Who were your mentors and what did you learn from them?
My life has been populated by people who have believed in and supported me. They helped me realize my odd combination of creative moxie and business acumen.
- Judy Greteman – My mother has enjoyed a 75-year love affair with books, which has influenced my perpetual curiosity. Her example has taught me to always keep learning and to do so with passion. She continues to inspire me through her many efforts: volunteering at TOP, teaching children the magic of books and giving herself to others.
- Ken Greteman – Dad was my coach and I credit early life lessons to playing intramural Catholic sports. You have to see victory to achieve it. Trust in your teammates, play fair, keep your chin up and never let your opponent see you cry.
- Deanna Harms – One of the best decisions of my business life was bringing her onto the team. She inspires me every day to do my best. Do the work. Prepare. Dig in. Sweat the verb. Employ an active voice. Remove the exclamation points. She’s made me a better writer and thinker. She’s the most energetic, committed professional I know.
Tell us about any key decisions or tuning points in your career.
- Having the guts to stand out when it is easier to blend in.
- Hiring people who are smarter than me and empowering them to do great things.
- Landing Learjet. Almost 25 years ago, it put us on our path to specialize in aviation.
- Taking the risk to put my name on the door and my name on the work.
© Wichita Business Journal, 2014