Advisory Council

Kelly Estes – Pratt

Kelly Estes has been the CEO of Bucklin Tractor, Inc. (BTI) since 1987. He is in his 46th year of employment with BTI, which is in its 4th generation as a family-owned business. He has grown the business from a single John Deere dealership in Bucklin to a total of six locations, adding dealerships in Greensburg, Ness City, Pratt, Hoxie, and Great Bend. BTI employs over 200 Kansans and has been named to the John Deere Leader’s Club 28 times of the 35 years that it has been in existence for being among the top 10% of John Deere Dealers in the nation. Kelly serves on the Girard National Bank Advisory Board and previously served on the Federated Insurance board through the Western Association. He graduated from Colby Community College.

Brian Everist – Mission Hills

Brian D. Everist is president and CEO of Intercontinental Engineering-Manufacturing Corp. Intercon is a 55 year-old manufacturing firm headquartered in Kansas City, MO with additional facilities in Louisiana; the company traces it roots to several family-owned businesses dating back to 1876. Intercon specializes in the design, fabrication, machining, and assembly of heavy machinery while serving the defense, heavy industry, and marine transportation markets. Mr. Everist has previously served as a board member with Commerce Bank of Kansas City and TSM Services, Inc. He is also active in the community as a past member of both the Business Council Steering Committee at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Young Presidents’ Organization. He is a 1973 graduate of Harvard University and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1977.

Al Higdon – Wichita

Al Higdon served as director of public and media relations at two Fortune 500 companies between 1961 – 1971. He then co-founded the Sullivan Higdon & Sink advertising and public relations firm (now Signal Theory), which presently employs 170 people in offices in Kansas City and Wichita. Retiring as SHS Chairman/CEO in 1996 he taught graduate level courses in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State for eight years. Civically he served as interim CEO of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, vice chair of the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce, board member of Wichita Community Foundation, Salvation Army advisory board, president, Wichita River Festival, board chair of Exploration Place, trustee of Wichita Art Museum, president of Music Theatre of Wichita board, chairman of WSU Foundation National Advisory Council, WSU board of trustees, and chair of University of Kansas Endowment Association Chancellor’s Club. He is a business graduate of KU and a journalism graduate of WSU.

Ron Nolan – Louisburg

Mr. Nolan founded Nolan Real Estate Services, Inc. in 1972 as a firm specializing in the multi-family and hospitality industries. NRES provides a full-range of services including acquisitions and due diligence analysis, asset and property management, and disposition and consultation. It currently serves as the management affiliate of KCVG and maintains a regional office in Phoenix, Arizona and has over 300 employees while managing over 9,500 units nationwide. Mr. Nolan is a 1964 graduation of the Miami University of Ohio.

Colby Sandlian – Wichita

Colby B. Sandlian has been in the commercial investment real estate business for a career spanning over 57 years. His real estate career includes activities as a broker and investor/developer involved in all aspects of the real estate brokerage industry. He received the professional designation Certified Commercial Investment Member in 1969. Mr. Sandlian has been a member of the Society of Exchange Counselors since the early 1970’s, and served as its President in 1981. The U-Stor mini-storage division of Sandlian Realty and Investments currently comprises 73 projects in twelve states, totaling in excess of four million square feet of self-storage facilities. In 2005 he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas CCIM Chapter and the Wichita State University Center for Real Estate.