Our Lead Instructor and a Co-Owner of Range 54, Ken joined the United States Marine Corp immediately after high school. After the Marines, Ken spent the next 33 years working in law enforcement, retiring in 2015. Soon after, Range 54 was opened, and a new chapter began.
While a member of the Derby Police Department, Ken served as a Patrol Officer, DARE Officer, School Resource Officer, SWAT Team Leader, Bicycle Officer, Range Master, Armorer, Investigations Supervisor, and Patrol Sergeant.
His actions in the field earned him three Medals of Valor, four Distinguished Service Medals, a Lifesaving Award, Officer of the Year, two State awards and numerous other distinctions.
Ken has a degree in Criminal Justice from Friends University, a Police Generalist Instructor Certificate from The Department of Homeland Security, completed the ILFEE Firearms Masters Development Course, and is a KLETC certified firearms instructor. He has put this skillset to work training police officers and SWAT officers and served as a guest instructor at KLETC teaching firearms and tactics.
As hard as he works at being an effective teacher, Ken works just as hard at being a student of his craft, receiving hundreds of training hours in firearms and tactics. Many of those hours were with distinguished agencies like the ATF, DEA, USAF, USMC, Department of Energy, GSG9, The Department of Homeland Security, and various Police and Sheriff Departments throughout the region.
During his off time, Ken likes to take his passion of shooting to the field where he enjoys upland bird hunting.
Upon graduating high school, Derek joined the United States Air Force, serving six years as a Command-and-Control Battle Management Operations Specialist with the Kansas Air National Guard’s 134th Air Control Squadron. In 2006, he was awarded the Airman of the Year Award for the State of Kansas. During his tenure with the Air National Guard, he advanced to the rank of Staff Sergeant and proudly served as a member of the base Honor Guard. Derek’s military service included training missions across the United States, responding to State emergencies, and a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While serving his country, he also graduated from Southwestern College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
Since leaving military life, Derek has proudly served the Derby Police Department as a Patrol Officer, School Resource Officer, Master Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Detective, and is currently assigned as a first-shift supervisor and member of the SWAT team. He has since received multiple letters of commendation, a distinguished service award, and was named the Officer of the Year in 2014. Other responsibilities include being armorer for the Department’s Sig Sauer sidearms and AR-15 rifles and serving as one of the Department’s KLETC certified Law Enforcement Firearms and Tactics Instructors on handgun, shotgun, and rifle.
Derek brings his real-world experience with weapons, tactics, and use of force into the Range 54 training environment, providing our customers with first-hand knowledge of many topics.
When he is not working, Derek spends as much time as possible with his family, maintains a physically fit lifestyle, and enjoys competing in swimming, biking, and running events across the country.
Shortly after high school Gio joined the Marine Corps and became an infantry rifleman. During his 8 years as a Marine, Gio acted as a fire team leader, squad leader and a section leader while completing 2 tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Gio was also assigned to a Marine Expeditionary Unit responsible for responding to calls for help anywhere in the world. One example was the Haiti earthquake in 2010. After leaving the Marines, Gio moved to Wichita and went to work for Wesley hospital as an armed security officer. Gio was promoted to secondary shift supervisor, those duties included supervising and training other security officers. Gio completed the NRA LEO Handgun Instructor Course and began teaching and recertifying Officers at Wesley. In 2017, Gio started working at Range 54 as a part time cashier and range safety officer. In 2022, Gio left Wesley and became a full-time firearms instructor for Range 54. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, hunting (even though his hunting skills are questionable) and shooting as much as he can.
Brooke grew up around guns and began shooting at an early age, and now brings her enthusiasm for shooting to Range 54 as one of our Women’s-Only Basic Pistol instructors. Her love for the class comes not just from producing safer, more accurate shooters, but also from the sense of empowerment and confidence it gives to the ladies who take the class.
Her qualifications include being a Kansas Carry Conceal Certified Instructor and NRA Certified Instructor, and recently Brooke began competing in The Tactical Games; a competition that combines fitness and combat skills. Based on an event held by NATO Tier 1 military units, The Tactical Games are designed to test athletes through combat-related tasks, including fitness challenges and firearms. You can learn more here: The Tactical Games.
Aside from teaching and competing, Brooke is also a nurse and a mom to four children, who in her free time (ha!) enjoys running, being outdoors and spending time with her family.
Abby is one of our Women’s Only Concealed Carry course instructors. She grew up around firearms but had never carried one for self-defense until she found herself in a vulnerable situation. Today, she’s passionate about teaching this class to help other women feel comfortable carrying firearms for self-defense. Outside of the range, she shoots competitively in The Tactical Games, designs and builds tiny houses, and trains her dog to do fun things.
Christina didn’t grow up around guns and doesn’t have a military or police background (although she is a former Sedgwick County 9-1-1 call taker/dispatcher). A few years ago, there was an incident at her home, and she decided she wanted to be better prepared to protect herself. She came to Range 54 as a student, fell in love with the shooting sports and trained with us often. The opportunity opened to have her join the staff as an RSO, and then as an NRA certified instructor.
In her spare time, Christina is a fur-mom and practices perfecting her curtsy.
Stuart is one of the Basic Pistol Course instructors. As a “people person” he enjoys sharing his knowledge with beginning students to ensure they not only enjoy their experience but also gain confidence and skill with their firearm. He grew up in a hunting and shooting home and spent his youth hunting and fishing with his firefighter father. Upon graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the submarine USS Nathan Hale (SSBN 623). Afterwards he spent 4 years providing security for the nation’s nuclear weapons on their SWAT team. In his free time Stuart enjoys playing guitar and loves trivia and historical novels.
By day, Derek is the Director of Communications at Central Christian Church here in Wichita and serves as second-in-command for the church Emergency Response Team. On evenings and weekends, he’s a Certified Range Safety Officer, Pistol Instructor, and representative for Range 54 Church Security Training and Consulting Services. He brings his love of community, dedication to a higher purpose, and his enjoyment of sharing knowledge and experiences with others to both occupations. After having so many opportunities to train and improve his own skills at Range 54, he welcomes every chance to work with customers wanting to know more about firearms and self-defense, as well as those in the community of faith who are building teams of people dedicated to protecting their congregations. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with his family.
David joined the United States Air Force after high school and was stationed at the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, Aeromedical Group, where he worked in several areas such as search and recovery operations; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) decontamination unit and was a member of the base Honor Guard. David was awarded Airman of Year and the Air Force Achievement medal with oak leaf cluster. David was augmented into the 22nd Security Forces Group and later deployed to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Force Protection unit, in Kuwait.
After active duty, David joined the 130th Air National Guard unit in WV and served 8 years, attaining the rank of Technical Sergeant and ended his military service with the 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron as Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of logistics. During this time, David graduated with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at West Virginia State University.
David previously worked for the Department of Homeland Security and is currently a probation officer for the State of Kansas where he supervises felony probation cases and conducts presentence investigations for the district court. David is a USCCA certified firearms instructor and Kansas Carry Conceal Instructor. David enjoys spending time with his family, coaching youth sports and working on his small farm.
Matt originally hails from San Antonio Texas where he enlisted in the military in 1996. During his 25 years of service as a crane operator and a firefighter he has served combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as serving in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea. He has a degree in Security Management, Fire Protection and Instruction Technologies as well as being a certified gunsmith. He is married to his wife Jil of ten years and has two grown children. His hobbies include hunting and fishing, especially in Alaska, caring for his dogs and reading. Matt has been a member of the Range 54 team for 4 years and has been one of our NRA certified instructors for the last two years.
Bio Coming Soon…