Jeff Turner retired April 5, 2013 as President and CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., a position he had held since June 2005, upon the divestiture of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Wichita Division. As CEO, he successfully led the transition from Boeing Division to independent company completing the company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) in November, 2006. Spirit AeroSystems is now listed (SPR) on the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Turner was a member of Spirit AeroSystems’ Board of Directors from 2005-2014. Mr. Turner in a partner in the Turner Nichols Williams Group which focuses on developing and growing small businesses in the Wichita, KS area.
Brian Williamson is an entrepreneur who also happens to be a pharmacist. With an itch to do more with his entrepreneurial spirit, Williamson joined a group teaching pharmacists how to make specialty drugs. Brian soon realized that he had found his calling! With a new son and ready to move back to Kansas with his wife, Williamson joined forces with the owners of CustomRx Pharmacy and started JCB Laboratories in 2003. JCB supplies outpatient day surgery centers and hospitals in all 50 states with specialty injectable and ophthalmic medications. In 2014, the owners of JCB sold the business to a European company with a global footprint. Williamson left the company in 2016 and is now consulting for other medically-related companies, including medical device and pharmaceutical firms.
Scott Redler, a restaurant operator to the core, Scott loves the sights, sounds and smells of a well-run restaurant. Growing up in St. Louis, he got his start in the restaurant business at age 15 catering events for groups of two to 6000. Paying his way through college by managing a steakhouse, he earned a degree in restaurant and hotel management. Redler moved to Minneapolis and then Washington, DC, to manage a 5-star restaurant. Back in St. Louis, he launched his first restaurant as a sole proprietor—a quick-service Chinese food concept called Shanghai Charlie’s. After selling that, he moved back to DC to serve as Executive Vice-President for the American Café. Scott eventually moved to Wichita, KS, accepting the position of Executive Vice President of a local restaurant group. In 1997, Scott together with Bill Simon opened Timberline Steakhouse. In 2002, Redler again partnered with Bill Simon and his brother Randy to launch Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. After franchising in 2004, Freddy’s has grown to over 250 locations across the United States.
After college, Curtis Whitten attended the FBI Training Academy and was one of the few African-American minority graduates of Quantico at the time, then pursuing a career in investigations as an Federal Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in the Office of Diversion Control. After 17 years of security and investigative experience encompassing both private and government sectors serving across corrections and justice departments throughout Kansas Mr. Whitten tried his hand at the American Dream of entrepreneurship. His extensive background and experience in commercial business and government contracting span over a period of 12 years, highly skilled and trained in all facets of the investigative process. Mr. Whitten's strong analytical, technical, communication, and leadership ability helped transform VendTech into a multi-million dollar enterprise, from very humble beginnings where he once served as the company's sole security personnel. His ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with people at all levels is pivotal in the guidance of the company's direction.
Initially trained as a speech and language pathologist holding both bachelor's and master's degrees, Beth Tully switched career paths several times, working in communications, marketing and sales before launching Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates in Wichita, Kansas, in 2005. A successful career in sales for a Fortune 500 company could not keep her from her true passion . . . chocolate. After completing training at Ecole Chocolat's Professional Chocolatier program and receiving her Master Chocolatier certification, Beth's previous experiences served her well as she started Cocoa Dolce and quickly gained respect and regard as an entrepreneur and capable businesswoman while her product was immediately recognized as exquisite.