirm, he’s a monster of digital design. His promotion from interactive designer to senior digital director surprises no one, least of all Kimball. This lanky surfer dude who doesn’t surf just shrugs, smiles at the announcement, then turns his focus to the next challenge – developing a responsive website on a highly compressed timeframe.

“Chaney’s interactive genius reveals itself in how smart the final product is,” says creative director and agency principal, Sonia Greteman. “He puts the user experience first – stripping away needless complexity for compelling, welcoming, simple-to-navigate sites. You can find and do what you need.”

A Deep Drive

Kimball was one of the region’s earliest, and remains among its most formidable, digital experts. His degree in graphic design and deep web experience give him a unique perspective on interactive design and usability. He understands how to display information in the easiest, most user-friendly way. All while developing raise-the-bar designs that strengthen brands across multiple platforms.

Kimball began his career 15 years ago working at one of the region’s first web design and development studios. He went on to several other firms, building an impressive track record of innovative solutions for everything from email marketing to online advertising. After several years of co-owning his own business, in 2007 Kimball joined Greteman Group where he can fully unleash his unique and dynamic approach to digital design. He cares about every aspect – usability, content, design, code, analytics and more. A recent emersion at the 2013 An Event Apart conference reinforced his belief in intent-driven, outcomes-oriented websites.

Sites That Work

“You have to ask, ‘What does the person coming to your site intend to do?’” says Kimball. “Then you work to meet that need through storytelling and good, honest design.”

One question he doesn’t over think: Are your audiences primarily accessing your site through a smartphone, tablet or desktop? Kimball says, yes, you should consider how, when and where people get to your site, but ultimately it doesn’t matter.

“You should think of your website as one site, one experience,” says Kimball. “The platform can and will change, so you must build in adaptability. You want a site that automatically responds and reconfigures as needed. My job is to ensure the site flows seamlessly and works optimally whatever the device.”

Kimball works with clients and colleagues, mapping out and defining challenges. Creating personas that humanize and guide the development team’s understanding. Thinking through user scenarios from start to finish. Fixing points of confusion. Determining what interfaces ought to be present and when. Wowing users whenever possible.

People Come First

“You can study and discuss the latest practices in web design, coding and content, but at the end of the day, it’s an exercise in problem solving,” says Kimball. Having owned his own business makes him especially empathetic to the demands of the marketplace. Kimball knows interactive tactics – as cool as they can be – are a means to an end.

“You establish goals and how to achieve and measure the desired outcomes. Our web-enabled world makes so much possible. More every day. It’s not about designing for certain devices, but connecting and moving people to action. If you can delight them at the same time, all the better.”

For a downloadable photo, please go to

Wichita Eagle; Featured business person: Chaney Kimball

April 11, 2013

Wichita Eagle
Joe Stumpe

Chaney Kimball Chaney Kimball, Senior digital director

Senior digital director, Greteman Group

A love of art – and sports – led Kimball into the graphic and web design business.

“I’m a football fan,” he said. “I’ve always liked team logos and how they carry the brand throughout apparel, uniforms and stickers. That kind of got me interested as a kid.”

Kimball grew up in Wellington and graduated from Wichita State University with a graphics design degree in 1997. He didn’t study computer programming or web design in college, but quickly learned them on the job. He worked for a couple of design firms and co-owned his own before moving to the Greteman Group in 2007.

He was interactive designer there before his recent promotion.

“Now I’m a little more involved in the overall look and feel – how it looks when it’s programmed,” he said of his web work for Greteman clients. “I still do the front-end design, I just don’t do any coding any more.”

Kimball said web design has changed during his 15 years in the business.

“It used to be you designed for a fixed (web) page and for print,” he said. “Now you’re basically dealing with every platform that’s out there, from desktops to little phones. You’ve got to be flexible and makes sure it works for everything.”

Kimball and his wife, Andrea, live in Wellington with their two daughters: Alexandra, 19; and Laken, 14.

He enjoys music and used to play keyboards in a band.

He said his children keep him aware that his business is likely to keep changing.

“I think the big thing now is mobile,” he said. “My kids, they have computers. They’re never on them.”

“Who knows what’s going to be next? That’s what’s interesting to me, too. It’s always changing.” © Wichita Eagle, 2013


WBJ; Limitless coverage, creative connections in WSU story

April 3, 2013

Wichita Business Journal
John Stearns

It’s hard to beat the coverage that Wichita State University and the city have received with the Shockers’ improbable run to the Final Four.

Countless sports stories — one of my favorites is Rick Reilly’s at — a Sports Illustrated cover and much more.

Deanna Harms, Executive Vice President for Greteman Group
Deanna Harms, executive vice president for Greteman Group

A Wall Street Journal blog this week even likened the consumer sector of the economy to Wichita State.

“The consumer sector has become the Wichita State of the first-quarter economy,” the post reads. “Against all odds, they keep playing on.”

Deanna Harms, executive vice president at Greteman Group, a Wichita marketing agency, says the attention for WSU and Wichita is huge.

“The Shockers’ amazing run and multiple upsets create such an opportunity for Wichita,” she wrote me in an email. “When the spotlight hits, you want to be smiling. And Wichita is. Ear to ear.”

Harms adds, “As far as leveraging the team’s march to the Final Four — and hopefully beyond — this is about the Shockers and the community that stands behind them. The world’s watched Wichita make good on Amelia Earhart’s quote, ‘Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.’ That personifies our attitude in work as well as sports. You have an idea, we’ll make it fly. Literally.”

The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition is leveraging the Shockers’ success. It planned tonight to send a special package of “Shockolate” from Wichita’s Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates to 100 to 200 key site selectors around the country and Kansas economic development officials. Inside are messages about new industrial and office site availability in the region and more.

Hitching economic development to a local team’s basketball success appears to make sense in Richmond, Va., home of Virginia Commonwealth University, which made the 2011 Final Four.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a story last month quoting tourism, chamber and advertising officials on the positive connections provided by VCU.

Kenneth Wayland, president of Henrico, Va., ad agency Free Agents Marketing, says in the story, “When it comes to sending out the Richmond résumé, they should appear near the top of the list,” adding the team has “been a major catalyst to the economic development of our city as it relates to tourism, merchandising and new business growth, related to VCU and (coach) Shaka Smart, in the downtown region.”

That dovetails with Harms’ comments.

Her industry talks a lot about brands, she told me in an interview.

“It’s what other people think about you,” she says. “The Wichita, Kansas, brand is being changed right now because of the actions of the Shockers … and it’s affecting it in a positive way” and it will be fun to see how that plays out.

“In an attention-deficit world … when the world is paying attention, those are times to celebrate,” Harms says of the opportunity to leverage Wichita’s message while WSU’s on the big stage.

It’s not that Wichita’s trying to put a glittery image out there and hope it’s bought, she says.

“It’s not that,” Harms says. “The world is looking at us, but we’re ready. Wichita has done a lot of great things over the last 20 years. We have a lot to offer, we have the work force. Our downtown is vibrant again.”

© Wichita Business Journal, 2013