WICHITA, Kan., Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Tom Bertels, managing partner at Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS), was inducted into the 2012 class of the Honorary Commander Program with the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), which houses the largest tanker fleet in the world.
The two-year program pairs community leaders with military commanders to educate the public about and to promote the programs, traditions and mission of the Air Force. Bertels was matched with Colonel Thomas J. Riney, commander of the 22nd Operations Group, McConnell AFB.
Individuals are selected to be honorary commanders because of their influence and leadership in the community and their willingness to build public awareness and support for the Air Force.
"As a pilot for nearly 40 years, I have great admiration for our military," said Bertels. "It is a privilege for me to get to experience and understand how McConnell contributes to their overall global mission."
Bertels is an experienced pilot who previously worked as an air traffic controller for the Navy and the Federal Aviation Administration. Currently, he stays immersed within the aviation industry by overseeing several aerospace and defense clients including, Cessna, Spirit AeroSystems, Pratt & Whitney, Lycoming, Rocketdyne, TECT and Sojourn at SHS offices in Wichita and Washington, D.C.
"It's vital for us to develop a deep understanding of how our clients' products and services are used. We call it 'walking in our clients' customers' shoes.' I can't think of a better example of walking in those shoes than accompanying a flight crew on a refueling mission," said Bertels.
During the honorary commander tour, Bertels will attend official unit, wing and social military events, including educational tours and orientation flights.
At the end of the term, Bertels will graduate to an honorary commander alumni status and will continue to be an influential Air Force member and attend base events.
About Sullivan Higdon & Sink
SHS creates integrated brand experiences for a diverse roster of business-to-consumer, business-to-business and business-to-government clients who refuse to follow the flock. With offices in Kansas City, Wichita and Washington, D.C., the agency's client roster includes American Century Investments, CareFusion, Cargill, INTRUST Bank, Kansas Health Foundation, Lycoming – A Textron Company, Merial Animal Health, Pratt & Whitney, Spirit AeroSystems and Westar Energy. Visit SHS' website or follow on Facebook and Twitter at #SHS.
SOURCE Sullivan Higdon & Sink