The Heroines

Elaine O. Mann

is honored with a Large Paver from Airtechnics and Ron and Barbara Mann.

Elaine Mann graduated from the Claflin High School in 1941. I attended Bushton High School the first three years and finished my senior year at Claflin. During that time, I was elected President of the Girls Reserve at Bushton, and when my family moved to Claflin we formed a new chapter of Girls Reserve and I served as President. When I graduated, I was valedictorian of my class and also a member of the National Honor Society. I called the Claflin High School for a transcript of my grades and a copy was sent to me with the original going to the WSU Office of Admissions. When I called to request this and told them I graduated in 1941, there was silence, then "congratulations!"

I attended the Salt City Business College in Hutchinson, Kansas, from June, 1941 until February, 1942. At that time, I took a Civil Service Test and went to Washington, D.C. where I worked as a secretary for the Army and Navy Munitions Board until the close of World War II when I returned to Wichita.

For eight years, I worked at the Fourth National Bank (now NationsBank) as an executive secretary and later was promoted to Assistant Credit Manager. I took a number of courses offered by the American Institute of Banking, including Analyzing Financial Statements, Economics, Credit Administration, Business Administration, English, Negotiable Instruments, Speech, and Effective Bank Letters, which prepared me for my work later at Airtechnics. During this period at the Bank, I served as Secretary and then Vice President of the American Institute of Banking, and also as Secretary, Vice President, and President of the Women's Credit Association of Wichita.

After Claude Mann and I were married, he started a company, Airtechnics, Inc., a Wichita aircraft components supplier. During the next several years I was busy rearing a family, helping with Cub Scouts, serving on PTA boards at Hyde and Robinson schools, and serving as an officer of the Booster Club at East High. I helped at Airtechnics during vacations, etc. until it became a full-time job. There I handled accounts receivable and payable, paid the bills, managed the cash flow, did reports, payroll, secretarial work, made the coffee, etc. until my husband and I retired, at which time our son, Ron, took over the business.

My husband died in 1996 and my life was at a stand-still. Now, my grandchildren are the most important part of my life. I had always dreamed of getting a college degree but when I thought of pursuing it, there were other demands on my life that were more important. Now that I have the time I want to focus on college and getting a degree, and, hopefully, making my grandchildren proud.

June 1, 1998