You don’t say

“They can have airplanes falling off of trains, and they don’t even blink.”

– Aviation forecaster Rolland Vincent, referencing the recent train derailment in which three fuselages built at Spirit AeroSystems tumbled into a Montana river, on how nothing slows down the company

You don’t say

“I notice Jeff Turner has a suntan.”

Spirit AeroSystems CEO Larry Lawson, speaking at the Wichita Aero Club where his predecessor was in the audience, on how he’s gained 10 pounds and lost his tan since joining the company 10 months ago

You don’t say

“I’ve been called a lot of things, but angel is not one that comes readily to mind.”

Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner, who was called an angel on Monday for helping restart restoration of a historic B-29 named Doc

Spirit AeroSystems shares award for crisis communications with American Airlines

UPDATED — Which is a bigger crisis for an aircraft company or an airline to deal with: An EF-3 tornado, or Alec Baldwin getting kicked off a flight for playing Words With Friends when he’d been told to shut down all electronics?

Turns out they’re both big deals for crisis communicators, so Ragan’s PR Daily recently awarded Spirit AeroSystems and American Airlines an award for best crisis communications.

“I was totally blown away,” says Spirit spokesman Ken Evans. “I thought we had a 10 percent shot.”

He figured no matter how dramatic the April 14 tornado was, it’s hard to top a celebrity crisis.

PR Daily says Spirit won because it lost all its traditional communication tools – e-mail, its website, even desk phones – but still managed to keep the public, the media and employees informed.

“We were kind of forced to think outside the box for us,” Evans says. “We’re a fairly conservative communications group. … I know that’s shocking to you.”

Twitter became one of the company’s chief communication tools. It also used YouTube and Flickr.

Evans says Spirit’s communications team made a case to management that it needed to reach out immediately, particularly to the media, “so that all of our local stakeholders wouldn’t panic.”

“One of the best results of the week was that our stock did not take a major hit even after that EF-3 tornado.”

He says the company learned lessons from the crisis as well.

“The one audience we didn’t spend (time) keeping up to date was an internal audience at other Spirit sites around the world. They were hungrier for information on a daily basis than we thought they would. They felt left out.”

Evans says the company is using some social media more these days than it used to.

Read More »

You don’t say

“When you handed that to me, I just froze with fear.”

Jeff Turner’s comment to Gov. Sam Brownback when accepting Butler Community College’s Corporate Diversity Award for Spirit AeroSystems Friday. The award was handmade Karg Art Glass, and Turner explained he once accidentally knocked over and shattered a large piece of glass at Karg’s Kechi gallery.

Adalee’s Paper Boutique to open at NewMarket Square in October

WICHITA — Brooke Carpenter has decided to return to the workforce, and that means Wichitans soon will have a new source for stationery and cards.

“It became clear to me that there was a gap in the market, that there wasn’t a place here to get fine stationery and paper products,” Carpenter says.

So she’s opening Adalee’s Paper Boutique in 1,400 square feet at NewMarket Square.

“We do so much online these days,” Carpenter says. “To get that special piece of paper, to get that special invitation in the mail, is becoming increasingly special.”

She and her husband, David, moved to Wichita from Washington, D.C., a couple of years ago when he took a job with Spirit AeroSystems.

Carpenter had been an event planner in Washington and enjoyed what she calls the “wedding process.” She also helped friends and clients with stationery on the side.

Since she’s been in Wichita, Carpenter has been staying home with her 3-year-old, Chloe, who has a rare genetic disorder.

“I decided it was time to get back to work,” Carpenter says. She still wants to be available for her daughter, which “was part of the reason that starting my business made more sense.”

Carpenter is naming the store for her husband’s late grandmother, whose wedding ring she wears.

“She was a really neat old lady,” Carpenter says. “Just a classic lady but really modern and trendy.”

That’s how she envisions her store, too.

Read More »

Frozen in Time, A Scrapbook Boutique to close

WICHITA — Two years after opening Frozen in Time, A Scrapbook Boutique, owner Joni Berblinger Stolz is closing the shop at 2404 N. Maize Road.

She says she’s found that running a store in addition to already having a full-time job – she’s an engineer at Spirit AeroSystems – is too much.

“Sales were good, we had great customers. … It’s a great location,” Berblinger Stolz says. “I just couldn’t put into it what I needed.”

Berblinger Stolz also has a 12-year-old son. For the first year of her store, she says she missed too many of his sporting events. Then, she had others fill in for her at the shop. As the owner, though, Berblinger Stolz says she found customers expected to see her at the business.

May 27 is Frozen In Time’s last day in business.

Berblinger Stolz had a couple of people interested in buying the store, but it didn’t work out.

“I’d still consider it,” she says. “It’s a great shop. It’s a good deal for someone if they’re looking to get into that.”

You don’t say

“Does that mean that by next year someone might be able to pick up a 737 on ‘Storage Wars’? : )”

– Nine-year-old Reylynn Caster’s response on Twitter after seeing the news that Spirit AeroSystems needs temporary warehouse storage

Spirit AeroSystems leases two buildings for temporary storage

UPDATED — Spirit AeroSystems has leased two warehouse spaces at the B1 Industrial Park on Rock Road to temporarily store materials.

The materials, including raw materials and overflow items used for manufacturing, have been in a building on Spirit property. That building was damaged in the recent tornado.

“Obviously, it’s been nice to have warehousing on site,” says spokesman Ken Evans.

Spirit has leased about 48,000 square feet at 2510 S. Eastmoor and 120,000 square feet at 2652 S. Eastmoor.

Bradley Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deals.

Evans says the leases will be “probably for at least six months, and then we’ll look at it after that.”

He says the company looked at several options for storing the material.

“This is the best that we thought we could do.”

Boeing leaves Wichita Mid-Continent Airport ahead of full departure

WICHITA — After at least a decade greeting passengers at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, the large Boeing display showcasing the company’s various plane models through the years has been removed.

Valerie Wise, the airport’s air service and business development manager, says Boeing removed the display. This is about two years before Boeing – whose 85-year history here helped the city become the Air Capital of the World – will be completely gone from Wichita.

Wise says Clear Channel has temporarily installed an Air Capital of the World display until Spirit AeroSystems, which is now going to lease the space, can ready its own display.