Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIII
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.