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Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) is a combination of Unit 10 and 20 students learning the basics of business. The students are largely autonomous as they go through making their own businesses, gaining valuable skills they will be able to apply later in life, as well as benefiting our community now.
(Left to Right): Nathaniel Weger, Karissa McIntire, Seth Hatfield, Makeilah Chansler, Madison Hobbs, Hunter Stallings,
Meghan Tennis, Clayton Smith, Sarah Stovall, Erin Gartner, Mrs. Barbara Large, Madison Bobe, and Trevor Jackman

See the Lawrence County CEO Facebook page for more information.

                                                                                                     March 6 - 10

This week was really busy for our CEO class. Monday we went to Crawford Farms north of Lawrenceville. The father, Ed, and his two boys (Andy and Ryan) run the farm. The farm consist of over 5,000 acres which is considered a large farm. One of the things that has helped them become more efficient is GreenStar technology. This system can be used in a variety of applications and farm machinery. These innovations allow the operator to sit back and watch the machine drive itself in a straight line. Keep in mind that the driver must first go around the field before the machine is capable of doing this and turn at the ends of the field while in autosteer mode. This takes out a lot of stress and now he only has to control how fast he wants to go and a few other things depending on what job he is doing. This is especially efficient in planting or spraying. Another investment has been a seed treatment machine. The Crawfords just started selling Stine beans this past year. They put in a system where they can treat the seed right on site. Doyle Steffey and Chuck Daugherty pulled up towards the end of the tour and then Doyle led us down the road to the FS plant. We met with the personnel there and they showed us a video that described who they are and all that the services that WVSC (Wabash Valley Service Company) provides. FS specializes in dry/liquid fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, and chemical application as well. These are all important factors that help grow healthy crop and produce a good yield when harvest time comes. They have found their niche in the Wabash Valley and they are giving their customers reliable service and products. Auto Steer technology has also helped out this business as they can apply their product efficiently on their part and the farmer gets nothing less than what he payed for. This is prime example of a local and successful business that is satisfying their customers but yet never stops growing. 

On Thursday we were given a tour of WTWO in Terre Haute. First off, Jeremy Moore, WTWO Promotions Manager, welcomed us in and showed us each department of the station and how they all work together to make a successful business. We went back into the room where the producers and directors make sure everything is done smoothly and on time (to the second). We also went into the newsroom and got to see where the anchors go on set. We also met Tim Sturgess who is the General Manager of the station. Their company has 171 stations and is the third largest in the world. He mentioned that they have 65 employees with most working full time. When asked, he said that they do interns there and a new person that comes into the business will most likely become a reporter and they offer them a 2 year contract. Tim also gave us quotes from many successful business owners and explained the meaning behind those quotes. He also talked about a couple of books and encouraged us to read them. Jeremy even picked apart our businesses and gave us each ideas and things to think about as we strive to become successful.

On Friday, we went to Steffey Funeral Home in Lawrenceville. Shannon has been in the business for 31 years. Her funeral home is all about helping people recover from a death loss and bringing them back to a happy spirit. Her job is to read her clients and provide them with the care they need. She encouraged us to surround ourselves with intelligent people as that has been a large part of her success. She stressed that every business is behind the scenes and a funeral home is very much that way.


                                                                                                      February 27 - March 3

This week students have worked hard to complete their business plans in preparation for Bankers Day which was held February 28 and March 1. We want to thank Eric Seitzinger, of Peoples State Bank of Newton and Kevin Strange of Casey State Bank for serving as our bankers. They gave the students a true experience of presenting a business plan in hopes of acquiring a loan to start a business. After the students presented their plans, Eric and Kevin took the time to give them some advice about how to make their businesses more profitable. Bankers Day took place at Casey State Bank and the students were given the opportunity to tour the facility as well.

CEO also held its annual Investor Appreciation Reception this week. It was held at Havoline Hall from 5:00 to 6:00. We are proud of this program and appreciate the support that our investors, mentors, board members and overall supporters from the community. We could not provide this opportunity for students to become entrepreneurs if it weren’t for all of these people. Please keep following us on Facebook for upcoming information on our annual Trade Show in May.

On Friday, we were given a tour of Aperion Care Bridgeport by Patti Ash who is in charge of Human Resources there. Patti talked about the business end of nursing care and said that while their goal is to be solvent, they cannot let the business success of the facility override the importance of the care of each patient. Their main emphasis has to be providing the best care possible at all times.



February 20-24:

"This week we spent most of our time working on our business plans getting ready for Bankers Day which will be Tuesday, February 28 and March 1. On Bankers Day students present their business plans outlining everything about their newly created business from product or service description to marketing strategies and cost analysis. The final goal is to acquire a loan to finance the startup costs for these businesses. The focus of our CEO program is to give students a realistic business experience. We want to thank Mark Bowler and Kevin Strange for stopping by again this week to help students fine tune their businesses! 

Thanks also to Emma Heath and Paige Harvey, two CEO alumni, for helping this week!"

February 6-10: 

"This week we were fortunate to have two great guest speakers. Jamie Tussey came to give us some insight into marketing our businesses and our trade show. Mark Bowler, owner of Bowler Performance Transmission and CEO investor and mentor, came to give us a hand at fine-tuning our businesses.

Jamie Tussey has a background in marketing and has worked in that area at various companies including Aperion Care, Haven Solutions, Maurices, and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. Jamie played a major role in promoting our CEO trade show last year and making it a huge success. We are happy that she has agreed to help us again this year. Jamie has already set up a tour of WTWO for our class and is hoping that we can contract with them to film a commercial for our individual businesses prior to the trade show. 

Mark Bowler has been very involved in CEO this year, taking on the role of mentor to not only one student, but has offered to help any student needing help with his or her student business. Mark took the time this week to visit us and give individual attention to each student. His insight into business is very beneficial and we really appreciate the time he has devoted to this class."

January 30-February 4:

"On Monday, CEO was invited to tour Alfonso’s Pizza Palace with Lia Wirth, owner. After serving her famous biscuits and gravy, Lia sat down and told us a little bit about herself and how she got into the Pizza business. She said she was nineteen years old when she opened the restaurant and she was scared! Lia said her father, who also owns a pizza restaurant, set her up in business here when DiMaggio’s closed its doors. She said he saw a need because there were many people from Lawrenceville driving to Robinson to eat at his restaurant. While she might have been scared, she knew she had the experience to make the place a success. She had worked in her father’s restaurant, along with her four siblings, the whole time she was growing up. Lia said that to be successful in any business, you have to have a good work ethic and learn how to deal with people. For more information about Alfonso’s Pizza Palace visit them on facebook. This writer can attest to the great food and friendly atmosphere!

On Thursday, representatives from Western & Southern Life Insurance Company came in. Their presentation included budgets, financial independence, and how to manage your paychecks. This was a very interesting look at how to gain financial independence if we act wisely and act now! We want to thank Bob Tracey for setting up these guest speakers and filling in as facilitator for the day. For more information on Western & Southern please visit their website at www.westernsouthernlife.com

On Friday, Kevin Strange stopped by the hub to answer questions that we have about beginning our business plans. We are really grateful that we have his guidance as we start developing our new businesses."