Greteman Group Operations and Ownership Begin Transition to Next Generation of Leadership
01.31.23 · Greteman Group
Founder Sonia Greteman Entrusts Ashley Bowen Cook to Solidify the Marketing Agency’s Future
For nearly 35 years Greteman Group has created stunning projects, delivered impactful marketing and helped brands fly high. In this time, Sonia Greteman, as its sole owner and creative director, has established Greteman Group as a powerful force within Wichita’s business and creative communities. Now the time has come to expand on that legacy.
As of Jan. 1, Ashley Bowen Cook has stepped into the role of president of Greteman Group and has begun overseeing day-to-day operations, the marketing agency announced. The move is the first step of transitioning the agency to new, local ownership by Bowen Cook that’s committed to continue, grow and build on the iconic work of Greteman and its team over the agency’s long history.
Ashley and Sonia’s working relationship for nearly 20 years naturally led to this new partnership of ownership, which will transition over several years. Sonia will become chair of the board and continue serving clients in a creative director role.
“It has been my goal and dream to have the agency live beyond me. I’m grateful to have a successor continue the agency’s philosophy, quality, processes and people for the next generation,” Sonia Greteman said. “I can’t think of a more able, competent, hardworking and charismatic leader to take the agency into the future.”
One of Greteman’s goals in this process was to keep ownership based in Wichita, which has shaped the direction and history of the agency. Bowen Cook’s roots and acumen in Wichita’s robust aviation community have grown Greteman Group in ways that have complemented Sonia’s creative love for everything that flies.
The two have worked side by side for nearly 20 years, forming a strong relationship where their two personalities balance and support each other. They’ve traveled together to the largest aviation gatherings such as National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) and internationally to work with clients. Even on regional trips or at community events, it’s been clear they shared a passion for the aviation industry and the impressive companies and people who support it.
“I am honored that Sonia trusts me with the legacy of this company that she built from the ground up, nurtured and cared deeply about over her professional career,” Bowen Cook said. “As a young advertising executive working as a client of the agency 20 years ago, I admired Greteman Group’s creativity and ability to stand out from the crowd. Since then, I’ve seen firsthand the level of dedication and talent it takes to create that on a daily basis. I’m humbled to accept the challenge of building on that history and leading the agency into the future.”
Greteman Group’s focus will continue in international aviation, which has made it a marketing powerhouse within and outside the Air Capital. Under Bowen Cook’s leadership, it will continue to serve local and regional clients in other industries including the arts, construction, architecture, engineering and manufacturing, as well as community causes.
The agency, which began as a design studio, has grown and transformed exponentially in the past three decades, anticipating clients’ needs and delivering the strength of a full-service creative agency. It is constantly adding depth and expertise in digital areas such as paid media, media buying, social media, advanced analytics, website UX, motion graphics and automated marketing campaigns.
The connection Ashley and Sonia share goes back long before their formal one as colleagues. Paul Bowen, Ashley’s father and world-renowned aviation photographer, recommended Sonia to Learjet when she was just a budding young designer. The agency-client relationship continued for decades, culminating with the 50th anniversary book, The Business Jet that Changed the World. Greteman Group’s account grew to include Bombardier, taking Sonia and the team around the world to produce its magazine, Contrails, highlighting the aircraft, pilots and maintenance directors. Interviewing and photographing famous owners and their aircraft catapulted the agency to expert status and pointed the focus to aerospace.
Today the agency serves a wide array of clients in the aviation space, including business and commercial; flight training; unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); pilot recruitment; charter providers; aircraft management; international jet brokerage; fixed-based operators (FBOs); maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services; renewable fuel and sustainability; interior refurbishment and modifications; and airport marketing.
Bowen Cook started her official career as an intern under Dave Franson in the public relations department of Bombardier Learjet, but her first taste of the business was as a young girl riding in the back of a Beechjet while her father, Paul Bowen, shot air-to-air photography. She moved to Bombardier Flexjet in Dallas, working in events and marketing where her path intersected with the Greteman agency as a client. When her golf instructor husband, Josh Cook, landed a job in Wichita, Greteman Group was Ashley’s first call inquiring about job opportunities. Sonia made the easy decision to hire her on the spot.
Ashley’s connections within the Wichita business community and aviation have only grown since starting at Greteman Group. In 2022, she began her role as first female board chair of the influential Wichita Aero Club, and was named one of Wichita Business Journal’s 25 New Wichita Leaders You Need to Know in 2023. Like Sonia, Ashley has been a recipient of the publication’s 40 Under 40 award. She has also led a panel at JETNET iQ Summit.
“We’ve built a bit of magic over 30 years that is impossible to replicate,” Sonia Greteman said. “It was important to make sure that our future was not directed by outside firms or someone who didn’t fully appreciate what we’ve done. This is just a perfect evolution of our leadership and our offerings. I know Ashley has the vision, passion and moxie to make our transition meaningful and impactful.”