Jacob Wayman earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in leadership from Newman University in 2017. Since then, he has been using his newly honed skills in both business and community service.
Two of his most recent accomplishments are becoming an honorary military leadership role and owning a new business.
Wayman is no stranger to the business community. He founded Wayman Consulting Group, which focuses on business development consulting and event design and planning. He also co-founded Shift ICT in 2019, an organization that focused on hosting conferences for leaders and individuals interested in emerging business trends.
Those are just a couple of examples of Wayman’s business and leadership career feats, which span over the past decade and include project management, consulting and business development roles.
A military honor
The role, which typically lasts three years, is reserved for non-military citizens with the purpose of connecting the squadron members to the community.
Wayman is one of 40 honorary commanders at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. He was contacted by Lt. Col. Josh Moores, the commander of the 344th Air Refueling Squadron and a member of Wayman’s fitness club.
Moores liked the way Wayman and his wife ran their business and thought he’d be a great fit for the honorary role.
“Being asked to do this is a small way for me to serve the military community,” said Wayman. “You get to see what they do and it just blows your mind and gives you a new appreciation for military service.”
The 344th squadron has the charge of on-boarding the new KC-46 refueling tanker aircraft; McConnell was the first base to get the new plane.
Wayman said talking with the current squadron and new airmen coming in was a great way to get to know them and to also find out what form of community connection they would like to experience.
As a result, Wayman has helped arrange for local business owners and leaders to come and talk with the squadron throughout the past year. They were also invited to attend the 2021 Global Leadership Summit held at Intrust Bank Arena.
“The role sort of takes on a life of its own,” he said. “And I was able to travel to California with military members to experience how another base operates and connects with its community. I discovered that Wichita is very connected to McConnell and we are proud to have the base here. It’s a special connection and our community is lucky to have that.”
Wayman said his favorite part of being an honorary commander is being a cheerleader for the base and playing an active role in servant leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts — as well as keeping the airmen active within the community, too.
A new business
Being a business owner is ultimately what led Wayman into the role of honorary commander.
He and his wife bought into the Orangetheory Fitness franchise in early 2020 and now own both Wichita locations.
The gym is a group fitness setting focused on heart rate. There are 1,500 locations worldwide.
Wayman had met his wife through the fitness center years before — she was a trainer and he was a member.
The connection was strong and he proposed to her right where they had met. They were married in August 2019 and several months later started talking about purchasing the business from its current owner.
Wayman grew up in a family of entrepreneurs so the idea wasn’t far-fetched for him. They decided to call the owner to see if he was willing to sell.
“It was a cold call,” he explained. “And it just so happened, he was up for the idea.”
Three months after making the purchase, a worldwide pandemic forced them to close their doors for just over two months.
“That was tough. Buying a gym and then having to shut down for a couple of months. I’m just thankful it wasn’t for much longer. We operated at a reduced capacity for a little more than a year. And now we are pretty much back to normal.”
He said he’s learned a lot from getting married, starting a new business with his wife months after and welcoming a new baby all within about an 18 months span of time.
His wife is still a trainer while he focuses on the sales and marketing side of the business. Going into business with his spouse has been an interesting move as well. The two have learned to separate business conversations from relationship conversations.
“We may not always agree, but we balance each other out really well. It’s been a fun learning experience and something we get to do together.”
His favorite part of owning the business, he said, is getting to know the clients on a more personal level and seeing how they are refreshed both mentally and physically after a workout.
“They come in, they leave their issues at the door and they get to work on themselves. It’s an hour refuge.”
A one-of-a-kind experience
Wayman said his time at Newman University prepared him well for business ownership among other things.
As a transfer student in the MBA program, his most significant memory of Newman was the real-world studies they worked on in the classroom.
“Most of the time within college courses, you just get a ton of book work,” explained Wayman. “But I really appreciated the case studies we did. I appreciated that the business program at Newman valued organizational development. This was real-life stuff we were diving into.”
Other memories he took away from his experience include the personalized attention and dedication to each student.
Wayman said the dean met with him personally and together they were able to design a degree that fit him the best. The combination of curriculum and community interaction set Wayman up for the path he is on now — as both a business owner and honorary commander.
“They saw potential in me. They took a chance on me, working on getting credits transferred when other colleges weren’t willing to do that. They wanted me to be successful.”
Wayman is taking everything he learned at Newman and applying that to his daily life. He is a big believer in community service and giving back, which aligns with his Newman experience.
He said he wouldn’t be where he is today without his community and that drives his desire to give back.
“I have been a rotarian with the Rotary Club of Wichita for about 10 years now. I love giving back locally and nationally. People should always think ‘community first.’ I wouldn’t be where I’m at without my community so anything I can do — donating classes or sponsoring nonprofits — it’s about finding every possible opportunity to give back.”
In 2019, Wayman received the Spirit of Acuto Distinguished Alumni Award. He was recognized for his community work through Wayman Consulting Group and Shift ICT Conferences.