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Keynote Dr. Bailey

“In Dr. Bailey’s breakout session, guests can ask questions about his invention of Billy-Bob TeethⓇ, business ventures or anything that comes to mind. Dr. Bailey’s lighthearted demeanor will allow guests to ask questions regarding life and business. His breakout is graciously sponsored by Dr. Naam from the Southern Illinois Hand Center.

Join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of CEO at the 2018 CEO Experience on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at the Keller Convention Center. We have a fantastic lineup of keynote and breakout speakers that will inform our guests of numerous ways to improve their lives and businesses. Each guest will leave with a renewed sense of inspiration and innovation to bring into their lives. Registration starts at 11am and the event lasts from 1pm to 5:45 pm. Read more about our speakers, and purchase tickets by going to effinghamceo.com. Adult tickets cost $50, and student tickets cost $30. Guests will attend two breakout sessions, so please register ASAP before breakout sessions are full. Selection will be decided on a first come, first serve basis.”


Fine Dining Etiquette

Dwight Erskine

Mr. Dwight Erskine spoke to the class on Etiquette. He informed the class that some of the most important information on this topic has to do with eating. In a couple of weeks, the students will attend the investor breakfast and will be expected to put these ideas into practice.

Throughout the next couple of years, the students will be eating with interviewers for jobs, internships, grad programs, coworkers, bosses, spouses, and fellow business leaders. Some of the most important interactions the students will have will be over a plate of food. Mr. Erskine's advice for the students was very valuable and the students appreciated him spending his time with the class.

Written by Tyler Higgs


Mette's Cabinet Corner

Mette’s Cabinet Corner

Who has been making beautiful custom cabinets and granite countertops for over 35 years now? Mette’s Cabinet Corner is a family owned and operated business that has been providing the community with quality products and amazing service for years. This last week the CEO class had the privilege of touring their facilities and seeing, first hand, all of the hard work that they put into their business. The students learned about what it takes to meet your customers needs, keeping up with the latest styles and trends in the business, and providing an excellent and dependable product for clients. The class is very grateful to have the business as sponsor of the class, and look forward to touring their facilities in years to come.

By: Meg Deters


John Boos & Company Shipped World Wide

The CEO students received the opportunity to tour the new John Boos & Company facility on the south end of Effingham. The massive site is packed with technology that is helping them create some of the best products possible. It was made clear that the futures of manufacturing and technology will be huge in the near future.

The changing market has also produced opportunity for Boos, with the rise of companies like Food Network and Amazon. Boos takes on these challenges and excites itself for the future. CEO students left with valuable information and inspiration.

Written by Tyler Higgs


FaceTime with Keynote Cordia Harrington

Cordia Harrington

This week, the CEO Class had the amazing opportunity to FaceTime with one of their CEO Experience Keynote Speakers, Cordia Harrington. Mrs. Harrington is the founder and CEO of the Tennessee Bun Company. She told the class how she had faced much diversity in her life as she grew in an industry that was mostly controlled by men. She dedicated her life to becoming successful, while being able to be a fanatstic mother to her children, which she has definitely accomplished.

Mrs. Harrington has an inspirational story and has such confidence in herself that it will be easy to look up to her the moment you hear her speak. What is especially special about Cordia Harrington's story is that it all starts right here in Effingham County. She owned the McDonald's here and eventually began making buns for their corporation, which grew more than she imagined. She then became a huge name in the bun industry, gaining her her nickname, "The Bun Lady"! 

Written by Megan Hodge


Student Journal Highlights for this week

"Mr. Erskine presented to us on etiquette, one of my favorite topics to learn about. I had never learned the BMW trick he had taught us: Bread- Meal- Water. It is a trick for knowing how to set up your dishes. I also was not aware that men were to wait on the women to sit before taking their own seats. I had no idea that once you have picked up utensils, they are not to be returned to the table. Also that you are to be finished with your meal when your host or hostess is finished. Mr. Erskine made this topic very enjoyable and interactive."

Tiffany Gates

Tiffany Gates
Friday, January 26, 2018Learn More About Tiffany

"We toured John Boos on Friday, where we got to tour the wood plant. It was kind of crazy just to think that for an hour and a half we toured the wood plant, which is only 40% of their business. They still put their little details into the wood side and that’s why they succeed."

Alex Deters

Alex Deters
Friday, January 26, 2018Learn More About Alex

"We toured Mette’s Cabinet Corner. It was an awesome tour and it was very informational for Megan and I’s business. We are looking into putting a sealer on top of our products, just like they do with their cabinets. I thought it was awesome how they hand sand and prepare their countertops. I had no idea that they produced such quality there. Overall, it was a great tour and very informational."

Jake Brandt

Jake Brandt
Tuesday, January 30, 2018Learn More About Jake

"John Boos has been a tour I have been waiting for in CEO. This is one of those super successful businesses in Effingham county that I believe puts us on the map. As a kid I always thought it was so cool seeing the Boos Blocks on the TV. Their brand is high level. This company has a the secret behind a very successful product. Everyone envies this secret recipe for success."

Ashley Goeckner

Ashley Goeckner
Tuesday, January 30, 2018Learn More About Ashley


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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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