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Meghan Wolfe Named to Art & Design Advocates Board

Wichita, Kan. – Art Director Meghan Wolfe has joined the Art & Design Advocates board. The group helps generate funding that supports special needs and enrichment opportunities for students in Wichita State University’s School of Art, Design and Creative Industries.

The group has funded individual projects, student conference expenses, visiting artist/scholar expenses, project-related travel, student materials, equipment, even new kilns for the ceramics department.

“As a graduate of the school, it makes me feel good to give back in this way,” says Wolfe. “I especially think of the transformative trip I took to Cuba while in school. Sparking students’ curiosity and creativity benefits them immeasurably and it enhances Wichita’s creative landscape.”

The board meets 10 times a year to consider funding requests.

“I wish we could say yes to each and every one,” says Wolfe.

Greteman Group has developed an international reputation as an aviation-specialty marketing agency based in Wichita, Kan. – the Air Capital. Leading aircraft manufacturers, flight support, aftermarket services, fractional ownership, insurance, in-flight Wi-Fi, regional airlines and airport analytics entrust their brands to Greteman Group. These include FlightSafety International, SmartSky Networks, Executive AirShare, Wichita Eisenhower National Airport, USAIG, Piedmont Airlines, Aviation Partners and Associated Aircraft Group. It also supports causes and clients such as the Kansas State Fair, The Saint Francis Foundation, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Global Polymer, PDS Med and Verus Bank. Greteman Group has won Telly, Internet Advertising Competition, Metro and Business Marketing Association Pro-Comm awards. It has been recognized in such publications as Adweek, Advertising Age, Aldus, Communication Arts, Designing Identity, Identity, Graphic Design USA, Graphis, Hotels, HOW, Novum, Print, Step-By-Step, and by such organizations as the Mead Top 60, Kansas City Art Directors, Strathmore, International Festivals, Graphex Art Directors, and The National Library Council, American Advertising Federation, American Institute of Graphic Artists, Public Relations Society of America, and American Marketing Association. The firm is a founding member of the Wichita Aero Club. Greteman Group is a longstanding member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and is a certified women-owned business enterprise (WBE).

Click here to see Meghan Wolfe featured in The Wichita Eagle’s People You Should Know.

Sonia Greteman Joins Women Aviation Leaders at IAWA Forum

Ever notice that it’s the times you most don’t want to leave the office that you reap the greatest reward? That happened to me last week. I left a long list of to-dos behind and headed to southeast Florida with colleague Ashley Bowen Cook. I’m glad I did.

We spent a packed day at the record-breaking NBAA Regional Forum at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) on January 24. More than 2,700 people checked out the sold-out exhibit in the Atlantic Aviation hangar and the 30-plus aircraft on the static display.

Advocate for Aviation

NBAA CEO Ed Bolen kicked things off with a look at the promising year ahead and the need to keep fighting ATC privatization. He asked the aviation community to stay engaged by using resources like the website, which makes it easy to contact members of Congress.

“Business aviation is important to our nation’s fabric,” Bolen said. “It’s important to our infrastructure, it’s important to our economy and we’re very proud to be a part of it.”



We enjoy checking out the static display between forum sessions. We never tire of experiencing the aircraft firsthand and talking with sales, owners, operators and crew.


NBAA regional forums let you see what’s new, strengthen industry connections and talk about key issues – from carbon-neutral growth to workforce development.

Advancing the Industry by Expanding Women’s Roles

We headed south to Boca Raton for the inaugural General Aviation Women’s Leadership Forum on January 25. This rousing one-day forum was put on by the International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA). Its goal: to help attract, retain and promote women in aviation as a way to make the industry itself bigger and better.

Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie welcomed the 100-plus women and men gathered at the Privaira Aviation-sponsored event. She set a positive, high-energy vibe that grew throughout the day.

IAWA VP of Communications René Banglesdorf (and CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation) says companies are more profitable when they have diversity in decision-making and leadership. This inaugural forum was designed to revitalize interest in aviation – and avoid workforce shortages, especially for pilots and mechanics.

Wisdom From Those Who Have Been There


I felt honored to be part of a panel with executives from Embraer Executive Jets, Flexjet and Aero & Marine Tax Professionals. We talked about the next generation of emotional intelligence and how it affects marketing communications, customer service and employee engagement.

I spoke about external communications and all the opportunities now available to advance or tarnish your personal brand. Think blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn. Each of these channels serves a unique purpose and delivers a unique storytelling platform. Whether long-form, 140 characters or image-based, each gives you a stage to spread your ideas.

When developing your content strategy be true to your personality and personal brand. Deliver a point of view and thought leadership to advance your company or your opinion. Be consistent and relevant to your target audience. Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint. Build your tribe delivering curated content that inspires and connects. In social media, Seth Godin says you get what you deserve. Treat your customers right and they will say good things and sing your praises. Be generous on social, like and share, engage in conversations and always remember it is called social for a reason.

dreams-soar-founder-shaesta-waiz-iawa-forum-january-2018From War Refugee to STEM Trailblazer

Dreams Soar founder Shaesta Waiz inspires women to dream big and achieve more – especially in the field of aviation. Waiz was born in a refugee camp during the Soviet-Afghan war and immigrated to California with her parents and five sisters in 1987. She became the first Afghan native to receive her civilian pilot’s license. Waiz completed a round-the-world solo flight in a single-engine Beech Bonanza A36. Her copilot: a 60-gallon fuel tank. She completed her circumnavigation at Daytona Beach, Florida, site of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

As only the eighth woman to cross the Atlantic solo, Waiz says success is never achieved solo. She’s focusing her considerable energy now in enlightening children about careers in aviation and the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

There’s a reason we leapt to our feet to give Waiz a standing ovation. She’s making a profound difference.

Our Small, Connected, Beautiful World

Private aviation saves lives, and several speakers hit home that undisputed fact.


Last fall our agency sponsored an award for female documentarians in the Tallgrass Film Festival. The winning film, Stumped, told the story of Will Lautzenheiser, who had to have both his arms and legs amputated. One of the forum speakers was pilot Jodie Krisiak, who flies for The New England Donor Services. Her organization flew the arms for Lautzenheiser’s transplant surgery. I know aviation makes differences in ways large and small, but making this connection reinforced for me how aviation is always there. Helping miracles happen.

“Time is life,” Krisiak said. Her job means her own life gets constantly interrupted. She might be sitting down to a holiday meal, when the call comes in that a organ needs transported. Now. And she’s off. Her company has transported 203 organs, including 61 lungs, 56 hearts, 48 kidneys, 36 livers and 2 pancreas. Nothing’s sweeter than being able to tell someone, “Your heart is on the way.”

Robin Eissler shared stories empathizing the value of humanitarian missions. She founded the Sky Hope Disaster Relief Program for those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. It’s part of Patient Airlift Services (PALS), which arranges free medical and humanitarian flights. PALS’ network of volunteer pilots and aircraft provide this service without compensation. Eissler said, “We find a plane and make it happen.”

IAWA President Alina Nassar spoke about the organization and its mission to cultivate and advance women leaders in the aviation and aerospace industries. The forum’s robust panel discussions and Q&As revealed an engaged group. I believe IAWA is on to something big.


Keynote speaker Lt. Col. Christine Mau has quite the story. This retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and current Lockheed Martin F-35 flight instructor became the world’s first female F-35 pilot. At the time, in the entire Air Force there were only 86 other pilots, all men, certified to fly the F-35. Did she face resistance? You bet. But she learned early on that persevering is the key to success. That and ignoring those who try to block your path.

“The plane doesn’t know or care about your gender as a pilot, nor do the ground troops who need your support. You just have to perform,” she said. It’s a job seemingly designed for Lt. Col. Mau, who said, “There’s nothing more rewarding than dropping bombs on bad guys.”

Lt. Col. Mau flew the Air Force’s first all-female combat sortie in 2011, an operation against insurgents in Afghanistan. The flight was given the call sign “Dudette 07.” She stared in the documentary, “Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home.” It tells the story of women in Iraq and Afghanistan combat missions. Talking after the presentation, Ashley Bowen Cook, a young mother, asked Lt. Col. Mau if overseeing 1,000 soldiers had made it any easier to parent her two daughters. Lt. Col. Mau laughed and admitted it had not. Regardless, this woman’s an inspiration.

We support the growing numbers of women in aviation and applaud IAWA for its first-ever General Aviation Women’s Leadership Forum. We count on more to follow.

IAWA panelists Jullie Alston, Aero & Marine Tax Professionals; Joanne Barbera, Barbera & Watkins, LLC; Megan Wolf, Flexjet; Sonia Greteman, Greteman Group; and Emily Weber, Embraer Executive Jets.


The IAWA women’s leadership conference generated robust conversation and Q&A.


Greteman Group Vice President Ashley Bowen Cook was as inspired by the forum as I was.

This article originally appeared in the January 31, 2018 issue of BlueSky News.

Click here to read Aviation International News’ Amy Laboda’s article about the IAWA Women’s Leadership Forum.

Yingling Aviation CEO Lynn Nichols Friend to Wichita, Industry

This Wichita Aero Club gala had a hard act to follow. Last year the evening honored my dad, aviation photographer Paul Bowen. I say that somewhat facetiously, but it’s true. Every year I feel the same. How can we possibly top the year before?

And yet, each year builds upon everything that’s come before. The evening shimmers with vibrancy and passion for this unique industry. Aviation taps something within each of us. The need to push boundaries. To break free of the bonds of time and space. To transport ourselves to new places, new people, new things.

As head of the trophy selection committee and gala chair since the event’s inception, I have the privilege of bringing together a group of highly regarded industry colleagues to bestow this honor upon a person or organization with strong Wichita ties and exemplary achievements in aviation. Here in the Air Capital, you can imagine the number of worthy nominees. Every year we face a tough choice.

Yingling Aviation CEO Lynn Nichols, A Shake-Things-Up Leader

This year’s gala honored Lynn Nichols, CEO of Yingling Aviation, for his impact on both our community and aviation. Nichols transformed the once-struggling Yingling Aviation into a FBO jewel, leading parts distributor, customization shop and more. His many contributions in aviation include helping lead the effort to restore and find a home for the beloved Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as Doc.

Pictured left to right: Dave Franson, Wichita Aero Club president; Jeff Turner, retired Spirit AeroSystem CEO and 2011 Wichita Aero Club trophy winner; Lynn Nichols, Yingling Aviation CEO; Lonnie Vaughan, Yingling Aviation president; Ashley Bowen Cook, Wichita Aero Club board of directors executive committee vice chair and gala chair; John O’Leary, Airbus Americas Engineering vice president/general manager and Wichita Aero Club chairman; and Charlie Chandler, Intrust Bank CEO. Photo credit: Visual Media Group.

“It takes three of us to introduce Lynn,” said retired Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner. Turner peppered his introduction with personal anecdotes of their joint entrepreneurial and community-building efforts. He was followed by Intrust Bank CEO Charlie Chandler. As a licensed pilot for 45 years and a satisfied Yingling customer, Chandler shared appreciation for Lynn and Yingling’s customer-first philosophy. Yingling President Lonnie Vaughan talked about meeting Lynn in high school and how the two came to join forces professionally.

When Nichols took the podium, he said he felt out of his element, but you couldn’t tell. He spoke earnestly about his journey and ambitious, rapidly unfolding plans. Everyone who knows Nichols says he’s a leader who makes things happen.

First Order of Business: Transform the Culture

Nichols purchased Yingling in 2000. An already not optimal general and business aviation climate grew even harsher following the post-9/11 downturn. “For us, jet fuel is perfume,” Nichols said. “After 9/11, we smelled none.”

But Nichols had a mission. He bought Yingling because he saw room for improvement. He’d once hangared his Cessna T210 there, but left due to less-than-optimal service.

His first action as owner was to change the corporate culture. In Nichols’ view you, “Spoil customers in ways that make it difficult for them to go elsewhere.” Nichols leads by doing. He bought a floor cleaner and set to work making a dingy Yingling shine. He solicited customer service feedback and delivered it directly to staff. His team got the message. Good enough was no longer good enough.

Nichols set about investing millions in renovations and adding services at Yingling’s facility, located at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport. Those included spaces for Caravan OASIS interior completions and McCauley propeller overhaul and service, a larger paint shop, battery rooms for testing and charging, expanded shipping and receiving departments. A networked computer system enabled greater customization and tailoring of services to customer preferences.

Seven Decades of Cessna Partnership

The company started life in 1946 as the first official Cessna dealer, taking possession of a Cessna 140 single-engine demonstrator from Cessna’s game-changing CEO, Dwane Wallace. Buyers would come from all over the world to accept deliveries of their Cessna 120s and 140s at Yingling. Fast forward to today. Nichols has elevated Yingling to a full-service, 24/7 fixed-base operation that serves as the largest Cessna parts distributor and one of three top Cessna service centers. Second-to-none service means AOG orders received before 11:30 in the morning ship the same day. Its FAA and EASA-certified aircraft maintenance handles everything from scheduled annuals to quick-turn repairs.

Wichita Aero Club President Dave Franson says Nichols not only leads a company known for exemplary service and business practices, but he has done so during difficult times in general and business aviation. When the U.S. economy nosedived in the Great Recession of 2008, aviation in general and the Air Capital in particular were hit hard. And they were among the last to recover.

“Lynn Nichols rescued a floundering enterprise and saved it from imminent closure,” says Franson. “His exceptional energy, business acumen and proven principles turned things around. His leadership enabled Yingling to grow and realize new opportunities even during the economic downturn. He has transformed Yingling into an industry-leading FBO and a go-to destination for everything from AOG parts to interior modifications.”

A Friend to the Air Capital and Aviation

Nichols’ long-time commitment to the community includes service as past chairman of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce and on the boards of a number of local businesses and nonprofits, including Doc’s Friends. This now nationally known group restored Doc, a Wichita-built B-29, to flight condition and found it a permanent home, a 32,000-square-foot hangar and education center now being built. It will be next to Yingling’s new 23,000-square-foot hangar.

Aviation Photographer Paul Bowen shakes hands with Yingling Aviation CEO Lynn Nichols at NBAA 2017
The trophy announcement was made at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas. Last year’s honoree, Paul Bowen (left) shakes Lynn Nichols’ hand after hearing the news. And, yes, that’s me in the middle. Other past trophy honorees include the late Velma Wallace (2011), Jeff Turner and Spirit AeroSystems (2012), John O’Leary and Airbus Americas Engineering (2013), Russ Meyer (2014), Al Higdon (2015) and Doc’s Friends Restoration Team (2016).
Yingling Aviation CEO Lynn Nichols at the 2018 Wichita Aero Club Gala
Lynn Nichols and Jeff Turner have now both been awarded the Wichita Aero Club trophy. These longtime friends also frequently work together to spur local investment that benefits aviation and the Air Capital. Pictured here: Lynn and Sherry Nichols and Rhonda and Jeff Turner. Photo credit: Visual Media Group.
Jerry Siebenmark and Ashley Bowen Cook pose with Sherry and Lynn Nichols at the 2018 Wichita Aero Club Gala.
The Air Capital comes out in force to pay tribute to the Wichita Aero Club trophy winner. Pictured here: Wichita Eagle aviation reporter Jerry Siebenmark; Sherry and Lynn Nichols; and me. Photo credit: Visual Media Group.

This column originally appeared in the January 24 issue of BlueSky News.

Wichita Business Journal Interviews Ashley Bowen Cook on Vice Chair Appointment

Featured Image: Greteman Group Vice President and new Wichita Aero Club Executive Committee Vice Chair Ashley Bowen Cook is pictured here at last fall’s National Business Aviation Association Convention and Exhibition. With her are her father, acclaimed aviation photographer and past Wichita Aero Club trophy winner Paul Bowen (left) with this year’s trophy winner, Yingling Aviation CEO Lynn Nichols.  

Read the Wichita Business Journal’s interview with Greteman Group’s Vice President and Brand Director Ashley Bowen Cook who was recently appointed to Wichita Aero Club Executive Committee Vice Chair. Cook is the first women in the organization’s history to join the Executive Committee.

Read the full story:

Ashley Bowen Cook Named Wichita Aero Club Executive Committee Vice Chair

Wichita, Kan. – The Wichita Aero Club Board of Directors recently welcomed its first woman to its executive committee. And it did more than welcome her. It named her vice chair.

“Ashley’s one of the most conscientious, get-it-done individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” says Wichita Aero Club President Dave Franson. “When she assumes responsibility for something, you don’t have to worry about it again.”

Ashley Bowen Cook has served the club in some capacity since the club, originally founded in 1915 but then dismantled, took off again in 2008. Cook headed the annual gala for nine years, and has headed the committee responsible for selecting the prestigious WAC Trophy winner for the last six years. She also served on the Golf Classic committee for four years. The executive committee is a tight-knit leadership group. Its full membership includes:

John O’Leary, Airbus Americas Engineering Vice President and General Manager, Chair
Ashley Bowen Cook, Greteman Group Vice President, Vice Chair
Dave Franson, Wichita Aero Club President
Mike Croitoru, FlightSafety International Director of Business Development
Lonnie Vaughn, Yingling Aviation President
Glenn Tate, Air Capital Insurance Chairman
Sean Weaver, Allen, Gibbs & Houlik Senior Advisor
Jeff Peier, Klenda Austerman Managing Member

“I feel honored to be part of the executive committee and look forward to contributing in this leadership role,” says Cook. “The Wichita Aero Club brings members of the Air Capital together in a way we wouldn’t have otherwise. It builds understanding, deepens relationships and helps us advocate for an industry we love. I’m ready and eager to help advance its mission.”


Cook featured in AIN: People in Aviation.