Effingham County CEO News RSS Feed http://http://www.effinghamceo.com New Effingham County CEO news articles Friday, March 13, 2013 10:00:21 AM 6/14/2018 9:00:00 AM en Composite Successful Week for Effingham County CEO http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/06/14/Successful-Week-for-Effingham-County-CEO

Avery Elder Experiences Sweet Smell of Success at CEONext Trade Show

Avery Elder participated in the Midland Institute of Entrepreneurship CEONext National Trade Show, held on Sunday, June 10th at the Keller Convention Center. Avery's innovative shoe deodorizing company called  Nolor. This unique and natural shoe deodorizing product is designed to accommodate active lifestyles and smelly feet. By using a newly invented shoe hook design and a stylish bag, people of all ages can deodorize their shoes on the go in a visually pleasing way.  Participants showcased innovative products and services developed as their personal businesses while participating in the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program. The businesses selected represented sixteen communities throughout the CEO Network.  The National Trade Show was competitive with exhibitors vying for one of three $2,500 Awards of Excellence to invest back into their business.  Award winners included,  Avery Elder (Nolor: Smell No More) Effingham CEO, Tyler Byrant (Candles & Nothing More) Bond County CEO, & Emma Schoth (Drake's Toys) Land of Lincoln CEO.  Effingham CEO had two alumnus businesses exhibited at the Trade Show. Devin Aherin (2015):  Aherin Seed a retailer of cover-crop, forage and turf seed.  Sean Sandifer (2014) & Riley Pruemer (2015) Country Carved which creates high quality wood décor and products with a patriotic theme.

Effingham County CEO SETEDA Student Voice Top 5 Finalist

Effingham County CEO is a finalist in the State Educational Technology Directors Association Student Voices national award. The Student Voices award honors an outstanding K-12 school or district that has leveraged technology to dramatically improve the educational experiences and achievement of their students. Winners receive the Elsie Brumback Scholarship, which allows the winner to bring a team of students and educators to attend the annual SETDA Leadership Summit and tour Washington DC. Top 5 finalists include: Armorel High School EAST Program, Arkansas Effingham County CEO Program, Illinois Noblesville High School, Indiana Meadow Park Middle School, Oregon St. Albans City School, Vermont The winner will be announced at the SETDA’s Emerging Technologies Leadership Forum on June 23 in Chicago.  Effingham County CEO was nominated by Mindy Fiscus, Digital Access Coordinator Learning Technology Centers Illinois.  Effingham County CEO Program, Illinois Altamont, Beecher City, Dieterich, Effingham, St. Anthony and Teutopolis High Schools The Effingham County CEO started a program that has rapidly grown across our state. The overwhelming impact on their community has encouraged surrounding areas to duplicate the program. Programs are designed as county-wide outreach and have joined high schools within counties, breaking down barriers and local competition to really have pride in the community as a whole. The impact on teaching and learning has been tremendous and has allowed local businesses to really connect with students and encourage them to find their inner potential. As part of the CEO Program, over a course of a year, students write two business plans they present to bankers and investors where they have professionals critique and provide sound advice on how to move forward with starting their business. The feedback from Banker Day then leads into presenting at Shark Tank Day where students pitch their business ideas and exhibit their products and services to gain insight to perfect their business before the Trade Show.
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06/14/2018
The CEO Class of 2019 Begins August 21st http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/05/16/The-CEO-Class-of-2019-Begins-August-21st

CEO Orientation for Incoming 2019 CEO Class

On April 25th, the CEO Board addressed the incoming 2019 CEO Class at Heartland Dental’s training room. They were welcomed by Steve Witges, Board Chair where he shared the history and the importance of the CEO culture. Karen Etter then emphasized the dress code and why this is so important when making first impressions. Bill Fritcher also discussed travel expectations and keeping the various school administrators informed throughout the year. As you know the program is funded by community business owners and individuals as the main stake holders. This year Wanda Pitcher, owner of Tuscan Hills Winery, provided her personal testimony as a parent of an alumni, mentor, ambassador, and investor in the program. It was beneficial that the incoming students have an understanding that the community is investing in their future and care about the results of their journey. Also, it was wonderful to have Megan Hodge and Truman Rhodes speak on their recent experience from the 2018 CEO Class and CEO Alumni Braydan Bushue on how CEO prepared him for college and life. They could give a personal testimony that we are sure left a big impression on the incoming 2019 class and their parents. The class was given a summer assignment to read Craig Lindvahl's book Things You Wish You Knew Yesterday, How to Wins Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie, QBQ Question Behind the Question- John G. Miller and a few more if they wish to start strong in CEO. A new handbook was also handed out to both parents and students this year, so everyone is aware of the expectations needed to succeed in this experience.  It is with much anticipation that the CEO Family looks forward to welcoming the following students this Fall into the class: Jacob Blanchette Mikayla Blankenship Kaitlyn Bloemer Alexander Brandenburger Nathan Budde Megan Bushue Nicole Deters Ansh Dogra Dylan Guy Liam Hammer Abby Hartke Caralee  Hayes Colby Heaton Rachel Higgs Keira Hirtzel Elizabeth  Kelly Donovan Kitten Colin Koester August Laatsch Luke Ludwig Ethan McWhorter Sophia Moore Allie Niebrugge Julia Schmid Grant Schmidt Nathan Schultz Joseph Siemer Abby Stock Andres Trevino Hayden Voelker Jenelle Vogt Bryson  Wall Becca Webster Madison Westendorf Elizabeth Will Anthony Zaccari ]]>
05/16/2018
Great Attendance at the 2018 CEO Trade Show http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/05/09/Great-Attendance-at-the-2018-CEO-Trade-Show-

YBNext Present Check from Joe's Pizza & Pasta Fundraiser

YBNext presented Effingham County CEO a check from their recent fundraiser held on April 23rd at Joe’s Pizza & Pasta. The outcome was 20% of the sales and all tips were donated back from Joe’s Pizza & Pasta to split between YBNext and CEO. A huge Thank You goes out to Joe’s Pizza & Pasta for their generous giving and their support team in helping make the evening not only delicious but with great service too.

2018 Began with Team Building and Ended With Teambuilding

Noah Brandenburger and Keith Sutterfield, both CEO board members addressed the students on their last day of CEO with great advice that life is not a laser beam and that even the best made plans do not always work out, but excepting this and meeting each challenge head on is key. Keith, alumni coordinator (CEO Class Alumni 2010) encouraged the students to stay involved in CEO and that he hopes to see them at the Thanksgiving and Christmas Gatherings. In the first week of CEO (August 25, 2017) the class went to American Obstacle for teambuilding and the facilitators felt it would be a great way to end the year as well. The students on their last day were much closer and had formed lasting relationships than the first go around back in August. It was great to see the competitive spirit and relaxed interaction along the students. It truly is a bitter sweet day of looking forward to the future, but knowing that this class has forever left a footprint upon their lives. CEO wishes the class of 2018 a life filled with an abundance of positive opportunities! That CEO does not end, but continues with a new view of business, life and personal growth.

CEO Award Winners

Steve Witges, CEO Chairman welcomed those in attendance at the Trade Show for the traditional award ceremony.  Pictured above is Madision Magee and Patrick Tkachuk presenting Steve Witges with $6,000 from the CEO Class of 2018 to be invested in next year's class. In this News Update we have also shared the words of those who nominated the class Entrepreneur of the Year and the personal words of the John H. Schultz Scholarship award winner. The Entrepreneur of the Year is voted on by their CEO peers who they feel best express selfless leadership, humble, innovative thinking, & possess all the qualities of what you would expect from an Effingham County CEO student. This year’s winners are as follows with a personal note of what was mentioned by those who nominated them for this honor. Mrs. Sayers’ class award winner is Truman Rhodes “Truman Rhodes has taken CEO to the next level. From day one, he has grown tremendously and is not afraid to ask questions. He strives to make everyone that walks through the door comfortable and welcome. He takes CEO very seriously, and is growing his personal business into more than just a 'one and done'. He deserves this more than anyone else in this class. He might not have had a 'lead role' in the experience, but he was always present to help with anything that needed done, no matter what committee it was for.”   Mrs. Teichmiller’s class award winner is Avery Elder “Avery Elder was the head of marketing for the CEO Experience and made all the visually appealing social media posts.  She was very dedicated and did an amazing job leading the marketing committee.  She is always willing to do what is necessary for the class and to say she goes the extra mile is an understatement.  She always asks good questions and does her best to engage those around her on tours and with guest speakers. She has also worked very hard on making her personal business successful. I think her hard work deserves recognition. I believe Avery should be Entrepreneur of the Year because she had a problem and solved it with an interesting business idea.” 2018 John H. Schultz Scholarship – The John H. Schultz, CEO Scholarship was created in memory of John H. Schultz, an Effingham area entrepreneur and businessman. It was created by the children of John and Fran Schultz and is a $1,000 annual scholarship. Emmie Schultz granddaughter of Mr. Schultz and CEO Alumni 2013 presented the scholarship to Patrick Tkachuk. "Looking back on the entire year, I cannot believe the people that I have met and the places that I have gotten to see. I wish that I could graph my thoughts out for the entire year on what I want to do with my life. I started having an interest in accounting that then shifted to a career in finance that then shifted to a career in both that then shifted into a career in operations management that now sits at a career in finance and entrepreneurship. Another thing that has fluctuated all year is where I would like to end up. First, it was a constant battle between Madison, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois, but looking back on the year, I think that the winner one day will be Effingham, Illinois. I can’t believe the kind of support and investment that the people of Effingham County have put into me this year. The investors in the class. My mentor. The board members. The facilitators. My teachers. Many others that I know I am forgetting and last but not least, the Schultz family. These experiences have all helped me realize how great it is to live here and know everyone. I would love to come back and make the same contribution to the county as they have in me." ~ Patrick Tkachuk  

2018 Trade Show Well Attended

Here are a few photos from the Trade Show. It has been an exciting year building up to the big day and seeing all the business ideas come to life. It is one thing to see your business plan on paper with a financial analysis of what you propose to build your business around. And another to see your product or service being viewed by others who see the benefit to pay for it. The learning along the way may not be seen by those who pass by each booth, but behind the scenes there have been tireless evenings and endless concerns just like all entrepreneurs feel about their business. This is real life with solid learning taking place from August to May. Thanks again for all those who came out to enjoy the progress of the CEO Class of 2018.

Meet the New Management Team at Martin's IGA

Our CEO students have grown up in the Martin’s IGA store as their families have shop there as the “Hometown Proud” grocery store. This tour was unique from all our other tours since this was centered around a recent acquisition of Kirby Foods, Inc. out of Champaign recently. Randy Butler who is with Kirby Foods shared all the recent changes and those to soon arrive, but one thing for sure they will not be revising any of their donut recipes. They go through 600 to 700 lbs. of dough a day since they sell over 9,000 donuts a month. Their mission is friendly customer service, freshness and quality. Just as the Martin Family has been community centered, Kirby Foods feels the same. It was great to walk through the store and see the various changes taking place to better serve their customers. For one, they put in LED lighting and the shelves are already brighter. They opened the entrance area to the North so you can see straight back to the meat counter as you walk in. And in the produce area you can see all way through to the other side without any visual displays blocking your view. Just these small revisions are being made to make your shopping experience easier and more inviting. This was the last tour for the CEO Class of 2018. Just like the store is going through many changes, the lives our students are as well. A new chapter awaits them with college ahead. Thank you to Martin's IGA for helping us end strong with an excellent tour. 
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05/09/2018
Great Service Grows Your Business http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/05/02/Great-Service-Grows-Your-Business-

Double Tour Day with Todd Anderson

It was a double treat to tour Jimmy Johns and Anderson Jewelry all in one morning. With it being two totally two different business models the one thing than remain the same was the owner of these businesses, Todd Anderson. Mr. Anderson sheared the details on how he became a franchise owner and the hands-on work he had to do up in Champaign at another Jimmy Johns to learn the business. He also shared his years of transition with his family’s jewelry store and some interesting stories of some very custom pieces that his clients bought over the years.

Servpro Arrives to the Rescue

The CEO classes were able to tour Servpro and hear Mike Walker speak. When we think of a franchise, we usually think of a restaurant chain like McDonalds or Smoothie King. Mr. Walker told the class about the unique franchise of Servpro and the needs that they fulfill. We wish that fire and water restoration weren’t needed, but Servpro looks to help people that need it. Mr. Walker spoke about how the business started and how it has grown. The students also got to see the multitude of equipment that the Servpro team uses to help their customers. Even this late in the year, the students learned a lot from Mike Walker and the tour. Written by Tyler Higgs

CEO Visited Dan Hecht Chevrolet - Toyota's New Showroom

Dan Hecht Chevrolet & Toyota may have a new look, but their service and dedication to customer service has been strong since 1958. Jim Hecht gave a personal tour of their new remodel and all the various departments that make up their dealership. Their unmatched quality and awarding service is why their customers return again and again to buy their cars and trucks. CEO could look around the showroom and see the hometown pride of photos from the community taking space on their showroom walls. Even the family photos with the history of the dealerships proudly displays their dedication to making every sale they make something to provide excellence from generation to generation. 

Tuscan Hills Winery

This week, the CEO students had the wonderful pleasure to visit Wanda Pitcher, a CEO ambassador and investor, at her business, Tuscan Hills Winery. The Winery is an absolutely beautiful place to visit, and the CEO class got to hear about how Mrs. Pitcher designed every detail herself and how the business has grown in the last seven years, among other things. Mrs. Pitcher has an incredibly entrepreneurial mind and it was interesting to hear how she planned Tuscan Hills Winery out and to see her execution firsthand. She also explained some of Effingham's tourism and how much it is underestimated. The Winery is just one aspect of what draws people into the town of Effingham. Tuscan Hills Winery was an amazing tour for the CEO students and they greatly appreciated Mrs. Pitcher allowing them to see the workings of her business. Written by Megan Hodge

Life Lessons with Baseball Card Connection

Jon and Lisa Schafer, owners of Baseball Card Connection, welcomed the CEO class to their business and home, all in one.  The visit provided a unique look at how Jon's passion of baseball card collecting grew and evolved turning into the sports memorabilia business they own today.  The life lessons that Jon and Lisa shared were perfect timing as the CEO Class of 2018 transitions from high school to college and career.  Some advice included: swing at good pitches, start your business at the bottom and work your way up, when you kick the tiger, you better have a plan for when it turns around.  

Maddison Avenue Candles

Nathan and Stephanie Gannaway purchased Maddison Avenue Candle Company in 2012 with no candle making experience at all. With just a week to learn from the previous owner, the Gannaways learned by fire. Get it? Candles and fire. Stephanie shared with us the struggles and lessons she has experienced while continuing to develop Maddison Avenue Candle Co, and how unique her candles made of one hundred percent soy are compared to the other candles on the market. Stephanie’s hard work and dedication to her business was an inspiration to students who had the opportunity to hear her story. Written by: Truman Rhodes
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05/02/2018
CEO Trade Show Tuesday, May 1st http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/04/25/CEO-Trade-Show-Tuesday-May-1st-

Mette's Distinctive Lighting

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

John Boos & Company

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.   

Loker Photography On What is Really Important in Life

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 www.lokerphotography.com.

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

Hinterscher Couple Share Story of their Personal Journey Being Entreprenuers

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
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04/25/2018
Make Dinner Plans Tonight with CEO at Joe's Pizza & Pasta http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/04/23/Make-Dinner-Plans-Tonight-with-CEO-at-Joes-Pizza--Pasta

CEO & YBNext Look Forward to Serving You

YBNext and CEO are two dynamic programs equipping the next generation of business leaders in leadership and networking opportunities. Tonight, Monday, April 23rd you have an opportunity to support both YBNext and CEO by coming out to Joe’s Pizza and Pasta for dinner. You will be served by today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. Your contribution will help both programs succeed in bringing forth great outcomes for Effingham County. Hope to see you between 5:00 – 8:00 PM for dinner. Thank you to Joe’s Pizza and Pasta for providing this opportunity for YBNext and CEO. See you there! ]]>
04/23/2018
Make Dinner Plans at Joe's Pizza and Pasta Monday, April 23rd http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/04/15/Make-Dinner-Plans-at-Joes-Pizza-and-Pasta-Monday-April-23rd

HSHS St. Anthony Hospital

CEO students had the pleasure of touring HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. The students had the privilege to see first hand some of the inner workings of the hospital and the day to day routine of a few of the employees. It was amazing to see the amount of technology that is now being incorporated into everything the hospital staff is doing. It was also very interesting to see how large and successful St. Anthony’s has grown despite being in a small town. Like many businesses in the community, they use being in a small town to their advantage and it ends up helping them a lot. The CEO students really enjoyed getting to tour their main event sponsor for the CEO Experience!

E J Water Cooperative is Helping Communities Grow

The class got to visit EJ Water in Dieterich and hear from Bill Teichmiller, CEO of EJ Water Cooperative, Inc. He told the class about the business’ start as well as how he got involved and what he does today. The business is constantly growing and innovating, even thinking about the next fifty years of the company. They started by solving a problem and their growth is focused on solving more of these problems. When they began, it was giving people in the country access to running water. Now they are finding ways to give these same people access to high speed internet, which is becoming a necessity in a world growing more connected. The class gained a lot of wisdom and perspective from Mr. Teichmiller's life lessons of failures and successes.  Written by Tyler Higgs

Spring 2018 Community Excellence Breakfast

Jerry Tkachuk, principal of Altamont High School, led the Spring 2018 Vision 2020 Breakfast. The Effingham Chamber of Commerce was proud to announce the creation of the Effingham Regional Career Academy (ERCA). The ERCA is a partnership with the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, Effingham County Schools, Local Governments, Area Employers, Lake Land College and the Illinois State Board of Education working together to help students and adults gain the skills and knowledge needed to secure and advance in high-demand area jobs. Guests also heard from guests speakers Norma Lansing, President and CEO of Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Josh Bullock, President of Lake Land College, and Dave Frederking, Altamont businessman and community leader. As they have for the last 20 years, the Vision 2020 committee is continuing to work towards improving our community and living through their mission of “building dreams for the future.” Written by Madison Magee

Reds - Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Play Ball! CEO Students got the once in a lifetime opportunity to tour and job shadow at the Great American Ballpark, the home of the Cincinnati Reds. This opportunity was made possible to the class after founder, Craig Lindvahl, produced Let's Get Ready to Win. It was a film that highlighted the behind-the-scenes work that make such a massive business operation possible and had asked that his payment be the opportunity of future CEO classes to tour the park. From ticket booth, field, and one on one interaction with players, each student had a unique opportunity to see what it takes to make baseball possible. It is more than just a baseball game, it is all business behind the scenes.  Written by: Truman Rhodes

Koerner Distributor's New Building Is Amazing

Koerner Distributor Inc. was started in 1982, and has grown to become one of the largest beverage distributors of beer, wine, liquor and non-alcoholic beverages in Illinois. In class, the students had the chance to hear from one of the family members Jordan Koerner that works for the business now, and they also had the opportunity to tour the facility and see the immense amount of product that the company distributes. They learned a lot about how the business began, and they also learned about the different struggles and challenges that the business has gone through to become what it is today. This gave them an idea of just how hard it is to create such a successful business, and also helped them learn some techniques to help in their own personal businesses. By: Meg Deters
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04/15/2018
The Proteges Appreciated Mentor Hustle Hour and the Special Mentors They Have Worked Alongside http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/04/08/The-Proteges-Appreciated-Mentor-Hustle-Hour-and-the-Special-Mentors-They-Have-Worked-Alongside---

YBNext and CEO Join Forces for Fundraiser

Please make your dinner plans with your family to come out and support your future business leaders of Effingham County. Both YBNext and CEO will be your servers for the evening.  A huge Thank You goes out to Joe's Pizza and Pasta for sponsoring this event. See you there!

The Difference Between Hedging and Speculating

CEO Students had the opportunity to hear from Rick Siemer and Carl Schwinke about hedging and speculating future markets. Being such a huge topic that can be difficult to understand, students only got a small glimpse at what it's like to hedge and speculate in the workplace. Mr. Siemer and Mr. Schwinke did a great job covering the topic! Written by: Truman Rhodes

Mentor Hustle Hour and Breakfast of Champions

As the end of the year approaches, many things are coming to an end. This Friday marked the last mentor hustle hour for the CEO mentors and their proteges. This mentor hustle hour was a little different than past ones. The students and their mentors enjoyed a wonderful breakfast provided by Panera and just visited with each other instead of focusing all their attention on business. This breakfast was the perfect opportunity for the students and their mentors to say goodbye to the hustle hours and enjoy each other's company. Written by Megan Hodge

Tour of E J Water Cooperative Water Plant

The CEO class visited EJ Water’s Delbert D. Mundt Water Treatment Plant in Beecher City and learned about how water is tested. The students learned about the regulations and concerns that surround water safety. Water safety is very important given recent events in places like Flint, Michigan, but E J Water is leading the industry with their leadership and being known as having the best tasting water in Illinois. The students were able see all of the equipment used to purify and test their water. Many people in rural areas didn’t have running water until EJ delivered it to them. The class learned much on the tour and was happy about having this unique opportunity to tour this water plant. Written by Tyler Higgs

CEO Show & Tell Day

The facilitators this year decided to schedule a CEO Show and Tell Day to display all of the students different products or services prior to the Trade Show. The class had their products on tables around the room at Effingham Public Library and everyone had a chance to walk around and learn more about everyone’s businesses. This is the first year that CEO has done this for the students, when in past years the students only showed their products on Shark Tank Day and at the Trade Show. Doing this gave the students the opportunity to see their classmate’s businesses since they don’t usually get the chance to see them on the day of the Trade Show.  It also launched an excitement for the students to start getting serious to what their individual booth design is going to be weeks before the big show. The class loved doing this, and hope that future classes are given the same opportunity. By: Meg Deters
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04/08/2018
Giving Back to the Community http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/04/04/Giving-Back-to-the-Community

CEO Visited Gilmore Acres

Goats, Cows, Lotion, and Soap. You may be wondering how all these might be related. At Gilmore Acres, CEO students had the opportunity to see first hand how Lynn Wolff and her family bring goats and soap together. With products ranging from mechanics scrub to, you guessed it, goat soap! From insurance to production, Lynn shared with us the risk management and production of her unique products. Written by: Truman Rhodes

CEO Prepares For Their Trade Show Booth Design

The CEO students had the privilege of meeting with Patty Greene to discuss Trade Show Booths. Patty Greene worked with the students to make them start thinking of what they are wanting their booths to look like. She allowed the students to see a demo booth set up. The students really enjoyed working with Patty Greene to start their plans for what their booths will look like at the Trade Show on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Written by Tiffany Gates

Excellent Panel on the Importance of Giving Back to the Community

CEO students were inspired by a panel of amazing individuals that dedicate their time to helping our community. The panel included Ron Mietzner with American Cancer Society, Melissa Willenborg with 100+ Women Who Care, Aaron Myers with Harmony Playground, and Alex Wright with YBNext. Each of these people shared their stories of how they became involved with the volunteer organizations and spoke about how important it was to volunteer.  All four people on the panel said a similar message, "Find what you have a passion for and work to create that passion into something to benefit our community." Whether it be building a playground, organizing events for cancer research and assistance, raising money for non-profit organizations, or growing the next generation of leaders, each of us can volunteer our time and efforts. By doing so, anyone, alike to the panel, has the ability to benefit our community. Please come out and support YBNext and Effingham CEO on Monday, April 23rd as they join forces for a fundraiser at Joe's Pizza and Pasta from 5:00 - 8:00 PM.  We hope you will make your dinner plans with us.   Written by Madison Magee
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04/04/2018
CEO Survived Shark Tank http://www.effinghamceo.com/page(0ee9cf59-ebd3-4637-a4c1-5cb5b1418d09)/2018/03/27/CEO-Survived-Shark-Tank

CEO Gained a New Respect for their Brain with Memoryworx

The brain is one of the most important parts of the body, which means that it needs extra care. Kelly Willenborg, the founder of My Memory Worx, knows this more than anyone. This week, she explained to the CEO students just how much care this crucial organ needs and taught them a few things they could do to exercise and strengthen their brains. Mrs. Willenborg is extremely hard working and very passionate about what she does. It was amazing to hear how much time and energy she puts into everything she does. She recently got a degree in Gerontology in order to help even more people. Mrs. Willenborg also stressed the importance of the mentors she has had in her life, which is something CEO also believes to be incredibly important.  Written by Megan Hodge 

What Every CEO Student Should Know Before Renting An Apartment

In less than five months, a few of our CEO students will be living the apartment life. Jeff Speer of Re/Max Key Advantage and his team from Evergreen Apartments did a wonderful job preparing the students on not only what to look for on the lease they sign, but valuable tools to pack. Like the importance of a plunger and all the ways a hammer could be used instead of hitting a nail. CEO appreciated the advice to be aware of your surroundings when you go to rent and to also be respectful of others who are your roommates. Just simple things like taking out the trash and keeping the noise down after 10:00 pm can build a better community within a renting living situation. That is what is so exciting about CEO, you not only learn about business, but the day to day happenings of life.

Wendte Farms

Wendte Farms welcomed the CEO students to their farm. Effingham County is considered to be an agricultural based community, so it was fitting for the students to tour a farm. Roy Wendte spoke to the students about how their farm runs and the techniques they use. The students learned a lot about the different ways to monitor the fields, such as by using apps found in the app store and by using drones. Roy made sure to allow the students to feel as if they were at home and allowed some students to sit in his farm equipment. The students learned of how unique it is to operate a farming business and how far away some fields are from the homestead of the farm. The students left the tour with a renewed understanding of how farms operate and the technology involved with farming. Written by Tiffany Gates

Shark Tank Day

Last week Tuesday, the CEO class had the great opportunity to present their personal businesses to some of Effingham’s finest business professionals like in the popular TV show “Shark Tank”. Five to seven students were placed in separate rooms with three experienced “sharks” to critique, advise, and reassure the students about their personal business products and services. With the businesses being displayed at the CEO Trade Show on May 1st, the class has this annual “Shark Tank” day a little over a month before the Tradeshow to help fix some of the issues that the students might still have in their businesses. It provides them with alternate views and different opinions than what the students are usually used to, and it gives them another set of eyes to check the details of their business that they might have missed. The class loved having this opportunity to practice presenting and selling their businesses to some of Effingham’s business experts, and are now working out the kinks in their businesses. By: Meg Deters Here are a view journal entries from last week’s Shark Tank experience: "The sharks loved my pictures and the concept of my business. I loved having them critique my business and offer me suggestions to possibly include...  I was highly nervous walking into the Tank and was hoping to be able to hear other pitches before my turn. It didn’t quite happen that way. I was called up first. I was very nervous, but I do believe I handled myself well... I am extremely glad to have a day dedicated to using our elevator pitches and to be offered suggestions for our businesses." - Tiffany Gates "Shark Tank Day overall was a success in my eyes. Yes, I may have not agreed with some of the things the sharks said, but that just goes along with the maturity in decisions. Just because someone suggests you do something doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. The world is made up of choices and it all depends on which path we take and what path I decide to take with my product." - Wittni Cotton "Shark Tank day was a huge success.  More than anything, for me, it was a big confidence boost. I went into this day, feeling sure I could be successful. But leaving the shark tank, I felt like I could sell ice to Eskimos. With this being said, they did give me some constructive criticism that I am taking into consideration." -  Bryce Lohman "Shark Tank Day was a great morning. I really appreciate the chance to be able to present my business like a real business owner because we are. Just having that opportunity to be able to feel like we are attending a real Shark Tank is unbelievable. I got a lot of great advice that I am seeing is best to incorporate into my business." -   Claire Gardner "Tuesday was our Shark Tank Day at the Convention Center. I had three highly experienced sharks that gave everyone in our group advice on how to improve their products. I practiced my pitch several times before that day, and it really helped ease my nervousness. The sharks were very supportive of my business, and the advice they gave me will help me to get down the initial cost of my product. I really hope I can show them how their suggestions have helped my business at the trade show." -  Avery Elder "Shark Tank day.  I thought Megan and I killed it.  The sharks seemed genuinely interested in our product and it made me even more excited to sell our products at the tradeshow.  I also enjoyed hearing about everyone else’s products in our tank. It was cool to see everyone’s progress! Overall, it was a very inspirational day. " - Jake Brandt

Jeff Magee Presented on CRM and The Importance of this Tool to Grow Your Business

The class was privileged to hear Jeff Magee present CRM (Customer Relationship Management). He spoke about how Syngenta and other companies are using CRM data to improve their businesses. One of the biggest parts of CRM is determining who the customer is and what they like. This means that a company can center their products around a target customer to make their products work more efficiently for them, or they can find room for growth. CRM data and technology are becoming incredibly valuable and will be a huge part of the future market. Mr. Magee’s presentation gave the CEO class valuable knowledge that they will take to their future businesses. Written by Tyler Higgs
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03/27/2018