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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.

2019 CEO Class
Back Row: Noah Weger, Logan Vaughn, Alec G, Cavan Rich, Eli I, Matt, and Nick
Front Row: Joey, Tabitha Reid, Shelby Russell, Jaylnn Ault, Maizie Organ, and Barbara Large

See the Lawrence County CEO Facebook page for more information.

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.

On November 30th, we were joined by CEO alumna Nicole Gray and Rachel Richey from the SIU School of Business. Rachel came to talk to the class about what the SIU, the School of Business in particular, has to offer to students. She went over all available programs and gave a brief overview of the admission process. Nicole is attending SIU School of Business this fall and came to talk to us about her journey in choosing a college. She told us that she originally was not interested in SIU, but going on a visit completely changed her mind. Thank you Rachel and Nicole for coming in today!

On November 29th, we were visited by Cindy Greentree. Cindy has worked as a Physical Therapist for the last 21 years and is currently working at Good Samaritan Hospital. However, her talk was not about Good Samaritan Hospital. Cindy talked to us about the importance of customer service. She told us things to emphasize when providing service and things to make sure we do not do. She also told us to be flexible and to always meet your customer’s needs. Cindy also spoke to the importance of preparedness and the word of mouth. Some pieces of advice Cindy have the class was to not promise things you can’t deliver and to not rest on your past success. To end class, we did a listening activity where we gave instructions on how to dress a Mr. Potato Head. It was a very informative day filled with fun. Thank you Cindy for coming in and also providing a great breakfast!

On November 28th, we had Mentor/Student Training and our first Mentor Day. Students and the mentors found out who they were paired with and then learned the expectations for their relationship. Students will meet with their mentors in class monthly are are encouraged to reach out whenever needed and to meet with them outside of class. After going over expectations, students were allowed to sit down with their mentor for their first meeting. It was an exciting day of class and a step further into the creation of student’s personal businesses.

On November 27th, we toured Wabash Energy, owned by Lawrenceville native, Larry Whitmer. We were also joined by Larry’s sister and coworker, Laura Buher. Wabash Energy is a company that buys oil leases and wells throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Kansas. Larry spoke to the class about how they buy and sell oil wells depending on oil prices. The number of wells they own is never constant. Larry also showed the class how each oil well has a record and samples of what came from the well. At Wabash Energy, they have records dating back to the early 1900s. Larry told the class that he has worked in the Oil Industry since he was 14 years old. He has a degree in Geology from Indiana University and is very involved in his field. Larry has sat on a review board at IU for the last 5 years and also has worked with colleagues at Yellowstone National Park. Larry has an expansive amount of knowledge about the super volcano underneath Yellowstone and has given many presentations about it. Thank you Larry and Laura for allowing us to come in and for providing donuts and refreshments for the class!

On November 26th, we met at Lawrenceville High School and watched videos provided my Midland Institute. Some lessons students took away from the day was that everyone doesn’t think the same way you do and to always follow through on your promises. Following the videos, we began to work on the business plan for our Dinner and Lip Sync Competition. This is done to give students practice before creating business plans for their personal businesses.

On November 20th, our CEO class helped Birgit Volk, one of the organizers of the Fish and Loaves program, distribute food bags to area schools. Birgit explained to us that Fish and Loaves is a faith-based non-profit organization committed to children with food insecurity. Each week volunteers prepare food bags of easy to prepare food and snacks that are sent home with the students for the weekend. Currently, Fish and Loaves is providing for over 250 children each week. 
We want to thank Birgit for giving us the opportunity to help with this wonderful program. We also want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

On November 19th, we were joined by Lawrence County CEO alumni Steven Adamson and Cade Benson. Both boys talked to the class about what they liked most about their businesses and experience in the class, and what they would change. Cade suggested that business tours last longer and that he would’ve focused on selling one product instead of two. Steven didn’t not have any criticisms. The class then went through and told Steven and Cade about their personal business ideas and names for their business. Throughout class, we enjoyed breakfast casserole provided by Barb and milk provided by the boys. Thank you guys for coming in today!

On November 18th, our CEO class held a breakfast meeting at Bosso's Grill in Lawrenceville. While we ate a hearty breakfast we discussed our next class business which we all agreed would be a winter dance for high school students in the area. This will be the third year we have had a dance and we've found that it is a great way to promote our class to prospective CEO students. As soon as we finalize the date and place of the dance we will let you know.

On November 15th, we toured Land Title & Abstract Company, owned by Theresa Cunningham and Roxie Wright. LTAC is a private business, but works quite often with the Court House. On a daily basis, Theresa, Roxie, and their sister Roberta go back over a hundred years to research land that is being sold, purchased, or refinanced. They go through old books and documents to make sure that the land belongs to who it is listed under and that their is no liens against the property. To be general, they are a mixture between historians and legal proofreaders. This tour was very informative and gave a lot of information that students did not know prior. Also, we’d like to thank Theresa, Roxie, and Roberta for the gift bags and breakfast they provided this morning. Hopefully we can spend more time with you in the future!

On November 14th, we had our Mentor Match Up Day. The class, along with the prospective mentors, met at the Parrott Auction building on Route 1. Each student was given a chance to talk to each mentor for 4 minutes in a “speed dating” fashion. After meeting with all mentors, students got to rank their top choices of who they would choose as their mentor. The prospective mentors also got to rank who they would most enjoy mentoring and who they thought they would be the most help to. It was a great day of CEO and we all cannot wait to see who was paired together!

On November 13th, we met at State Farm Insurance with Tom Robinson. Tom owns the agency along with his wife, Beth Robinson, who was unable to be with us today. Tom gave us an overview of he and Beth’s history with State Farm. They both started by working in the corporate office setting. They eventually opened their first agency in Normal, IL before moving to Lawrenceville in 2000, where they remain today. State Farm offers a variety of lines of service, such as auto insurance, home/renters insurance, life insurance, banking services, and more. Tom also explained to us how although they are State Farm agents, they are still self-employed. Some advice Tom gave to the class was to to never put your college on hold and whenever you start your own business, to make sure you have an accountant watching over you. We appreciate The Robinson’s for allowing us to visit today and teaching us about what all State Farm has to offer.

On November 12th, 
we spent our time discussing our Dinner and Lip Sync, which was held this past Saturday. We went through the positives and what we could have done differently. Being the first ever CEO Lip Sync and Dinner, we concluded that it went exceptionally smooth. We also worked to get a figure put together for expenses and our expected profit. It is a great relief to know that our event was a success and perceived well by the community. Thank you everyone for the support.

As a class, we would like to thank the following...

-Rucker’s (Sabra Parrott) for the donation of candy
-Walmart (Matt Altom) for a multitude of donations, including drinks, cups, and paper products
-Matthew Young and Jill Moore for the donation of the pork that was served at the dinner
-Amy Marley and family for catering and the donation of labor
-Keith Fisher, for serving as our Master of Ceremonies
-Rachel Hipsher and Paula McKim for their help planning the Lip Sync
-Our Lip Sync Judges, Butch Lockley, Kathy Kiefer, and Eric Stidman
-Paige Harvey, for her help choreographing our act
-Paul Higginbotham, for his help with the sound system
-All local businesses and individuals that donated items and gift cards for giveaways 
-All individuals that gave donations following Saturday night. 
-And of course, all the participants and attendees that helped our First Annual Dinner and Lip Sync be a success.

Once again, thank you to all and we hope to see you all in May at the Trade Show!

On November 10th, Thanks to everyone who attended and helped with our CEO dinner and first ever lip sync competition! It was a huge success and so much fun. It's always great to give our community members an opportunity to show their talents! The CEO students are already wanting to have it again next year! THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE!

On November 9th, we spent the class wrapping up the planning of our Dinner and Lip Sync. We collected ticket money and reported our sales. After meeting in the LHS Conference Room, we all split and went separate ways. Some went to pick up candy from Rucker’s Candy, others went to Sweet T’s to check on your shirts. A pair of students went to the Chamber of Commerce, and a group went to sell tickets. This was a lesson that dividing and conquering can be very effective. We cannot wait for tomorrow and hope everyone else feels the same. It is under 24 hours until go time!

The winner of the ticket giveaway is Blaize Kimmell! Congratulations Blaize! Your ticket will be available for you tomorrow when you arrive to the Dinner and Lip Sync! We'll see you, and everyone else tomorrow night at 5:30 PM!

The dinner for tomorrow night is sold out!!! Wow! Thank you all!

As far as the Lip Sync, the Lawrenceville High School auditorium can hold nearly 400 people and we would love to see it packed! Tickets for the lip sync can be purchased AT THE DOOR tomorrow evening and are only $5 each!!! The Lip Sync will start at 7pm! Looking forward to some great entertainment tomorrow night at the Lawrenceville High School auditorium! Hope to see you all there!

On November 8th, we met at our second quarter hub, New Hope Christian Church. We began class by continuing our discussion from yesterday, talking about what still needs to be accomplished for our Dinner and Lip Sync Competition. We are tying up loose ends and all starting to feel much more confident that the event will be a success. For the second part of class, we were joined by Lawrence County CEO Alumna, Paige Harvey. Paige was a student in the first ever LCCEO class. While attending Red Hill High School, Paige was a member of the Dance Team, so we invited her in to help us with some last minute choreography for our Lip Sync Act. Her help is greatly appreciated. Also, on a side note, thank you Jamie Tussey for stopping by today and delivering our new CEO portfolios. We will carry them with us on business tours and other functions. We all cannot wait until Saturday; We hope everyone else feels the same!

On November 7th, in CEO, we met at WAKO and a few students were featured in Take Five For Community. It was a great opportunity for advertising and to get the word out about what CEO does. After our interview, we went back to the hub and met with Rachel. She helped us designate roles, figure out what still has to be done, and went through some situations with us that we may encounter Saturday. We realized that there is still a lot to accomplish. There is only 2 days until the big day. We hope to see you all!

On November 6th, in CEO, we were visited by Vincennes University President, Charles Johnson. President Johnson grew up in Washington, Indiana. After graduating from a small Catholic High School, Johnson attended Indiana State University, Bowling Green University, and then finally Purdue University to attain his PhD. After holding a variety of administrative positions in higher education, President Johnson left the industry to work for a large Fortune 500 bank, eventually acquired by PNC Bank. After being out of higher education for a few years, Johnson returned to the industry after accepting a position at Purdue University. President Johnson attributed his hiring there to networking and connections he had previously established with past bosses. He came to Vincennes University as the provost and was then was appointed as the interim President. After four months as the interim, Charles Johnson became the 22nd President of Vincennes University. President Johnson gave us an overview of his role as president of the university, shared some information about the college itself, and shared a few of the highlights of his career. Some advice President Johnson have us was to plan our lives as learners and to always continue learning and growing. He also told us that when we fail, to evaluate the situation and decide if the failure occurred because it was a bad idea or if it was implemented wrong. We all greatly enjoyed our time with President Johnson and look forward to possibly being in contact with him in the future.

Congratulations to Christopher Seed for winning "Best Overall Act".
Congratulations to The Lentils for winning "Funniest Act".
Congratulations to The J. V. Pools Girls for winning "Best Costume"

On November 5th, in CEO, our facilitator, Barbara Large, was unable to attend class. To fill in, LCCEO Board Member, Rachel Hipsher, came and facilitated today’s class. We started by having a discussion on what we have already accomplished in regards to our class business and what we still have to do. Rachel told us that creating lists is a effective way to organize ideas and to make sure everything gets done. We also talked about ticket sales and getting door prizes donated. We rounded out class by practicing our Lip Sync routine. There is only 5 more days until the big day! See you Saturday!

On November 2nd, in CEO, we visited WAKO to record advertisements for our Dinner and Lip Sync Competition. Catch all of us on AM99.3 and FM103.1 starting tomorrow! And also we owe a big thank you to WAKO for letting us come out today. It was a great week of CEO!

On November 1st, in CEO we were joined by Lawrence County CEO board member and alumna, Macey Waggoner. Macey was a part of the first CEO class in the county. During the time she spent with us, Macey talked to us about our upcoming class business and some about the ideas we have for our individual businesses. She did a great job giving us advice from a different perspective and asking questions that we have not yet thought of. One thing Macey told us was to find something that we like to do and can see ourselves carrying on with after the class year ends. Her business, which was creating gift baskets, is still operational at certain times of the year. At the end of class, we gave Macey a preview of our act for the Lip Sync Competition on November 10th. Macey is also performing in conjunction with the LCCEO Board. We greatly appreciate her coming in today.

On October 30th, in CEO, we toured Aperion Care in Bridgeport. Our tour was given by Patti Ash, who is the head of Human Resources and payroll. During the tour, we learned about all of the different positions in the nursing home, how funding works, and an overview of how things run on a day to day basis. One piece of advise Patti gave the class was to find something you love to do and can also get paid to do it. Currently, Aperion Care in Bridgeport has 67 residents and 85 employees. They were previously a privately owned nursing home, before being purchased by Aperion in 2014.

On October 26th, our CEO class enjoyed a working breakfast at Jay's Hilltop in Bridgeport. We continue to fine tune our class business and have started thinking about plans for our individual businesses. We accomplished a lot, enjoyed each other's company, and had a fantastic breakfast! It was a great way to end a busy week in CEO!

On October 25th, our CEO class moved to our new hub, New Hope Christian Church in Bridgeport. We continue to work on our class business and are trying to pick out a song for our lip sync performance. Remember to mark your calendar for our pulled pork dinner and lip sync competition November 10 at Lawrenceville High School. Dinner will be served between the hours of 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. The lip sync begins at 7:00. Hope to see you there!

On October 23rd, our CEO class toured CFCO, Inc. With owner Norman Kocher. This business was incorporated in 1982 and offers irrigation, drainage and excavation services. They employ 13 people there and Norman said that CFCO is the biggest dealer of drainage equipment East of the Mississippi. We were able to get a great view of the equipment they use to put in these systems and were invited to visit a site where they are actually resetting a levy. One of the important points that Norman emphasized was when we get a job, learn everything there is to know about it. Be the expert and know every detail.
It was a great day in CEO!

On October 23rd, our CEO class toured Flying S, Inc which is an aerospace company located in Crawford County. Flying S is able to fabricate anything from carbon fiber aircraft wings to intricate molds and machine parts. David and Penny Shaw built their company on the family farm and it has grown from just a couple of employees to over 60 today. Penny emphasized that a business can be successful in rural Illinois and there are plenty of smart people with excellent skills in this part of the country. She said do the best you can at whatever you do and make the world a better place!

On October 22nd, Don Wagner, Mayor of Lawrenceville, facilitated a mock city council meeting for our CEO class. Mayor Wagner said that the city has been staying on budget and attributes that to good people working for us. Twenty-four people are employed by the city and they work very hard to help keep it running smoothly. Don said they appropriated 5.4 million dollars for the year, but hope to keep costs closer to 2.4 to 2.5 million. He also told us that tax payers only pay $483,000 and the rest comes from water, sewer and state and federal taxes. The mayor said he loves being mayor because he loves helping people.

On October 21st, in CEO we toured the Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana. It opened in 1999 and today turns out 1700 vehicles a day. They emphasized a lean production which means they don't make a vehicle until it is ordered. They even schedule delivery of parts when they actually use them. Toyota manufacuring is known for its safety and quality workmanship. One of the takeaways from this tour was be proactive on getting to work on time each day. No excuses!

On October 17th, in CEO our guest speaker was Rachel Hipsher, Executive Director of Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. Rachel gave us a quick tutorial on Facebook posting and then talked to us about getting the word out to the public regarding our class business. She also gave us some tips to make our class business a big success. Rachel has an extreme amount of experience and expertise in planning and promoting events, so we really appreciate her taking time to help us with our dinner and lip sync competition. Please see our event page for more information on this fun filled evening November 10 at the LHS cafeteria and auditorium.

 On October 16th, our CEO class met at the Lawrence County Health Department board room. Our speakers were Amy Marley, Communicable Disease Nurse and Eric Paulin, Director of Environmental Health. Eric talked about how common foodborne illnesses are and the importance of washing fruits and vegetables, but more importantly washing our hands.  Amy said that she sees100 to 250 cases of communicable disease cases a year and told us the importance of inoculation.  Amy said that the health care field is an excellent field to pursue that encompasses not just medical positions but many business positions as well. She said the LCHD runs on a 5 million dollar budget and employs 68 people.

On October 15th, in CEO we spent the class time contacting people who might be interested in buying tickets to our dinner and lip sync competition November 10 at LHS starting at 5:30 p.m. We also stopped by some of the schools to invite students and teachers to participate in the competition. One of the stops included Mrs Gray's first grade class at Parkside Elementary School.

On October 14th, in CEO we were given a tour of Mid American Air Center by Manager Kurt Schwartz and Assistant Manager Tyler Funk. Mid American Air Center covers over 3000 acres of land and was originally an Army Aircorp training base during WWII. We were also fortunate to tour two of the businesses located there. First we toured USA Aero Refinishing, L.L.C. which is a business that totally refinishes all types of planes, including multimillion dollar jets. They have clients from all over the world. We then toured Indigo Industries with owner and entrepreneur, Colin McCavitt, who is partnering with Vincennes University to provide a program that will not only teach students to fly large surveillance drones, but to build and maintain them. Some of the takeaways today were even though building your own business can mean working unbelievable hours, it is important to wedge out some time for yourself. And never forget the importance of networking and building relationships. It was a great tour and a great way to end the week in CEO!

On October 11th, in CEO Noah Weger served as our chief operating officer. He checked to see how ticket sales were going for our class business and discussed who the students should be targeting for sales. He then focused on making sure we are reaching those who are interested in performing in the lip sync competition. He pointed out that anyone interested in signing up to perform can download an application from our website. We then went to Citizens Bank of Albion to accept the investors check from Greg Lewis, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager Lawrenceville Banking Center and Lynn Jacobsen, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager Bridgeport Banking Center. We sincerely thank Citizens Bank of Albion for being investors in our program!
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On October 9th, in CEO was class business hustle day. We layed out a marketing plan for our class business and assigned duties to each student to carry this out.
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On October 4th, in CEO we got the tickets for our class business ready for sale. We will be holding a pulled pork dinner and lip sync competition November 10 at Lawrenceville High School cafeteria and auditorium. Dinner will be served during the hours of 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $10. The lip sync will start at 7:00 p.m and costs $5. If you want to compete in the lip sync, you can sign up at either RHHS, LHS or the Lawrence County Chamber. We also checked out the sound and lighting systems in the auditorium. To conclude this very busy day, we joined the "Game Day" festivities to support some of our fellow students who were participating in the volleyball competition. It was a fun way to end the week!
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On October 3rd, in CEO our guest speaker was Susan Odum, a University of Illinois Extension educator from Harrisburg, Illinois. She talked about rural economics and explained how money circulates in rural areas. She explained the importance of buying locally to keep our tax dollars here to support our county, our city, and our schools.
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On October 2nd, our CEO class toured the Birds/Pinkstaff Water District with board member Kyle Gray. Kyle graduated from LHS and received Bachelor's and Master's degree in business from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Kyle is now a consultant with ItK Consulting. He said his job is basically trouble shooting software. Kyle told us how the water board turned the Birds/Pinkstaff water district that was losing about 50% of their water and 50 % of their revenue into a well-run efficient water district. Kyle also told us as we start creating our student businesses to not be afraid to fail and don't be afraid to try. He also emphasized the importance of delivering on your promise. We want to thank Kyle for an interesting tour and some great advice.
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On October 1st, in CEO we met at the computer lab to create posters, tickets, and flyers for our class business which is a pulled pork dinner and lip-sync competition November 10. If you want to enter the competition, you can pick up an application form at either high school or at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

On September 29th, Paula McKim of the Lawrence County Chamber was our guest speaker. Paula gave us some tips about how to make our lip sync competition a success. As many of you might remember, the chamber sponsored a lip sync competition here in Lawrence County for 15 years. While Paula explained how they ran the lip sync back then, she emphasized how important it is for us to do it our way. She said we are young and have fresh ideas that we should utilize. It was a very productive day in CEO! Thanks Paula for all your help!

On Septemer 27th, Nicole Gray, a CEO alumnus, was our guest speaker. Her topic this morning was "Change." Nicole said we would see change in ourselves and change in our personal businesses as we go through the process of developing them. She said that we are going to see a lot of something that didn't work well. Nicole said take that and turn it into something better! Nicole gave us a lot of insight into how to develop a student business and how she managed school, a job, and her CEO business. After her presentation, we all felt like we could succeed as entrepreneurs. She also offered to help us in any we she could. We want to thank Nicole for bringing each of us a jar of her Rightfully Replenished sugar scrubs. If you are in need of improving your skin you can find her sugar scrubs at Ace Hardware in Lawrenceville and Jane's Beauty Salon in Bridgeport. 

Lip Sync App

It was a very positive and motivating day in CEO! Jamie Tussey was the guest speaker on Wednesday, September 26th. Jamie spoke to us about improving our Facebook page and gave us some great ideas about marketing our class business which is a pulled pork dinner and a lip sync competition on November 10th at the Lawrenceville High School cafeteria and auditoriumDinner will served from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. and the lip sync competition begins at 7:00. Tickets will be available soon. Anyone interested in signing up for the competition can do so at both Lawrenceville High School and Red Hill High School.

On September 12th, our CEO class toured Bowler Performance Transmission with owner Mark Bowler. Bowler Performance Transmission builds the highest quality transmissions in the world and ship them worldwide. Mark says customer service is the most important thing in business. And he points out that when you build a really quality product most people don’t even know what your customer service is like because they don’t have any complaints.

Mark gave us many valuable tips to be successful in business. He says it is essential to put money back into your business because besides quality, presentation is key. He gave the analogy that nobody wants to eat in a dirty restaurant and nobody wants to buy a transmission from a shop that has dirt and grease that could make the difference between a transmission working properly or getting jammed up. He says don’t cut corners and always do your best work. Mark talked about several of the business people who helped him along the way and how important they were to him getting started. He said don’t be afraid to lean on people who are really good at what they do. Mark said to surround yourself with good people because without good people you cannot be successful.

We also want to thank Mark for the wonderful breakfast treats he provided during out tour. It was a great tour and it was a good example of being able to have a successful international business in Lawrence County!

On September 13th, we reported on our sales at the Lawrence County Fall Festival on Thursday. We scheduled workers for Sep. 13th and 14th and hope everyone will stop by our booth to buy a chance to win a processed whole hog. We will also be at the Red Hill homecoming game Saturday, Sep. 15th from 11:30 till halftime. We all decided to reconvene class at McDonald's where we shared a hearty breakfast and set a date for our class business. More details to come!

On September 25th, our CEO class toured New Leaf Fitness and Spa with manager, Josh DeCausey. Josh told us this entire complex was the vision of owner, Jan Loeb and Mike Preston was the contractor who made it happen. The building was originally a car dealership back in the 30s and 40s and maintains some of the original pieces such as the motor that was used to lift the cars from the first floor to the second floor for repairs and servicing.
Josh said that cost cutting is always a concern for any business in a small rural area like Lawrence County. He says one of the ways New Leaf keeps costs down is that he does a lot of the maintenance himself. He feels very fortunate that his past experiences gave him those skills.
In addition to giving us a tour of New Leaf, Josh also gave us tours of COCO'S Cafe & Wine Bar, a full service restaurant; The Mandarin, a peaceful retreat with massage therapy and more; The Salon, a full service hair and nail salon; and The Barn, a rustic yet elegant event menu. For more information about this beautiful facility visit their website.

Monday, September 24th, our CEO class met at the LHS computer lab to watch three life lesson videos provided by Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. They presented three main points: everything has value, be open to learning new things, and don't think they don't know. The last point was really about when you commit to something then do it, no excuses! We then worked on creating advertising for our class business.

Friday, September 21st, our CEO class made some decisions about the class business. We assigned various jobs to each student and talked about ideas for promotion. We then did a team-building activity that took a lot of cooperation to accomplish. We are definitely learning that to accomplish anything in business you have work together. It was a very productive week in CEO!

Thursday, September 20th our CEO class toured AgriGold and AgReliant near St Francisville. At AgriGold, business manager, Jarad Arnold, told us a little about the history of this seed corn company. He said it was the brain child of Clarence Akin in 1936. Clarence was interested in the genetics of creating new hybrids that would tolerate various problems brought on by mother nature. AgriGold's goal is still to maximize crop production. After 80 years of selling seed corn AgriGold has now expanded their production to soybean seed as well. Jarad gave us some great advice. He said to say yes to opportunities, do what you are passionate about, and be patient and good things will come to you.
We then toured AgReliant with manager, Bryan Schallenberg, who explained the actual process of planting, harvesting, packaging, and selling the seed corn. We were able to actually see the large semis unloading the corn and then watch the corn travel up the conveyor belts to be sorted and dried. We were then able to see the corn packaged and labeled and stacked on large pallets ready to be sold.

This was a very interesting tour. We really appreciate the fantastic breakfast and the goody bags they gave all of us! Thanks so much to Jarad, Bryan, Loni Moyes, and Jessica Vowells.

Wednesday, September 19th in CEO class we talked about some of the important lessons we've learned from our guest speakers and tour hosts so far. We all agree that to be successful in business,it is important to do what you say you are going to do, do it well, and be on time. We also got our name badges ordered today and can't wait to get them. It was quite a learning process, from putting ourselves out there to sell advertising to coming together as a team to agree on a design for the badge. It was definitely a feeling of accomplishment!

Tuesday, September our CEO class toured Gray's Restaurant in Bridgeport with owner, Todd Gray. Todd told us the restaurant has been in rhe family since 1945 when his father bought it after returning from WWII. While Todd worked there even as a young person, he started working full time in 1974. Todd said Gray's has remained successful because they serve quality food and keep costs down by doing everything in house. No prepackaged foods are served at Gray's. In fact Todd says they are known for their hand cut fries
Todd says that to be successful in the restaurant industry you need to work hard, order the best products, and be efficient.
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Monday, September 17, our CEO class discussed ways to improve our hog raffle sales. We decided to bring the pig to our next sales opportunity which will be the LHS homecoming game. We also finalized ticket pricing and the dinner menu for our class business. We have decided to hold a dinner and lip sync competition on November 10, so mark your calendars!

Friday, September 14th, our CEO class toured Pargin Retitrement and Planning Group with owner Matt Pargin. Matt graduated from Lawrenceville High School and the University of Illinois with a degree in finance. He got a job right out of school as a financial advisor with A. G. Edwards and a few years later opened his own business here in Lawrenceville. Matt said one of his biggest hurdle was getting people to feel confident in investing with a twenty three year young man. He said a few gray hairs has helped tremendously! Matt explained stocks, bonds, dividends, and mutual funds. He also gave us some great advice about how to invest wisely. Matt said the best investments in life are good health meaning take care of yourself, marry well, and surround yourself with honest, trustworthy, and caring people. We especially want to thank Matt and his assistant, Shelby Hatfield, for a fantastic breakfast! It was a great way to end the week!

Subpages (1): CEO Businesses