Two Senior Execs to Retire from Pioneer Balloon Company
Pioneer Balloon Company has announced that two of its senior executives, Wayne and Norma Roberts, are retiring this May. As 33-year veterans of Pioneer, the Roberts have had a far-reaching impact with their careers. "They both have been integral leaders in our management team, and are certainly well-loved by everyone in the company and in our industries," said Dan Flynn, chief operating officer.
Wayne and Norma moved from West Virginia in 1981 to join Pioneer, not long after the company was acquired by Ted A. and Betty Vlamis. At the time, there were only six people in the corporate office in Wichita, Kan. Wayne was hired first as vice president, and Norma was brought on shortly thereafter as accounts manager.
Through the years, the Roberts each welcomed several new opportunities within Pioneer. Norma moved on to customer service director before taking on her current role of domestic accounts director. While Wayne remained vice president, the responsibilities of his position evolved as well. He transitioned to domestic markets for a short time and even worked as CEO of Pioneer Balloon Canada Ltd. for a year before returning to Wichita to take over the credit department. Currently he oversees promotional markets and credit, in addition to playing an important role in Pioneer's strategic alliances with local, state and federal government.
"Pioneer has been a great place to work. We really appreciate the opportunities Ted and Betty have given us over the years," Wayne said, adding that Pioneer is in a relationship-focused business where trust is valued. "We've worked hard to build that trust with customers and achieve goals that both of us want."
Wayne and Norma both agree that they'll miss the Pioneer family they've grown up with, as well as the bonds they've formed outside the company. "I've built so many great relationships and friendships with distributors, as well as retailers and decorators," Norma said.
In addition to their significant contributions at Pioneer, Wayne and Norma have also been actively involved in other community organizations, including Friends of McConnell and Friends of Felines. In addition to being a past chairman of the PPAI board of directors, a member of the PPAI Hall of Fame, and Counselor Person of the Year, Wayne is currently chairman of the board for the Wichita Independent Business Association (WIBA), on the Kansas leadership council for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), chairman of the Tanker Task Force organized by the Wichita Metro Chamber, and serves on the Kansas Workman's Compensation and Employment Security Boards Nominating Committee.
The Roberts' last day with Pioneer will be May 2, 2014. With a shared passion for hiking and all things outdoors, their next chapter will start with a move to Bozeman, Mont., this spring.
Mark Jenkins, MAS+, has been promoted to managing director, promotional markets and will report directly to Dan Flynn, COO. Jenkins also currently serves as PPAI's chairman of the board.
For more information, visit www.pioneerline.com.