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CEO Trade Show Tuesday, May 2nd

CEO Guest Speakers


Bring The Family Out To Eat With CEO & YBNext

Bring the family out to Joe's Pizza & Pasta and support both CEO and YBNext. We hope to see you there!


Connie Houlihan Shares Her Perspective with CEO

Connie Houlihan

The CEO class heard from Connie Houlihan on Friday, April 21st. Connie is an area native, who started her first business at age thirteen by giving piano lessons. Her love for music continued through her life and led her to a teaching job in St. Louis. She now owns a fencing business with her husband.

Connie shared with the class some life lessons. She told the class, "Work more on yourself than your business." She also shared insight on how to have perspective on life. She said that everyone should view life like a fly on a wall. A fly on the wall doesn't see the drama in life, so we shouldn't worry about it either.

Much More than Baseball Cards

Baseball Card Connection

John and Lisa Schafer, owners of Baseball Card Connection, welcomed the CEO class to their store and home, all in one, last Thursday. Ever since John was a little boy, he collected baseball cards and started his first unofficial business at the age of 14. Today, that business he started at such a young age is made up of much more than baseball cards.  When you enter the Schafer’s store, you can find all sports memorabilia in addition to over 4 million baseball cards. Not only did John and Lisa enlighten the class about the sports memorabilia industry, but they also offered a multitude of life lessons. These lessons include: swing at good pitches, start your business at the bottom then work your way up, and when you kick the tiger, be prepared to face the consequences when it turns around. Thank you for allowing CEO to learn more about Baseball Card Connection and giving the class such awesome life lessons!


Growing America

Jim Jones

Jim Jones presented to the CEO Class on sustainable farming. Some of the students do not have a large agricultural background, but the presentation was still very interesting. These sustainable farms are indoor fields that are used to grow crops from styrofoam and take advantage of red and blue LED lights to substitute for the sun’s rays. Many of these "fields" have higher yields than an outdoor field, because insects are unable to affect the crops. Large cities, such as New York and Indianapolis, are beginning to implement these indoor farms around the city. The indoor growing stations are ideal, since most urban areas are unable to grow crops because of the lack of farm ground. Mr. Jones ended the class with a tip telling the students to be accepting of change, because it will always happen.


Student Journal Highlights for this week

"Mr. Schaffer encouraged us not to lose our advantage. CEO has given us a head start, but if we don’t continue to push ourselves we will lose our edge. We shouldn’t stop but continue to push ourselves as we transition into college and our careers."

Alex Denoyer

Alex Denoyer
Wednesday, April 26, 2017Learn More About Alex

"The trade show is in a little over a week. It is crunch time and I need to make sure everything is ready for the show. This will be very stressful and fun(can’t believe I put those two words in a sentence together). Second realization; now that this journal is finished, I only have two journals left. This is crazy. This year has flown by faster than any year prior. On one hand CEO has seemed to go by so fast. On the other, looking back on the beginning of the year, there has never been a year where I have changed so much. Truly a transformative journey!"

"Connie Houlihan was such an uplifting person and was full of energy and passion. You could easily see her excitement and enthusiasm for CEO and I think that she was a really big refresher and motivator. I think the timing of her presentation was great being in such a busy and hectic time of the year. She has an incredible background and so much knowledge about what it takes to be successful."
Jacob Crow

Jacob Crow
Wednesday, April 26, 2017Learn More About Jacob

"I was amazed by Conni Houlihan's energy and passion for what she does. She talked a lot about self confidence keeping things in perspective. One of my favorite quotes from that day was “You are so powerful.” It was a very simple quote but it had a strong message. People often don't realize how much of an impact they can have on people and the world when they start believing that they are powerful."
Maria Vonderheide

Maria Vonderheide
Wednesday, April 26, 2017Learn More About Maria


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The manner in which the CEO program is funded is critical to its success and sustainability. All funds raised are used exclusively for the Effingham County CEO Program. To participate, a 3-year $1000 per year commitment is required. Business Partner Investors commitments of time and energy are also critical to the program's success. Contributions may be tax deductible, as our organization is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

Click here to download the Effingham CEO Pledge Card

When we are not touring local businesses, we need a place to host the class. During that time, the 0 CEO students and their Facilitator would meet at your site where they would also have guest speakers and guests from the community attend. Hosting requires a facility with internet access and adequately accommodates up to 5 people.

We are looking for people to share real-life stories about the concepts of running a business, from strategic thinking, product development to marketing, and cash flow management. Also, sharing your personal successes and failures are what recent classes have enjoyed the most.


If you are interested in participating in any of the above programs, use our contact form to send us a message


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