Admiral Windwagon Smith XLVII
Riverfest 2020 AND 2021!
Meet Your Admiral
Admiral Bastian is the first Windwagon Smith in the history of Riverfest to serve two terms. He was originally selected for the honor in 2020 and piped aboard just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic forced Riverfest to be presented as a virtual event, instead of an in-person one. Bastian has graciously agreed to serve again in 2021 so his adoring public will have a chance to meet and celebrate with him at last!
A Wichita native, Clay Bastian was born in 1957 at Wesley Hospital, the youngest of three siblings.
As he studied to graduate with the Wichita Collegiate School Class of 1975, he side-stepped traditional sports whenever possible in spite of his impressive height, instead becoming immersed in dirt bike riding and motocross racing. This passion has taken him throughout the U.S. and to four other continents, coloring his viewpoint for life: “Seeing other lands on two wheels and meeting the people who live there has broadened my perspective of the world and our place in it,” Bastian said. “It makes me cherish our city, and it gives great value to all we have here.”
As he pursued a degree in business administration at the University of Kansas, Bastian also expanded his knowledge of jazz music that was fostered by his parents. He took all the jazz history classes available and began learning to play the saxophone. After graduation in 1979 he returned to Wichita to join his family’s business, now called Fidelity Bank, and was the company’s first marketing manager. During that time, he joined the Wichita Jazz Festival board and served as its
president in 1983 and 1984. During that time he met Kate Simpson and they married in 1987. The couple has two children, Peter and Meredith.
Admiral Bastian pursued his onstage dreams as sax player for a rock band called The Fabulous ShiRtheads, Dance, Show, and Revue. The band played road houses, dive bars and even the Wichita River Festival, as it was then known, in 1989 and 1991. In the early 2000’s he put down his horn, but continues to be a passionate music collector.
Bastian’s involvement with Riverfest covers a lot of ground. As a sponsor, he was instrumental in the organization of the Riverbank Jazz concerts presented by Fidelity Bank from 1991 to 1995. He joined the Wichita Festivals, Inc. Board of Directors in 2008, and served as board chair in 2011. Bastian became a member of the Operations Committee, fondly known as the Red Shirts, in 2012 and continues to serve on many Riverfest committees, including Riverfest Classic Car Show, Signage, Sundown Parade, Marketplace, and STEAM City. “This has been the most meaningful and rewarding community work I have done with a great family of dedicated volunteers,” Bastian said.
Deeply invested in the growth of Wichita and the well-being of its citizens, Bastian is dedicated to a number of civic and social service organizations. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Wichita since 1985 and served as the club’s president in 2015. The Salvation Army of Wichita “with their mission of evangelism and helping others,” captured his heart and he joined their board of directors in the mid 1990s. He served as their advisory board chair in 2007, and was presented with their William Boothe Award for service in 2013. “Every day they are helping those who are in crisis,” he said. He formerly served on the board of directors of The Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, now known as Downtown Wichita, and as its chair in 2003 and 2004.
At the end of 2018, Bastian retired from Fidelity where he worked in marketing, real estate, tax management, capital markets financing, and regulatory liaisons for 38 years.
“When I was young, my family was close to John Bell and his family,” Bastian said. “He was always someone I looked up to. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be selected to follow in his footsteps, or in the footsteps of any of the other 45 Admirals who succeeded him. Considering all the men and women who have received this honor, I feel profoundly humbled to carry on this tradition.”
Admiral XVLII at a Glance
* Born and raised in Wichita. Graduated from Wichita Collegiate School in 1975.
* Earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Kansas.
* The Admiral and his wife, Kate, celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary this year. They have a son, Peter, and a daughter, Meredith.
* An avid music collector, he is a fan of jazz and many other genres of music.
* He has traveled by motorcycle in four continents.
* Since his first involvement in 1985, he has served Wichita Festivals as a sponsor, member and chair of the WFI Board of Directors, and Operations Team member.
* He is dedicated to community service, including involvement with Wichita Rotary, the Salvation Army of Wichita, and Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, among others.
* Admiral Bastian describes himself as a “motorhead and enthusiast of all powered vehicles. I also have a number of motorbikes that I usually say is between three and seven, but two over my limit,” he said.
Admiral Windwagon Smith XLVI
Meet Your Admiral
A lifelong resident of Wichita, Ken Atnip shares memories with many who grew up in the southeast area of the city: visits to Kiddieland, hanging out at the Boeing pool, playing little league baseball, skating at Joyland Skate Center and camping with his Boy Scout troop.
The oldest of three siblings, he attended Wichita schools, including Wichita East High School, where he spent many hours in shop classes learning technical crafts, and graduated in 1975. While attending college he worked second shift, earning a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Wichita State University.
At 21, he began his career in law enforcement, joining the Wichita Police Department. He served mostly in investigations, including 15 years fighting narcotics and working on SCAT, the department’s Special Community Action Team to deter drug- and gang-related crime. Captain Atnip commanded the Property Crimes Bureau prior to retiring after 33 years of dedicated service.
Grateful for many friends and opportunities, “too many to mention,” he and his family have enjoyed in their community, the Admiral has been dedicated to public service since early in his career. He is driven by these words from Luke 12:58, “to whom much is given, from him much is expected,” and is focused on giving to others to pay it forward for the blessings he has received.
The admiral began volunteering on the Riverfest Operations Team, nicknamed the Red Shirts, in the early 2000’s. Initially involved in Riverfest via his WPD role, he “quickly realized the importance of the event and how the work of festival staff and volunteers improves the overall quality of life for those who work and raise their families here.”
He has contributed his skills and dedication to every facet of the festival, doing set-up and tear down, working with national brands and touring exhibits, keeping the festival warehouse in tip-top shape, providing experienced guidance around event security and more. General Chair for Riverfest 2013, Atnip has been fundamental to the success of other Wichita Festivals events, including Autumn & Art, Vortex Music Festival and Bracket Bash, receiving the Galaxy Award, WFI’s most prestigious volunteer award.
Atnip has been a member of the Wichita Wagonmasters since 2009. He serves on the board of the Wichita Metro Crime Commission and is a recipient of their Twelve Apostles of Justice Award. He is a past president and current board member of Crime Stoppers Wichita/Sedgwick County.
The Admiral and his wife, Mylene, recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. They have one son, Chase, who graduated from the University of Kansas and now lives in the Kansas City area.
At a Glance
* Born and raised in Wichita. Achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
* Graduated from Wichita East High School in 1975. Earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Wichita State University.
* Married to his high school sweetheart, Mylene, for 30 years; one son, Chase.
* Retired as a Captain from Wichita Police Department after 33 years of service.
* A Wichita Wagonmaster since 2009. Currently serving as “Cookie” for the organization.
* General Chair for Riverfest 2013, Operations Committee member for more than 15 years and recipient of the prestigious Galaxy Award.
* Serves on the board of Wichita Metro Crime Commission and recipient of their Twelve Apostles of Justice Award. Past president and current board member of Crime Stoppers Wichita/Sedgwick County.
Admiral Windwagon Smith XLV
Meet Your Admiral
After 29 years in retail and 29 years in public service Tim Norton has embarked on the next phase of his public life as Admiral Windwagon Smith XLV, the official ambassador of Riverfest 2018.
“The River Festival has been part of the Family Norton's life since we landed here in 1980,” said Norton. “Almost instantly we started attending the parade and fireworks, and for several years built floats in our garage for the parade.”
As Target Store manager, Norton took on the Senior Celebration, supplying prizes for bingo and a chicken dinner for seniors, and later sponsored the Arts in the Park event. “But my best memory was years of leading the Target Shopping Cart Brigade in the Sundown parade with my golden plunger. Our employees loved it and the crowd went crazy. I am glad the crowd didn't realize how un-organized the weaves and intricate routines really were!”
Norton served on the festival’s merchandise committee and was instrumental in bringing retail expertise and new marketing ideas to the table when white T-shirts were the only offering. As a Sedgwick County Commissioner, he ensured that the county had a presence in the parade and participated every year greeting parade watchers and handing out his County coins.
Norton's other commitments to the community include years of service to the United Way of the Plains, the Salvation Army, Communities in Schools, Goodwill, Exploration Place, and the Wichita Chamber along with many other non-profit boards. He presently serves as the board chair of the WATC foundation and has recently accepted board positions for the Pando Initiative, the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County, and Grace Med. He has been recognized for his volunteer work and humanitarian work over the years.
“To say I am honored by this selection is an understatement,” Norton said. “I have been extremely blessed with a supportive wife, wonderful kids and their spouses, and eight precious grandkids – not to mention work that I loved, a community that embraced me and now this, the 'cherry on top.' I hope everyone joins me in celebrating what makes our community so special: a sense of place, great people AND a nine-day-long party!!”
Admiral XLV “At a Glance”
* Raised in Northeast Arkansas. Moved to Wichita in 1980 with Target Stores.
* Graduated high school in 1965. Received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Arkansas State University.
* Received a Masters in Adult Education from Newman University in 1996.
* Tim and wife Susan have five adult children (Laura, Tim, Scott, Anne, Sam) and eight grandchildren.
* Store team leader and master trainer for Target Stores for 22 years. He left Target when the 1999 tornado hit Haysville while he was presiding as mayor.
* Served for nine years on the Haysville City Council, four years as Haysville Mayor, and 16 years as District 2 Sedgwick County Commissioner.
* While a County Commissioner he was deeply involved in the completion of the Intrust Bank Arena, the National Center for Aviation Training and
* A Wichita Wagonmaster since 1996.
* Chili Potentate for the Wagonmasters Chili Cook-off in 2010.
Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIV
Meet Your Admiral
Riverfest 2017’s ambassador is a skilled communicator and a passionate advocate for education, the arts, the community and, of course, Riverfest. Wendy Johnson, division director of marketing and communications for the Wichita Public Schools, grew up in Wichita and graduated from Wichita High School East. Her Shocker pride runs deep, having earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Public Administration from Wichita State University.
“When I was a kid rolling down the hillside in A. Price Woodard Park during Riverfest, I never thought I would experience this amazing community event as Admiral Windwagon Smith,” said Johnson. “I am honored to represent more than 7,000 dedicated volunteers, and I hope to help Wichita families build their own life-long memories of Riverfest.”
Johnson received Wichita Festivals’ Galaxy Award in 2013 recognizing more than 20 years of outstanding volunteer service. She served on the WFI Board of Directors for six years and was its chair in 2006. She has been a proud member of the WFI operations committee (the “red shirts”) since 2003, including serving as Riverfest general chair in 2011. Johnson is also an active supporter of WFI’s Autumn and Art at Bradley Fair.
“Riverfest has long been an important part of my life,” said Johnson. “My dad volunteered with the Coleman Company during canoe races. My mom graciously gave up her Mothers’ Day celebrations to watch the East High Band perform in Sunday afternoon concerts, and there was nothing like leading the Blue Aces marching band in the Sundown Parade.”
Johnson’s commitment to the community includes service to organizations such as Tallgrass Film Association, Girls on the Run, Boy Scouts of America Quivira Council and the American Red Cross. She has received numerous honors for her volunteer and professional achievements including the Alumni Award for Outstanding Public Service from the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs at WSU, the Distinguished Service Award from the Kansas School Public Relations Association and the Excellence in Public Service Award from the DeVore Foundation.
Admiral XLIV “At a Glance”
* Attended Wichita Public Schools and graduated from Wichita High School East
* Graduated from Wichita State University with bachelor and master degrees.
* Division director of marketing and communications for Wichita Public Schools since 2001.
* Wendy and her husband, Terry Wiggers, have three sons – Tyler Johnson, Thomas Johnson and Brandon Wiggers.
* A die-hard WSU Shocker fan, she has adopted the Kansas State Wildcats during football season thanks to her husband.
* Grew up playing clarinet, and is an advocate for the arts and a lover of all types of music.
* Avid collector of Mickey Mouse memorabilia.
* Completer of four half-marathons, and cheerleader to all those who “don’t consider themselves runners” but have the courage to try.
Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIII
Meet Your Admiral
This year’s admiral is president and a co-owner of Pickrell Drilling Company, Inc., an oil and gas exploration, production, and drilling company where he has worked since 1981. A member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association, Admiral XLIII has also served at the appointment of governors and the legislature on energy committees, including the Kansas Energy Council and Kansas Commission on Natural Gas Policy.
Actively involved with Riverfest for 22 years, Steve served on the board of directors and presided as chair of Wichita Festivals in 2004-2005. Dillard joined the Operations Committee in 2006 and has contributed his talents in a number of areas, including button sales, food service, River Run, and in recent years, the Safelite AutoGlass Sundown Parade. A member of the Wichita Wagonmasters since 1994, he has served as Captain, as well as in many other roles for the organization.
A longtime member of the Wichita Petroleum Club, Steve was its president for the 1986-87 fiscal year. He is a 35-year member (and noontime regular) at the Downtown YMCA, where he was a board member for several years. The Admiral is a graduate of the University of Kansas, and an active member of the KU Alumni Association, serving as board chair for the Wichita Chapter.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as this year’s Admiral,” Dillard said. “It’s a tremendous privilege to be chosen. I look forward to the opportunity to represent the festival and our community, and to the challenge of living up to the example set by so many excellent Admirals that have preceded me.”
Admiral XLIII “At a Glance”
* Born July 8, 1952 in Baltimore, Steve moved to Wichita when he was four-years old via Lyons, Kan.
* He attended Wichita public schools and graduated from Wichita West in 1970.
* He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1974.
* Steve and his wife, Gena, have been married for 38 years.
* President and a co-owner of Pickrell Drilling Company, Inc.
* The couple has two children: daughter, Britt, of Wichita, and son, Brad, of Avon, Colo.
* The admiral has been a Wichita Wagonmaster since 1994.
* A die-hard KU sports fan, he is a longtime football and basketball season ticketholder and a perennial tailgate host at KU football games.
* Steve served as the Chili Dipper (aka chair) of the Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff for three years.