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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): Austin Price, Nicole Gray, Zeb Zeigler, Grace Hahn, Connor Gray, Cherub Mohler, Keaton Weger,
Manda Marley, Keegan Meek, Shea Jennings, Trevor Goff, Mrs. Large, Kade Benson, Steven Adamson.

See the Lawrence County CEO Facebook page for more information.

The Lawrence County CEO Class of 2018 spent the afternoon Tuesday at the Sycamore Outdoor Center in Brazil, Indiana. The challenges weren't nearly as easy as they looked and students soon began working as a cohesive group to conquer each task. Fun day, great group!


We want to thank our first guest speaker, Bob Christy of Cochran Insurance, Co. for bringing us not only business tips but life lessons that we can carry with us throughout our life’s journey. We also want to thank Rachel Hipsher, Director of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and Board Member as well as Macey Waggoner, Alumni and Board Member, for giving us tips on appropriate business dress.


Newsletter Week 2 - August 28 - September 1
Our week began with Tiffany Macke, U of I Extension Educator bringing the Real Colors personality survey program to class. Through this program we learned the differences between our personalities and how to better communicate with each other. We learned that this would be very beneficial in life as well as in business. On Tuesday, we went to area businesses to solicit bids for our CEO banners that we will display at festivals and ballgames. On Wednesday, we went to Holiday World for a behind the scenes business tour of a theme park. We were fortunate enough to speak with all of the managers of each department within the park. On Thursday, Maddie Hobbs, CEO alumni member, was our guest speaker. She gave us some valuable advice about how to be successful in CEO and how to be successful in business. She said to be the overachiever and stand out. She also said that it is important to always be nice when dealing with co-workers and the public. On Friday, Jamie Tussey was our guest speaker. Jamie has held several positions in the area of marketing including Maurices, Methodist Village, and Aperion Care Bridgeport. Jamie also has been responsible for heading up the marketing of our CEO Trade Show each year. She told us that no matter what business we choose to create, make it different and unique. She also told us the importance of advertising and marketing. We learned a lot this week and look forward to what next week will bring!


CEO Newsletter - Week 3 - September 4 - 8 Submitted by Nicole Gray
Tuesday, we had Bob Tracy of Tracy Electric come and speak with us. He not only provided us with great advice, but he brought a delicious breakfast. One of the things he stressed was marketing. Bob stressed that with a great marketing scheme, you can make anything sell. We learned about the different jobs that he has held in his lifetime, such as jobs with Texas Instruments and Texaco. Destiny Ulrich also came in and surprised us. She is an alum of the class and listening to her speak was great. She spoke about her college experience and how the major she chose just wasn’t for her. She used her personal experience to teach us a lesson. Changing your mind is okay, especially when you are changing it for the sake of your happiness. On Wednesday we met at Pargin Retirement to listen to Matt Pargin, the owner, speak. He taught us about the powers of investing to grow wealth. We learned that investing is a great way to plan for retirement and save for college for your children. He also told us that instead of marketing and advertising, he prefers to give back to the community in hopes that it comes back his direction. 
Alfonso Palazzolo came in on Thursday. He is a CEO alum. His business while in the class was AP Media, which he is still running to this day. After listening to us make plans for our booth at the Sumner Fall Festival, he offered up some good advice for us. He knows from personal experience that it’s better to stick with what we know and do what we love than try something that we don’t know very well. Another thing he stressed was to make connections and to appreciate the connections we make. Friday was the deadline for the sponsorship bids. We reviewed what the money was going to be used for. We then talked about our journals and what problems within them we need to correct. Then, we got into groups based on our personality color and did a team building activity. Our groups were meant to be diverse, instead of all of us being in groups with people that have the same personality color as us.


September 14th
Come visit the Lawrence County CEO booth at the Lawrence County Fall Festival and buy a ticket for a chance to win a processed whole hog!


September 15th
CEO students are at the Lawrence County Fall Festival selling tickets for their annual hog raffle. Just $1 per ticket for a chance to win a processed whole hog. We'll be here through tonight and you can also catch us at the Lawrenceville Homecoming game tomorrow!


September 16th
Lawrence County CEO students are at the Lawrenceville Homecoming game selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a processed whole hog. $1 per ticket. Stop by our tent next to the concession stand. See you there!


Week 4 - September 11 - 15
On Monday of week 4 of CEO, we talked about badges, our banner, planned for working the Lawrenceville Fall Festival and also planned who was working the LHS homecoming game. 
Tuesday we had a business tour of Bowler Performance Transmissions. It was very informational and beneficial. I learned many things from this tour. Mark Bowler taught us to follow our passion and if we aren’t passionate about what we are doing then don’t do it because you won’t be happy. He also taught us that the easiest route may not have the best rewards, therefore don’t lean towards the easiest path in life. One of the most beneficial lessons I took out of this tour was to be unique in our businesses in CEO. He explained to us that if we are different it will make our businesses stand out and we will become more successful. Not only did we learn all of these lessons, but we also learned about how Mark got into this business. I enjoyed this tour very much. Wednesday we set the schedule for the Lawrenceville Fall Festival and got the logos for our class banners. It was not a busy day, so we just talked about our week and made class decisions. Thursday we went to visit Agrigold. It was a great tour. I learned so much about how AgReliant works and Afrigold both. They were very kind to us and did an outstanding job of showing us their ways of running this business. Bryan Schallenburg gave us the tour of AgReliant where I learned the process of planting, harvesting, and selling the corn they produce. He showed us all of the machines used and I learned a lot. Shawna Murphy gave us the tour of Agrigold where we got to see the business part of the tour and meet a lot of people including Jarad Arnold, Business Manager. John Kermicle, General Manager for AgriGold told us to find our passion and follow it. Friday I wasn’t at CEO due to being on Student Council, however the rest of my class went to breakfast at the Shack. After the homecoming parade I sold tickets for the hog raffle at the Red Hill game. 
Week 4 of CEO was one for the books and I am excited for more to come!


September 23

Lawrence County CEO students are at the Red Hill High School homecoming game selling raffle tickets for a chance for a processed whole hog donated by Carl Price.

Stop by our booth and buy a ticket for only $1!




Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - September 18 - 22. Submitted by Nicole Gray
On Monday, we had a visit from CEO alums Clayton Smith and Nate Weger. They shared some valuable lessons that they learned during their time as a student. They made a big point about shaking people’s hands to show respect. Showing respect can help establish connections that will be important later in the year. They also stressed being on time and paying attention to show respect. Showing up to events late comes off as very rude and unprofessional. Paying attention to our speakers is also very important because not only are they teaching important lessons, they are taking time out of their day to talk to us. Tuesday we got to take a tour of New Leaf. This is personally my favorite we have taken so far. There was so much to see and learn. The building that New Leaf is in used to be a car dealership, and you can still see many of the elements of that around the building. One of their philosophies is to be just a little bit different. It’s hard to stand out doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, so being different can really help your business. We were also given the advice to go the extra inch instead of the extra mile because going a mile can sometime seem excessive. Wednesday we took a tour of CFCO in Russellville.. They are a business that performs many services such as irrigation, tiling, dirt work, and mowing. They install about 2 million feet of tile in one year. One piece of advice that was given to us was to always have a smile on our faces. Thursday we started out the day by signing thank you notes for all of our speakers and places we tour. It is important to show our appreciation to them so that they continue to allow the program to visit them. Then we watched a video that covered three very important topics: handshakes, meaningful conversation, and asking questions. Handshakes are not only important to show respect like I mentioned earlier, but they start and end conversations without being awkward. We also learned from the video a system for making these conversations meaningful and easy. This system originated from Dale Carnegie. You basically ask simple, basic questions whose answers you will have a connection to or can learn something from them. The last section of this video was ideas for questions that we can ask on business tours or with guest speakers. Friday we started planning for our class business, the dinner and auction. We discussed the menu, the venue, and price per person. We are also in the process of setting the date and securing the location of the event, as well as how many people we want plan for. Alum Macey Waggoner sat in on class and offered advice and suggestions. This week was a busy one, but it is well worth the time and the effort put in.

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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - September 25 - 29 Submitted by Amanda Marley Week six of CEO was very productive. Monday we met at City Hall and discussed our class business, read an article out of a business magazine and, drew the winner for our hog raffle, which was Greg Cotton. Tuesday we toured Marathon which I though was very informational and interesting. I learned many things about Marathon that I never knew before. For example I didn’t know they produced over 265,000 barrels of oil a day. We got to tour the refinery, and the control room which were both really neat. Some things I took out of this tour was to never be dishonest, or over sell yourself in an interview. I think that was really important for them to teach us that, along with to always come prepared for a job interview. They informed us to know some background about the job you are going for, be prepared, and to tell the truth. Wednesday our class met at the 4H center to check out what it has to offer. We made some decisions about our dinner venue and then decided we should go check out the church. Our class came to a conclusion that the church was too small and we believe we should try out the 4H. It has more room, good parking, and it may take a lot of effort but I believe it will be better. Thursday we met at Lawrenceville High School and watched a video from Midland Institute. I enjoyed it very much. It was about Kristen Heidid who is an entrepreneur who started her own business at a young age. She owns a cleaning business that not only cleans, but also teaches students. She started out small, but then it grew huge. Although she experienced many bumps along the way, Student Made has turned out very successful. I learned so much from this speaker. She taught us to always take the first opportunity you get, you learn the most when you start from the bottom, don’t over plan, and to always come with solutions instead of just the challenges when asking for help. I learned to take action and to always try new things. Needless to say I got so much out of this video, and I would love to read her book “ Permission to Screw Up” when it comes out. Friday Zane Parrott came in and talked to our class. We filled out a paper about where we are, where we want to be and how we are going to get there, which I enjoyed. Then he talked to us a little about what he does, and about his business as a Real Estate and Auctioneer. It was really interesting. Zane was a really inspirational speaker and I learned a lot from him. Some beneficial things I took out of this speaker were not to sell the product, sell the service, never lose hope, apply yourself, be the best person you can be and help others, and one thing that was really helpful to me right now was to not stress and be overwhelmed, it is not worth it. He agreed with us on our decision of the 4H to where we are holding our dinner and auction. He thinks bigger is better and I couldn’t agree more. We are hoping he is going to be able to be our auctioneer, I think he would do a great job. In my opinion Zane did a great job speaking to us and I am glad I had the opportunity to listen.
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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - October 2-6 Submitted by Cherub Mohler
This week was short but very informative! 
On Monday we met at Coco’s for breakfast with Bob Tracy. We talked about what all went into making New Leaf what it is today. Bob really focused on talking about what lays behind the walls of New Leaf and taught us to never stop improving. With everything in the facility down to the electricity Jan has wanted the best of the best and that’s why she was so successful. For example, there's enough heating and cooling in New Leaf to heat and cool 25 individual houses. There are 500 circuit breakers and all dimming lights are programed to a computer. Another takeaway from this day was to not throw away our ideas, some of the ideas Jan had imagined may have seemed impossible because there’s nothing comparable to her business in the community but all the contractors, designers, and electricians dedicated themselves to making her idea a reality.  On Tuesday we toured Mini Storage with Gary Huber. Gary is a retired school teacher, he’s been in this storage business since 1943. When he opened he was the only one in the area. He thinks they were so successful for that reason and they payed for themselves within 10 years. Take aways include find a need in the community, don’t let your life be framed by a phone or laptop (talk to people), also I got lost on the way there so I learned to find things the day before.  Finally on Wednesday we toured Lawrenceville International Airport.  This airport is the 3rd largest airport in Illinois. There are several different clubs at the airport who are an essential part of how the airport funds itself. We spoke mostly with Kurtis Schwartz the general manager of the airport. We learned that there are about 63 airplanes based here and there's also a foreign trade zone on site which is extremely beneficial to the economy of the community. We also learned a bit about the history of the airport which was originally an army air force base. While at the airport we toured the paint shop where they have customers from all over the world flying into to get there airplanes painted and restored. Another take away of this tour was that we shouldn’t only limit ourselves to customers only in our area, with the right sources the airport is able to connect with people all over the world and we can do the same. The airport is also an example of a lot of people who have very different career choices than majority of people in our area and although they’re not the typical farmer, restaurant owner, healthcare provider or any other typical career field in our area they’re still very successful.

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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - Week 8 - October 9-13 Submitted by Cherub Mohler
On Monday we didn’t have school so there was no class that day.
On Tuesday we had guest speaker Mark Bowler from Bowler Performance Transmissions at the hub. He had us all fill out a worksheet he made up of questions he wished someone had asked him before he started his business. He really got us all thinking and openly talking about our ideas for our personal businesses. He reinforced his strict “be passionate about whatever you do” motto. He also told us if we’re stuck between two or more choices that filling out a paper for all options would be beneficial to break down each idea into realistic terms. On Wednesday the Juniors were excused from class in order to take the PSAT tests therefore being the only Senior I was the only one in class that day. Barb and I broke down what each individual committee for the dinner auction needs to be taking care of as soon as possible. She also had me make a note that if you say you’re going to do something get it done. Another takeaway from this day was it helped me to not be so nervous about being 1 on 1 with someone. On Thursday we toured the Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana. We spoke to several speakers including Elexia a Human Resource professional employed by the plant. She encouraged us to do Co-ops in college and told us a bit about the Co-op she’s currently working with. After this we watched a video telling us what all we were going to see and explained it a bit. Following the video we went on a tour through the plant and got to see pretty much everything. We learned about several specific ways the plant gives back to the community it’s in. Three big things from this tour were the plants motto “Too early is never too early, Enough is never enough, and good isn’t good enough.” I also took note that the plant produces 1,700 cars per day and their most requested vehicle is the Highlander. On Friday we had Macey and Alfonzo as our visitors at the hub. Macey brought us a book that their class purchased for us with the leftover money from their businesses. They both asked us as a class how our class business is coming and also individually about our ideas for personal businesses. Barb also had us take note on Friday that we need to be prepared and be positive at all times. This day was also very beneficial to me personally because I had different people to bounce ideas off of and I got a list of names with people for resources to help me build on my idea.


Weekly Journal for Week 9- October 16 -October 20, 2017 Submitted by Zebulon Zeigler
Monday, October 16, we were visited by Victoria Goad, the Manager of the Lawrence County Farm Bureau. She told us about her job, and all the many different aspects she and the Bureau do. All-in-all, they advocate for farmers as well as rural areas and help provide things like Ag in the classroom for the community. She told us that in our county, we have 400 voting members and 900 associate members on the board. Some really interesting facts to me were that there are 421 farms, 169,00 acres of farmland and on the average farm is 461 acres in Lawrence County. For Victoria, she says that no week is the same. She has many things in her schedule from board meetings to being the landlord for several tenants. Goad says we need to “Do something that scares you,” explaining her move from home, as well as “Do something you’re passionate about,” when asked for CEO advice. Tuesday, October 17, we decided to work more on our class business ideas by first asking for help with our ad campaign. We also made sure we all knew we have to start selling tickets and getting auction items as soon as possible as we have about 1 month to go! A final thing we went over was who’s on the CEO Board, so we know to approach for ticket sales and auction items. This really helped as I only knew a handful of people. Wednesday, October 18, we met at City Hall to have a Mock City Council Meeting with Mayor, Don Waggoner. We were all assigned a position and had to fill it by reading through last month's meeting like a script. I played Ron Waldroup while others filled in spots like the mayor himself, played by Steven. I personally found it very interesting to see how things go on as well as just how much each person is in charge of; especially the Mayor, having more than anyone else. An example of one of the many things he goes over every month is the budget report, still following the agenda given. Another interesting fact is when voting on things, a name call isn't needed unless spending money. I personally found this day to be quite interesting as we’ve been meeting there at City Hall for the entire first quarter and were finally being able to see one way how it’s used. Thursday, October 19, we finished off the short week by watching a few short videos in the LHS Computer Lab. A few titles were Don't Think They Don’t Know, Take It All In, and It Matters How You Say It. In Don’t Think They Don’t Know, it addressed the problem of avoiding something after someone asks you to do it. You may brush it off and avoid them because you didn’t do it. You avoid talking about it and think they don’t know. Except, they know. When someone does the same to you, you know. Bottom line, if you say you’ll do something , do it! Take It All In, reminds us to always be trying to keep knowledge and remember things by asking questions and taking notes. This way we can gain knowledge from personal experiences. Finally, It Matters How You Say It, helps us learn how to choose what we say, and the right words to do it with. For example, asking someone: “Do I have to?,” sounds unpleasant. Instead, we can say something like: “Would you like for me to?” this way sounds more supportive, understanding, encouraging, and positive altogether. This day may have been filled with short videos, but each one held a lot of knowledge we could learn from. Friday, October 20 Parent-Teacher Conferences ~No School~


CEO Weekly Newsletter - October 23-27 - Submitted by Austin Price
This week was a pretty good week in CEO. We moved into the new hub, Rucker’s Wholesale, and had some neat tours and speakers. 
On Monday, we discussed the class business. We talked about donations and ticket sales.  On Tuesday we toured Flying S in Palestine. They build top secret parts we are not allowed to talk about. They showed us how they make their carbon fiber parts, as well as machining on their $100,000 Haas CNC machines. Penny Shaw, the owner, told us that we can't just have an Idea, we have to get everything lined up to create the business. We have to work up to it. And most importantly,we need to have the people to make the business happen. On Wednesday, Kevin Strange, CEO board member and banker with Casey State Bank, came in and talked to us about how to create our business plans. He told us how to get ahold of him if we need him for anything else as well. On Thursday we discussed the class business again, and went to collect auction items. Steven and I got a laptop from Tracy Electric. We went to CoCo’s and got a gift certificate. We also got a gift certificate from the Mandarin, and a goody bag from New Leaf Fitness and Spa. On Friday we went to State Farm Insurance Agency and learned about the insurance industry from Beth and Tom Robinson. Tom gave us some good business advice like to show up early, do your best, and get involved. Tom is involved in a lot of local things like the Chamber of Commerce. 
This week was pretty fun and insightful. I'm looking forward to more opportunities in CEO.
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Lawrence County Weekly Newsletter - Week 11- October 30 - November 3 - Submitted by Manda Marley
This was a really good week of CEO with many tours and a really good guest speaker. Monday we went to Crawford Farms and toured their business. They are an agricultural operation and are grain farmers on 5,200 acred land run by Andy and Ryan Crawford and their parents, Ed and Peggy. They showed us many of their machines along with how everything works. Some takeaways I got from this tour were to never think you’re ahead of the game, because it will catch up to you, if you want something done right, do it yourself, there is always room for improvement, and lastly all the little things will add up to good things. Tuesday we met at our hub and discussed ticket sales and donations. Wednesday we met for breakfast at Bossos and discussed some more about our dinner and auction as well as ticket sales. Thursday Marilyn Wagner came as our guest speaker. She has a home based travel agency that was started in 2013. After she retired from her job at Golden Rural in 2007, she needed something to do and decided to start her business Was Ventures. Some advice that I took from Marilyn was to set goals and go for it, always try because you never know until you do, and do what you say you’re going to do. I enjoyed her as a guest speaker very much and am glad I had the opportunity to listen to her speak. Friday we went to Growing Green Lawn care and learned a lot about the business and had the chance to do some hands on things with the machinery. It was a great tour. Keith Fisher is the owner and president of this business. Starting in 2000 they provide lawn care, seeding, mowing, landscaping, power washing, window washing, and snow removal. Some takeaways I received from this tour is to always have confidence, you have to take pride in your work, and you always have to do hands on to lead by example.


Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - Week 12 - November 11, 2017 - Submitted by Nicole Gray
Monday we discussed a variety of things. The main topic of discussion was ticket sales. We totaled the number of tickets sold to see how close we were to reaching our goal of 250 tickets sold. Potential ticket buyers were brainstormed and divided among those with tickets left to try and sell. We also touched base on where we were with decorations and what our decoration budget would be. Tuesday Mario Aguirre came to speak to us. The first takeaway he gave us was to always be at least 10 minutes early. If you are less than 10 minutes early, you are late. He also told us to associate with successful people because who you spend time with matters and will affect you. One last major takeaway was to think in positive terms. When you think and act positively, people notice and are more willing to be around you than someone who is always negative. It’s important to have a good attitude even when things around you are falling apart. Jim Gardner of Whittaker Beef talked to us on Wednesday. He told us how his business started from a small side business kind of operation to eventually opening up a storefront. One point he stressed was that you can’t please all of your customers or do everything that they want. He talked about the bestsellers of his business and some of the changes they have made since opening, as well as some prospective changes that he’d like to implement. He was a very interesting speaker and made some great points. Thursday we were at Lawrence County Memorial Hospital to take a tour. Our speaker was the interim CEO. The hospital is a critical access hospital, which means they are limited to 25 beds and can only keep patients for 4 days. The biggest struggle of running the hospital is the lack of funding from the State of Illinois. A bit of advice that was shared with us is to always make time for your personal life. On Friday, Kevin Strange popped in to talk to us about some things. He told us that the board is going to donate a Yeti cooler for us to raffle off at the Capital Classic. I also got to present my business to him and talk to him about my business plan. After he left, we worked on plans for the upcoming dinner and auction, which is being held November 18 at the 4-H Center with barbecue pork dinner beginning at 6:00 p.m. and the auction at 7:00 p.m.


Lawrence County CEO Weekly Journal - November 13 - 18 - Submitted by Grace Hahn

This was a great week building up to a wonderful event! We had two speakers, decorating, and a great event. On Monday, we had Kyle Gray come and speak to us at the hub. He used to work at Good Samaritan Hospital and talked to us about the Lean Six Sigma. The first piece of advice I took from this was that you need to own it and sell, work your products. Also, failure is something that happened to everyone. Lastly, always try to fix the weakest part of your business. On Tuesday, Sabrina Burkiewicz, the Illinois Farm Bureau Social Media Expert, came and spoke to us at the hub. She gave us wonderful advice for managing social media for our businesses. For example, filter your personal accounts so that your business will present itself reliably. Next, Facebook is the most used social media outlet and has some of the greatest tools to advertise. Use it to your advantage when starting a business. Lastly, don’t let anyone keep you from following your dreams. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, our class decorated the 4H Center for our Dinner and Auction. It went very smoothly and everyone did great putting in a helping hand to get everything up. Cherub, Manda, and I put together our decorations from our moms to decorate the building. On Saturday, we had our Dinner and Auction. We want to thank Zane Parrott and Greg Todd for volunteering to be our auctioneers. They were fantastic! There was a wonderful turnout of people and generous donations at our auction. I did the welcome before we serving the meal. Our class appreciates everyone that came and had a wonderful evening!


Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - November 27 - December 1 - Submitted by Amanda Marley

Monday we met at the hub and discussed our Yeti raffle and learned about ethics. Mrs. Large taught us we had to be ethical to be successful in the business world. Tuesday we toured Havoline Hall and Finishing Touch with Chris and Lindsey Sechrest. I enjoyed it very much. They showed us a slideshow of the before, during and after pictures of the renovation. They also gave us so...me background information on both buildings which was interesting. Cal and Wanda Sechrest also showed us around their store. Some takeaways I received from this tour was to always have an open mind, have a good product, and just because you have a good product doesn’t mean Lawrence County will support you, however you still have to keep going and strive for the best. Wednesday we went to the City Clerk office with Will Gibson. He showed us around and led us through how everything works. There are many duties of a city clerk and some include payroll, paying and collecting all the bills, maintaining death and marriage records and many more. They have book records from all the way back in 1821. A few takeaways from this tour were that sometimes you fall into jobs, you have to rely on your coworkers as a supervisor, find something you enjoy that you want to get up in the morning, and to go with the flow sometimes. Thursday we went to our hub and worked on our business plan for our dinner and auction as well as the Yeti raffle. We created a document and filled out everything needed to create this business plan.  Friday we went to breakfast at The Brunch House. Along with really good breakfast we got to speak to the owner and learn about history in lawrence county. Staci Campbell, the owner spoke to us about how everything got started and also told us there are two main aspects to running a business which are advertising and quality service. Chloe Brookhart an employee there took over and also spoke to us how they are more unique and how they try and better themselves as a business.


Lawrence County Ceo Weekly Newsletter - December 4 - 8 Submitted by Cherub Mohler

On Monday we met at LHS and watched the entrepreneurs toolkit videos that Bob Tracy got us. From these videos we learned that to figure out what business we should make we need to learn how to find problems and make solutions. Entrepreneurs start their questions with “how might we.”On Tuesday we toured Aperion care with Lori Haynes and Patti Ash. Lori is the director of the entire building. Sh...e told us about a lot of the regulations and rules the nursing homes must follow. We toured the nursing home and got to see their plans for the future. Some takeaways from this day include learning a lot about nursing homes in general and getting to see the ways people make a home away from home.On Wednesday we met at the Hub and talked about our recent tours and upcoming tours. We had a very laid back day with several discussions about our personal businesses. A takeaway from this day was that sometimes you just need a laid back day to recoup. We also sent thank you cards to those who hosted tours and were guest speakers in the past two months.On Thursday we met at the Abstract and Title Company. Roxie, Theresa, their middle sister Alberta, and their employee Rachel provided a nice breakfast for us and explained what they do. They also gave us each a goodie bag and a folder containing the ins and outs of their business and information that will help us all in the future when we buy properties or houses. After breakfast we toured through all of their old records and were able to see several old maps and most of us found our houses on them.On Friday we met with attorney Derek McCullough and Judge Hopkins. They both told us a lot about what they do on a day to day basis. Judge Hopkins explained a lot about law school and how his day is always unpredictable. Derek’s day is more predictable than Judge Hopkins but he does whatever his customers have planned for him so he doesn’t necessarily plan his day out either. Some takeaways from this day for me personally I realized that not everyone plans out their day and I want to make a planner for those type of people to include in my business.Another big stepping stone for me this week was I started my business facebook page, picked out a name, made a logo, and ordered business cards. It was a very productive week!


Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - December 11 - 15 Submitted by Amanda Marley and Shea Jennings
Monday of week 17 we toured Mullen’s Dressing Company in Palestine Illinois. Jeff Schaner gave us this tour and it was very interesting. John Mullen started this company in 1946. There are six different kinds of dressing there and we got the opportunity to taste a sample of all of them. Mullen’s has a special ingredient that makes their dressing unique. I learned that to ...be a successful business you don’t have to have a huge building to run it in. Mullen’s is a very small business however they are very successful. Tuesday we toured Gray Wholesale with Connie Simmons. This business was started in 1960. They sell strictly from Anheuser Busch and there are many strict regulations and rules they are required to follow. They have a gross sales of over 8 million a year and their inventory consists of 625,000 cases of beer. This was one of my favorite tours and I thought it was really neat to see how everything works. On Wednesday, we went to Rucker’s Candy in Bridgeport. This was started in 1985 by Rick Rucker. The company has 150 employees and 60 part time employees. Deb Parrot, now one of the owners, showed us around the warehouse in which they store and package all candy. The deliver to 49 states, excluding Hawaii. They produce 700 sales per week which equates to one million pounds of candy per month. The factory was very cool to witness all of the employees doing their individual job that created a whole process.Thursday we went to the Free Methodist Church in Bridgeport and helped Birgit Volk with Fish and Loaves. We put together little Christmas Gifts and on Friday we delivered them to the schools. It was very rewarding being able to give back to the community!After we delivered the bags for Fish and Loaves we went back to our hub and had our Christmas Party. Mrs. Large made breakfast for us and we listened to Christmas music and talked about our previous tours this week!

Lawrence County CEO Newsletter January 8 - 12, 2018 - Submitted by Zebulon Zeigler
Monday, January 8
Monday, on our first day back from break, we took a PDP Survey from Midland Institute to find out more about ourselves and our personalities. After that, to get back into the groove of things, we decided to do some team building. We decided to play charades which ended up being lots of fun but also getting us back to working together. Tuesday, January 9 On Tuesday, we visited...d Gray’s restaurant in Bridgeport, and met with Todd Gray himself. Gray’s was built in 1933 the first day in 1945. Todd was brought up working there and was officially full-time in 1974. Within 4 years they needed to build on, which improved business.And, as time moved on, Todd’s dad passed and he became the CEO. Gray’s is a steady business that continues to have plenty of customers and even be known from far away. Todd said that the only business trouble that they’d ever had was when Texaco shut down. Today, Gray’s continues to serve families and friends from surrounding areas, and pride themselves on quality and being able to cut their meats themselves. When asked for business advice, Todd said to work hard for your money and let money work hard for you. Wednesday, January 10 Wednesday, we met at Coco’s to have breakfast with Bob Tracy and Macey Wagonner. There, we were treated to either biscuits and gravy or breakfast casserole. He also was extremely kind and got us all business-starter gift baskets and some Lawrence County Loyalty Bucks. At the end of our meal, he gave us a piece of paper with a black dot on it and told us to write what we saw. After this, he told us that the point of the activity was to show us how we need to focus on the positive things in life instead of the negative ones. Thursday, January 11 On Thursday, we met at the hub and talked to Derek McCollough about business planning. Some things he told us were to go to the courthouse and fill out a DBA. This day really helped as we are about to all officially start our business with the class and needed some last minute legal advice. Friday, January 12 School Cancelled ~No Class~


Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - January 15-19, Submitted by Shea Jennings
We had a short week due to the snow days on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. But on Thursday, Trevor Jackman, a former CEO student, came to our hub to speak. He talked to us about his experience in the class and with his business. He still continues his soybean production today. He told us that the class was a great confidence booster for him and it taught him to be independent. He also told us to surround ourselves with positive and intelligent people. The last thing he talked about was the trade show. His booth was very well executed and was swarmed with customers all day. He told us to let the people come to us and put extra effort into the trade show. On Friday, we listened to Larry Wittmer speak to us about his job. He has been in the oil business for 50 years actually starting in the oil fields when he was 14 years old. He told us we’d learn more outside of school getting our hands dirty than in school. He told us to use all the tools available to us, to admit to something if you don’t know and ask the question to find out the answer. I liked the tour and learned a lot about geology and how it benefits our country.

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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter January 22-26, Submitted by Nicole Gray
Monday we went to a yoga class at New Leaf with Rachel Hipsher. It was a great team bonding experience. We also got to tour the Mandarin and learn more about it. Tuesday we were at the hub. Clayton Smith came in to talk to us about how our individual business ideas or how our businesses are going. We also discussed the possibility of having a dance to gain interest in the program. Wednesday we were at the LHS computer lab. We watched a video on how to develop our business ideas to give ourselves the best chance for success. We learned that in depth market research can make or break a business. We then took the skills learned from the video and applied them to our own businesses. Thursday we met at the hub. We discussed plans for the dance. Then, we went over our personality survey reports. Using those results, we split into groups and did an activity where we budgeted money and planned a vacation to Disney World. Friday we met at the hub to meet and interview all of the potential mentors. We got 3 minutes to interview each other before moving on to the next person. At the end, we made a list of our top 5 that will be used to pair us accordingly. It was a crazy and fast paced day.
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Lawrence County CEO Newsletter February 5-9, Submitted by Grace Hahn
This week was a four day week for our CEO class. Monday and Tuesday we spent at the hub. During these two days, we worked on our business plans. Specifically I worked on totaling my cost analysis and typing everything. We also talked about other items such as business cards and banners. I definitely got a lot of things done in these two days. On Wednesday, we went to Cochran Insurance and talked with Bob Christy. I learned some new things about insurance that I had no idea of. For one, if you can pay for the damage of a small accident, don’t turn in the claim for it. It will make your insurance go up and raise prices. Also, there are many policies that are separate from a standard home insurance policy. For example, flood policies are different and aren’t even included in standard home insurance. The main thing that I really took in is when Bob Christy said that life happens. It is okay to roll with the punches. You just have to be able to adapt to situations. On Thursday, my mentor, Jamie Tussey, came to speak to us at the hub. She mainly talked to us about advertising. You have to think about your market when you are advertising both long term and in a short timespan. One thing she also suggested was to tag yourself or others in a post so that it allows more people to see it. This is because Facebook monitors what you’ve looked at and analyzed what it then wants to show you on your news feed. As business owners, we have to take into consideration all of the factors that will allow us to reach more people. Lastly, make sure all of the platforms you are using to promote your business are done well or else it could reflect poorly on your business.

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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Journal February 12 -16, 2018, submitted by Zebulon Zeigler 
Monday, we were visited by Cleora and Blair from Western Southern Life at LHS. Blair showed us a presentation that went over budgeting, retirement, and inflation. The presentation showed that ⅓ of Americans don’t have any money saved for retirement. He said a good plan is to always save 10 % of your earnings and to make a budget to take control of where your money is going and what it does for you. This gives you control over your finances, promotes saving, discourages impulse buying, and helps you plan for unforeseen financial situations. Lastly, he told us the 3 steps to creating a budget plan. 1, Examine your current net worth. 2, Establish some personal financial goals. 3, Pay off any debt you currently have. Tuesday, February 13 On Tuesday, we visited RHS to talk to prospective students about enrolling in the class the next school year. We went over our individual businesses, the class business and the class as a whole for them. This hopefully helped them decide if they want to join the amazing program for its fourth consecutive year. Wednesday, February 14 Wednesday, we met at the hub for a Valentine’s Day party. Barb brought us festive donuts and we brought our drinks. As we chowed down, we also tried to finish up our business plans as we needed them ready for review on Friday. This day was simple yet enjoyable. Thursday, February 15 On Thursday, we met at the hub once again but this time, to have a mentor/protege day. When all kids and mentors were there, we discussed our class business we held in November and how it went/ could have gone better. In all honesty, we thought it went very well and didn't have very many suggestions. After that, each student told the group of adults our final business choice and gave an example of our product or service. After this, we met individually with our mentors and talked about some ideas. My mentor, is Patti Ash, from Aperion Care in Bridgeport. She and I talked about my business as a whole and what some of my ideas are and can be. I also told her some of my ideas for the trade show, which she liked, and made me very happy. Friday, February 16 Friday, we were back at the hub, this time with Amy Marley and Eric Paulin from the Lawrence County Health Department, as well as Kevin Strange, new to Peoples State Bank. Amy and Eric went over what we can and can’t do when it comes to creating a business that offers food and/or food products. Sadly, we found out 2 classmates cannot do their idea, and 2 others will need to make sure they provide ingredient labeling to their products. After we talked to them, we switched gears over to Kevin, who was there to look at our business plans. I am pleased to say he said mine was very good. Hopefully, the bank will too on banker's day, next week.
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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - March 12 - 16, submitted by Amanda Marley

Monday of week 28 we toured FS Russellville. The owner Mike gave us the tour along with his employees. Their busy season is the first of April and they supply 15-20 farmers. They have five full time employees and four part time. My favorite thing I learned about FS is the dicamba chemical they put on certain crops.They charge more for this chemical due to the fact that it can do damage to crops. Tuesday we met at the hub and Hunter Stallings and Noah Volkman came and spoke to us. I learned so much from them. Noah told us about how he got into college and that motivation is key. I took so much important information away from Hunter. He told us that we’re all leaders, never gossip in business, respect is key, and to surround yourself in your own truth. He also taught us an important acronym, HAIL. Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, and Love. I will always keep this acronym in mind when it comes to business and life. Wednesday I was gone due to a microbiology trip. Thursday was our mentor day. We got together with our mentors and talked about the trade show, what three things we will be doing next for our business, and the hardest part of CEO right now. Cierra, Shea and I also got some ideas for our trade show booth. From all of the mentors I learned to always make lists, keep a calendar and be flexible and to just go with the flow. Friday Braden Whitney came to the hub and talked to us about what he is doing in college right now and have us some tips for our businesses. After we talked and ate donuts we meditated. Braden went on a trip where he meditates for eight hours a day and he brought his experience to our class and showed us how to. I enjoyed it so much and it was very relaxing. Some takeaways I received from Friday were to take summer internships, mindfulness is the source of happiness, smile every morning, and lastly you have time for everything you just have to make it.
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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - March 19-23, submitted by Grace Hahn 
On Monday, we toured Patti Ash’s business, Patti’s Pretties. She does custom vinyl lettering. She actually started just by doing them as gifts and now it’s developed into an order and sell business. Her organization skills are what I strive to be and she had one of the most well laid out homemade production lines I’ve seen.On Tuesday, we went to Little Learners Daycare and toured it with Cierra Ring. They currently have 54 kids enrolled! They also offer it as a place for school age kids before and after school. It was open for business on November 14, 2016 and wen from 14 kids to 54. One of the best parts to me is that they have a no electronics policy. None of their kids sit and watch tv all day, but instead are active and learn. On Wednesday, we toured Phoenix Pool Hall and Grill with Dwayne Volkman. He gave us some great advice. We have to be dependable if we want to be in the business world. You also have to be reachable. People need to be able to get ahold of you. Also, things take time and you have to exercise patience. On Thursday, Jodi Finley, the owner of Stirrups, came to speak to us at the hub. A great thing she talked about was only doing things if she felt they were absolutely the right thing to do. She said, if doors are open, why not go through them? Also, don’t be afraid to redevelop or reimagine things as our business continues and grows.On Friday, we were at the hub working on things for our businesses. I got my product photography done with Jessica Benson. She did an amazing job, and I plan to start marketing them on my Facebook page soon with the help of Jamie Tussey.
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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - March 26 - 30
On Monday, Jessica Benson, owner of Jessica Benson Photography, came to speak to us at the hub. She shared her journey of going from Nursing School, to becoming an English teacher to becoming a professional photographer. She is the mother of three sons and said that being a photographer, while demanding gives her the flexibility she needs to be able to spend quality time with her family. We want to thank Jessica for coming to speak to our class, but also for taking our pictures for the CEO Annual Report!On Tuesday, we toured Verlockend Baths owned by Grace Hahn who is one of very own CEO students. Grace sells a variety of bath products including handmade bath bombs, bath salts, soap bars, lotion, cellulite cream, and loofahs. Grace spoke to the students about the importance of being organized, time management, and the importance of creating a great trade show booth.On Wednesday, we toured Cade’s Country Creations, owned by Cade Benson who is also one of our CEO students. Cade makes custom knives out of deer antlers and other rustric products. He also makes crosses and wine racks out of railroad spikes. But the main product that he thinks will be most successful is his photography sealed on various wood products. To see Grace and Cade’s products as well as the other CEO students’ products come to the Lawrence County CEO Trade Show on May 10 from 4:30 to 7:00 P.M. at the LHS gym.
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Lawrence County Weekly Newsletter - April 9-April 13, 2018, submitted by Zebulon Zeigler
Monday, April 9 Monday, we met for an easy team building day of playing two truths and a lie. This got us back into thinking as a team as we were previously out of school for a week due to spring break. By playing a game we got to socialize with each other again rekindle friendships. Tuesday, April 10 ~Students were excused due to SAT Testing at schools~ Wednesday, April 11 Wednesday, we visited the Birds/Pinkstaff water district and met with two board members, including Kyle Gray, the board president. Kyle told us that the boards purpose has been to provide clean water since 1965, when the district was formed. Today, there are 392 meters in the water district and the board has recently replaced their water tower as well as some water lines, helping them provide their 50-60,000 gallons of water each and every day. Thursday, April 12 ~Students dismissed for college day at VU~ Friday, April 13 Friday, we were visited by Brad Purcell, a CEO Board member, and former mayor of Bridgeport. He told us that as mayor, he found out that 50% of Bridgeport is either living in poverty or elderly. He also said that he became mayor to help a bad situation. Brad said we need to learn what’s needed in a community and help, and to always look because opportunities are everywhere.
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Lawrence County CEO Weekly Newsletter - April 16 - 22, submitted by Cade Benson 
On Monday, Jordan Kull came to the hub. He is part owner/operator of a business called Tillable. The objective of this business is to connect (non-farming) land owners with farmers. He had a client come with him and he gave a live pitch in front of us. He also told us about a book called “Hacking Growth”, it discusses how to best grow a business. Three things I learned from Jordan were, be nice to everyone, don’t burn bridges, and to be honest. On Tuesday, we went to WTWO in Farmersburg, Indiana. It was quite the adventure! We had one student (not me) lock his keys and note taking supplies in his car, about 5 miles away from WTWO. The first thing we did was take a tour of WTWO with a gentleman named Jeremy Moore, we even got to go onto the television sets. I pretended to be the weatherman and a chef on the cooking set. After that, we got to meet the general manager of WTWO, Tim Sturgess. He talked to us about how he got to his place in the business and he also asked us about our businesses. After the tour we ate Olive Garden! It was awesome. I learned quite a bit from that tour, I learned to be upfront with people, do what I feel is right, and to be time efficient.  On Wednesday, we had our monthly mentor meeting, it was our last one. We basically talked about the tradeshow and about the tour of WTWO. We also had a luncheon that day but I didn’t go because I had a test.  On Thursday, we filmed our commercial for the tradeshow with WTWO. We filmed it at the hub. It was an interesting process. But it was also very simple. It took one camera and one microphone. It will promote our CEO Trade Show that will be held May 10 from 4:30 to 7:00 P.M. at the LHS gym. On Friday, we didn’t have class because Red Hill didn’t have school.
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