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Junior Achievement of Kansas announces 2018 Wichita Business Hall of Fame Laureates
Three business leaders were named the 2018 Wichita Business Hall of Fame Laureates at a luncheon held today by Junior Achievement of Kansas at the Cox Communications building.
The 2018 laureates are: Sonia Greteman of The Greteman Group; Steve Cox of Cox Machine, Inc.; and Robert A. Geist of RAGE, Inc.
These individuals are honored not only for their success in business, but for their dedication and commitment to the local community and the state of Kansas. Junior Achievement annually honors businessmen and women to inspire young people to follow in the laureates’ footsteps. A committee selected this year’s laureates based on criteria including their business excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, community impact, leadership style, local influence and enduring legacy.
The laureate announcement followed a luncheon during which past Business Hall of Fame Laureates gathered to welcome and honor the new class of honorees.
The Wichita Business Hall of Fame Tribute Dinner honoring the laureates will be held Tuesday, March 13, 2017, at the Regency Hyatt. Contact Marci Werne, Wichita district director for Junior Achievement of Kansas, for more information at email@example.com or 316.267.2248.
Sonia Greteman, president and creative director of the Greteman Group was told early in her career when working as a designer at Boeing Wichita that she was like fuchsia silk in a gray-flannel world. She took that as a complement. Throughout her illustrious career, Sonia has stood out. Her work does, too. She launched her woman-owned marketing agency in 1989 and used her Air Capital base to create an aviation specialty that puts the firm (and her) in strong demand.
Its client base includes aircraft manufacturers, flight support, aftermarket services, fractional ownership, insurance, in-flight Wi-Fi, regional airlines and our state’s largest airport. Sonia also sees to it that the agency supports meaningful causes and clients. Those include everything from the Kansas State Fair, and the new regional art center, Mark Arts, to The Saint Francis Foundation. Whether increasing a client’s market share or connecting with new audiences, Sonia helps the agency achieve maximum altitude. Challenging strategists, writers, designers and digital specialists to dig deeper and think smarter.
Sonia’s long list of personal achievements include a special governor’s appointment, American Advertising Federation lifetime-achievement award, American Marketing Association marketer of the year, Broadcast and Media Professionals hall of fame, Donna Sweet Humanitarian of the Year, Wichita Aero Club founding board member and more. She gives back by serving on multiple industry and community boards.
Whether Sonia’s on a photo safari in Africa or on a behind-the-scenes tour of Japanese art and architecture, world travel is one way Sonia fuels her own creative fires. Her reverence for other cultures, past and present, permeates Greteman Group’s own corporate culture and enriches the agency’s creative product with a quality you might simply call soul, which is appropriate, because Sonia believes that we’re here to live life with passion.
Steve Cox has long been dedicated to the Wichita community, both as a business leader and an advocate for youth.
Steve began working in his family business as a teenager, and worked while earning his bachelor of business administration degree at Wichita State University. Steve assumed leadership of his family business, Cox Machine Inc., in 1972 and purchased it in 1982. The business has now transitioned to a third generation of family leadership with Steve’s son Jason assuming the role of president.
Steve has served as chairman of the Rainbows United board and currently serves as chairman of the Rainbows United Charitable Foundation Board. He is also currently the chairman of the Greater Wichita YMCA board and serves on the Wichita Community Foundation Board.
Steve is currently serving on advisory boards for Exploration Place and Wichita State University Barton School of Business. He also serves on the Leadership Council and the Business and Education Alliance Task Force.
A Wichita native, Steve graduated from North High School and married his high school sweetheart, Janis, in 1969. The couple has three married sons and six grandchildren, all living in Wichita.
Robert A. Geist
A businessman and entrepreneur, Bob Geist is chairman of RAGE, Inc. and RAGE Administrative & Marketing Services, Inc. Affiliated with Pizza Hut for many years, both as a franchisee and with the parent company, Bob currently owns and operates 116 Pizza Hut restaurants located in seven states and oversees his varied personal investments in oil, gas, real estate and ranch management.
RAGE Administrative & Marketing Services, Inc. is managed by Bob’s son Ron. Located in Wichita, the company provides administrative, accounting, risk management, training, marketing, and personnel services for their Pizza Hut restaurants.
In addition to his position with RAGE, Inc., Bob has held a number of positions in the corporate world and the community. He owned and served as Chairman of the Board of Midwest Corporate Aviation, a fixed base operation at Jabara Airport in Wichita KS that also ran the LifeWatch air ambulance program. In addition, he has served as a past President of the Wichita Park Board and Vice President of Wichita State University’s Endowment Association. He is also a past member of the Board of Directors of Union National Bank, Bank IV Kansas, Tele-Matic Corporation, Chance Industries and Wichita State University’s Athletic Board. Affiliated with the Kansas Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization since 1977, he has served as Chairman of both that Chapter and the Kansas Chapter of the Senior Organization of Presidents. He is still an active member of that organization.
An avid quail, duck, and deer hunter, Bob is also the owner of Quail Creek Properties, a ranch encompassing more than 10,000 acres in the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. Under the supervision of his son Mark, the ranch’s focal point is the continued preservation of this unique area by providing a natural habitat for quail and whitetail deer. Bob and Maura and their family enjoy hunting and spending time sharing a variety of activities at Quail Creek Ranch.
Bob and Tom Devlin and their sons are the owners of Flint Oak Hunting Preserve in Fall River, Kan. They are proud of their continued commitment to customer service and success as a Five Star private hunting, shooting and fishing resort.
A Wichita native, Bob attended East High School and Wichita State University, graduating in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology. In 1965, Bob married his college sweetheart, Maura Lynch. They have four children, Mary Lou, Ron, Mark and Kara, as well as 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
When not involved with his diversified responsibilities, Bob and Maura reside in Wichita and share their time with their children, grandchildren and friends.
About Junior Achievement of Kansas
Junior Achievement (JA) of Kansas inspires and prepares young people with the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. Partnering with the business and educational community, JA of Kansas provides relevant, hands-on experiences that give students knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce development and entrepreneurship. JA of Kansas serves nearly 28,000 children statewide, including 10,000 in the Wichita area. Visit www.kansasja.org for more i