CEO Trade Show Tuesday, May 1st

Mette's Distinctive Lighting

Owner 2015 CEO Alum Zach Mette

CEO class was given the opportunity to visit Mette’s Distinctive Lighting that is run by Zach Mette, a CEO alumni from the 2015 class.. Zach started his business while in CEO three years ago, and now owns a storefront next to Mette’s Cabinets. The students really enjoyed seeing such a successful product of CEO, and can not wait to display their own products at the Trade Show. They were able to take amazing notes on their tour and learn from what Mr. Mette has done with his business since his days in CEO.

By: Meg Deters

Hinterscher Couple Share Story of their Personal Journey Being Entreprenuers

Shelby (CEO Alumni 2014) and Dalton Hinterscher

Dalton and Shelby Hinterscher shared with the class their journey as young entrepreneurs. As a CEO Alumni, Shelby shared how CEO was a huge advantage for her as she earned her degree in Accounting at SIUE. Dalton shared with the class the development of his game on the app store known as Letter Rain. Both of these endeavors have lead the Hinterschers to pursue Precious Blessings, an online boutique that specializes in children's clothing. The Hinterschers are a prime example of the mission of CEO. Students learned that through hard work and dedication you build your own business.

Written by: Truman Rhodes

John Boos & Company

Stainless Manufacturing Facility

Earlier in the year CEO had visited the cutting board production area and with much enthusiasm was looking forward to seeing the stainless side of their production process too. CEO viewed the laser cutter in operation and was given a tour of how the product is assembled for shipment.  A huge thank you goes out to John Boos & Company for offering this year’s class an opportunity to see the how this world-renowned company not only makes its home here in Effingham, but is sending their products out to kitchens and even sports stadiums amazing stainless prep tables and cutting boards.   

Connie Houlihan

This Monday was full of some amazing life lessons by Connie Houlihan, who visited the CEO class from St. Louis. Mrs. Houlihan has overcome many things in her life, and she explained to the class the importance of taking a step back and focusing on the positives in your life at all times and no matter what happens. One problem that she faced was when she started her own online company and it ended up being hacked, which caused her to lose a lot of money. She did not let this stop her or hold her back from other great things. Mrs. Houlihan was a fantastic example of someone who lives life to the fullest and showed the CEO class that if you set your mind on something and work hard, you will be rewarded in the end. 

Written by Megan Hodge

Loker Photography On What is Really Important in Life

Nathan Loker

Nathan Loker of Loker Photography, a senior, family and sports photographer, shared his five “whys” in business. It was a wonderful morning of personal life lessons that the class benefited from greatly with graduation right around the corner. He summed everything up as his 5 chicken nuggets.

1. Life means nothing without direction

2. Everyone dies so you cannot take things with you

3. Your character matters and it is the key to your future

4. Integrity – who you are, when no one is watching

5. Giving back – money is not his center, people are

He is also emphasized to put your cell phone down and enjoy life in the present and life is meaningless without direction. With many awards and epic photos he is known for it was refreshing to hear someone who was humble and so full of wisdom at such a young age. You can reach out to Nathan at

Student Journal Highlights for this week

Dan Hecht was very impressive after the recent renovation. I never knew the different “spokes” that go into one business like this. The story of how they got started in both Chevrolet and Toyota is really unique

Bryce Lohman

Bryce Lohman
Tuesday, April 24, 2018Learn More About Bryce

"I job shadowed at Versatech. The first guy I job shadowed was a design engineer. He was the one that received the projects and has to make a robot to do what they want. He showed me one he just finished and it was putting a metal piece into a machine and then taking it out when the other machine was done with it. I was impressed. He told me about how the engineers all look at it but they really don’t know if it is going to work. They just go for it and hope it does. He showed me on the computer what they do and the programs they use. He was working on another machine that takes a plate and turns it the right way and then puts pins through it and then attaches it to another part. The machine was more complex than the one he showed me that he had made already. Once he showed me around I went with an electrical engineer. He showed me the programs that they use and how it all works. I like electrical engineering and I think that I could do it. This was a great job shadowing day and I am glad I had this chance."

"Connie Houlihan was our speaker for the morning. Because of her past experiences, she had an abundance of business and life advice for us. She spoke of how her struggles had made ended up making her successful. She talked about how things do not happen to you, but they happen for you. Mrs. Houlihan said that remembering this will help us deal with life when circumstances are not great. A quote that I took away from the morning was (referencing the caterpillars and butterflies), “You have to struggle to be able to fly.”  This was a presentation full of ideas that will be useful in my everyday life."

Ryan Sandifer

Ryan Sandifer
Wednesday, April 25, 2018Learn More About Ryan

"As we are nearing the end, I can honestly say that I have changed for the better thanks to CEO. Sure, at times it was stressful and hard to deal with, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Getting to hear from the most successful people in the area, go on business tours unavailable to the rest of the world, and learn the ins and outs of business was an amazing way to start the day every single morning."

Jacob Guy

Jacob Guy
Wednesday, April 25, 2018Learn More About Jacob

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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.

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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.

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Patrick Tkachuk - Effingham County CEO

Patrick Tkachuk

About Me

Patrick Tkachuk is a senior at Altamont High School. He is the co-captain of the varsity soccer team, captain of the varsity scholar bowl team, treasurer for NHS, and drum major for the marching band. Patrick is also involved in track and field, pep club, and library club. For work, he has worked for Deb’s Catering and Vending for the last three years. He enjoys to golf, watch movies, and hang out with his friends. After high school, he plans on studying business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“I’m really excited to see what I can accomplish in CEO. I believe that through some great speakers, facilitators, and classmates, I have the tools necessary to better myself. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I don’t plan on taking that for granted.”

Learn More about Patrick

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