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Stevens Industries History and Growth Are Impressive

Stevens Industries- Todd Wegman, President

Garage based businesses are of particular interest to entrepreneurs. In 1956, Chuck Stevens began making wood products in his father-in-law's two car garage. No one could have ever imagined that Stevens would grow into the fastest growing full-line manufacturer of quality laminated products in the United States.Todd Wegman, President of Stevens Industries provided a tour of the expansive manufacturing and shipping facility.

Stevens Industries manufactures over 1,000 cabinets daily, but also prides itself on service providing engineering, design and installation.  Their casework is found in many places including commercial offices, healthcare clinics, restaurants, hospitality centers, education (K-12) retail and storefront settings. Additionally, Stevens provides custom solutions for technology storage, libraries, science labs, locker and instrument storage.   


Thelma Keller Convention Center at the Holiday Inn

Keller Convention Center- Patty Greene
The Thelma Keller Convention Center- at the Holiday Inn is a full service facility offering over 20,000 sq. ft. of space for meetings, conferences, conventions, tradeshows and weddings. The convention center hosts over 80 weddings and many additional events each year. Attendance at these events increases tourism to the Effingham area which is a benefit to the convention center and businesses in the Effingham Community.  Patty Greene, director credits her entire team for the success.   

The Alliance: Effingham Regional Growth Alliance

Craig A. Nielson, President & CEO

Effingham CEO had the privledge of having Craig Nielson, President & CEO of the Effingham Regional Growth Alliance speak to CEO about current conditions and opportunities for growth in the Effingham area. The misison of the Alliance is to: 

  1. Preserve and expand our workforce through identifying future needs and provide training, education and support to meet those needs.
  2. Assist in the retention/expansion of existing industry, including the improvement of conditions and policies to increase productivity.
  3. Promote and encourage development projects and services to improve the quality of life within the region and particularly in the County of Effingham, Illinois.
  4. Seek and find new industry to locate in Effingham County to increase the economic base. 

Mr. Nielson shared facts, statstics and demographics about the Effingham area that has left the CEO group wanting to know more.  Effingham CEO looks forward to having Mr. Nielson return to class to further the discussion on economic development. For more information on the Effingham Regional Growth Alliance visit: http://www.groweffinghamcountyil.com


Student Journal Highlights for this week

"Mr. Wegman’s story was one of the best I’ve heard and I thought hearing about the way he grew and his life lessons were so beneficial.  I can’t believe that one of the top cabinet making companies in the nation comes out of Effingham County. That is one of the things I love most about CEO - being able to see the amazing things that have come out of our county that I never would’ve learned about otherwise."

Megan Hodge

Megan Hodge
Friday, October 20, 2017Learn More About Megan

"Mr. Wegman talked to our class about his journey, and he gave us his advice for business and life. He talked about how it is important to understand our values, and how this will make decisions become much easier. An important thing I learned is that we are the CEO of our own lives and that we should take action."

Ryan Sandifer

Ryan Sandifer
Wednesday, October 25, 2017Learn More About Ryan


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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 40 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 45 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


Claudia Donovan - Effingham County CEO

Claudia Donovan

About Me

Claudia Donovan attends St. Anthony High School and loves using her free time to cook, exercise, read, babysit, and paint. She is a part of St. Anthony’s Softball Team and is also in the school's book club. She enjoys learning about new skills she can add to her repertoire. In the summers, she attends different camps, like speech philanthropy and chefs camps, that benefit her in the long run. Her passion for self growth and her faith in life is her motivation, and she always rises to any challenge. She likes to “take the adventure”. She is a caring sister, a supportive friend, a loving daughter, and a dedicated worker.

“I plan to listen, learn and experience CEO to the best of my ability, and come away with a better understanding of what it takes to create a great working environment and community.”


Learn More about Claudia

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