Week 16


Rob Lucas, Shawnee College--Anna


Josh Joiner, Capaha Bank


Jim and Stan Fuller, Jim and Dot's Boots and Western Wear


Heartbeat is Hard Work

For weeks the team has been hard at work calling on business leaders, talking with people about what the heartbeat of our community is, checking our financial progress, and designing the ads.  They have learned that doing any kind of project like this involves a lot of work and a team spirit!

If you have not gotten your thoughts turned in or have not planned one of the ads ($30 and up) to promote your business or, if you are an organzation leader, to thank those that make your group's goals possible, do not hesitate to ask!  Check details at UnionCountyPride.com


Trying their hands at Negotiations!

All that hard work deserved a little levity. So, in the midst of the discussion of how to reach the businesses not yet contacted, the students decided to negotiate for a reward. I left the room and they designed a plan. They would ask for a casual day that started at 8. When they realized they hadn't really asked for much, they reconsidered and decided on this deal, which I accepted. For 10 new ads/contacts, they get to watch "Shark Tank" and have pizza. I just saw that as win-win, but I tried to be a tough negotiator, as did they. No, too much fun! Enjoying this group of young people so much!  EB


Student Journal Highlights for this week

I never would have thought that on Monday morning at Shawnee Community College in Anna I would be playing a game like an escape room, that Mr. Rob Lucas, Educational Technology Specialist at Shawnee College, set up. It was so fun! We had to figure out patterns, search all over a room, research things, and even crawl under the table to get a folder that was taped underneath. It was all fun and games, but I learned some very valuable lessons. I really think that is what CEO is about, having fun but learning things that you can take with you for the rest of your life. I learned from the game that no matter what, without teamwork and coming together to solve a problem, it's going to be significantly harder to figure it out.

The most interesting thing about this week had to have been the “Break In” challenge. It was my first time playing a break in or break out game. The game was an interesting, challenging high-stakes game of wit and teamwork. It was one of the few times we have all come together to complete such a challenge. It took all of us and our special skills to complete the game. It took Jessica, Aaron, Shad, and me to find clues and objects and Dillon’s unique way of guessing combinations, and Jessa and Erin’s awesome detective skills. Together all of us came together and completed our mission. Like in our class business, we all work together with our unique skills to get there.

Julian Smith

Julian Smith
Monday, December 5, 2016Learn More About Julian

We went to Capaha Bank this Wednesday and met with Mr. Josh Joiner, the Illinois Market Manager and Branch Manager for Capaha Banks in Anna. Mr. Joiner explained to us the things banks look for when considering a giving a business loan. Mr. Joiner recommended a business plan that is clear, concise, and doesn’t have a lot of “fluff”. He said that hard evidence and documentation is incredibly important. When asked about what they look for when hiring an individual, Mr. Joiner said dependability and people skills are everything. Knowing that someone will show up and do a good job is more important than their qualifications. He advised us to “Humble yourself and step out of your comfort zone”, and that reminded me of when Mr. Bill Ecker told us that “You need to become comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Erin Dillow

Erin Dillow
Tuesday, December 6, 2016Learn More About Erin

Capaha Bank was our visit for Wednesday. One thing I never really thought about for a bank was competition. There are 2 other banks in very close vicinity to Capaha and we wondered why people should choose Capaha over the others. All businesses should look at that when they start up. What makes them different? For most businesses it’s the first impression you have when you walk in the store or meet with the people. Your first impression is the most important tool you have.

Jessa Bond

Jessa Bond
Tuesday, December 6, 2016Learn More About Jessa

Never would I have known that Jim and Dot’s started out as a shoe repair shop. Then it started selling shoes and boots when Jim’s brother gave him only a dozen pairs to sell. It is just amazing to see what a business could do when it started out selling only 12 shoes at first and now sells so much more! This business has come a long way and is looking great. It makes me very proud to be able to know the history and watch the business grow.

Aaron Lence

Aaron Lence
Wednesday, December 7, 2016Learn More About Aaron

As someone who's grown up always wearing a pair of boots, I never really thought about the stores they came from. While hearing Mr. Fuller speak about the beginning of the store it was so intriguing to find out that it just used to be a shoe repair shop. I'm someone who really appreciates craftsmanship jobs like that. It kind of makes me sad, that due to modern products that those crafts are dying out. Hopefully we will come to a realization that those crafts are better than the cheaply made products that we all buy now.

Shad Turner

Shad Turner
Wednesday, December 7, 2016Learn More About Shad


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