Week 22 GALA

Cindy Cain and Carol Hoffman, Southernmost Illinois Tourism


Jim Farris, Union County Hospital CEO

Union County Chamber GALA 2017

Union County CEO is grateful to the Union County Chamber for allowing student memberships in the Chamber and for inviting the team to help with the planning and preparations for the Gala as well as allowing them to assist with raffles and other hosting duties during the event. It was a wonderful evening for the students who were delighted to see someone they had interacted with at nearly every table.

School Visits

This week students presented a power point presentation to potential CEO applicants for the 2017-18 class at both Shawnee and Cobden High Schools. Next will be a presentation at Dongola High School. We appreciate the cooperation of the teachers and administrators to meet with the students during their first hour classes.

Jessa shared these thoughts, "My favorite part about this week was getting to talk with other students about CEO. This is very surprising to me, considering the fact that I hate talking in front of people. I realized Thursday and Friday how much CEO has affected me. I was almost completely comfortable talking in front of a classroom full of people. CEO has brought me out of my shell and helped me to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

When we went to speak with juniors and sophomores at Cobden High School, our whole team did really well speaking together in front of the group. It was awesome to talk with students about such an amazing opportunity for them. Several students seemed very interested in the program. I wish that we could help to show them how much this program will affect them for the better.

Working at the Gala

Mingling with the Guests

Seeing our Speakers in a New Light

The students were pleased, but not suprised, that so many of the award winners were their Union County CEO investors and supporters!  Rusty Flamm was honored as Citizen of the Year.  Susan Holderfield received the award for Union County Abstract for Business Improvement.  Masters Choice, our next home base, was presented the Business of the Year award.  Andy Sisulak of Baysinger Architects was recognized as the Chamber Director of the Year.  

As the evening wore on some guests took to the dance floor and had a great time. John Nimmo, from Southern Real Estate Group, enjoyed dancing with his niece Kaylee Davis, from the Anna State Bank.

Work complete, time to RELAX

Student Journal Highlights for this week

As we went through this week presenting to the schools, I couldn’t help but notice how much we have grown. Not just in our presentation skills, but on a personal level as well. We have begun to see our community in a different light, and I cannot help but notice how each and every one of us smile at the thought of our past visits, and how a fondness for our county has taken root in our team. I am proud of my team and what we have accomplished, and I cannot wait to see how we get through the next obstacle… our personal businesses!

Erin Dillow

Erin Dillow
Friday, January 20, 2017Learn More About Erin

I didn’t know before Monday that we had a tourism bureau for southernmost Illinois. It is located in a cottage at Choate Mental Health and Development Center. Cindy Cain and Carol Hoffman work so hard on advertising to get people to come to southern Illinois. They receive $70,000 to be used for marketing. They have to decide where the money would be most profitable. A lot of their advertising recently has been spent on the eclipse that will be taking place on August 21 of this year. Southern Illinois will be the place where the view for the eclipse will have the longest duration. It is the first total eclipse in 9 years, and thousands of people from all over America are coming in to see it. Southernmost Tourism has set up an awesome website where people can book rooms in a hotel or in cabins for the event. It also shows people what else there is to do around them in the meantime. www.southernillinoiseclipse.com

Jessa Bond

Jessa Bond
Monday, January 23, 2017Learn More About Jessa

Union County Hospital is truly an amazing hospital for our small towns. Mr. Jim Farris did a wonderful job at answering all my questions and showing how much the hospital has improved recently. For example, Union County Hospital is heart attack and stroke certified. That is not only hard to accomplish, but once it is accomplished it's a great way to prove that the hospital is a great one. He is working to change the whole perception of how people see the hospital.. One of the hospital’s job is more to stabilize the patient and send them off to where they need to be. Also, they have this great program called “swing beds” where patients who are recovering from hip surgery, for example, are able to stay just a little bit longer to get extensive physical therapy so they can go home. Mr. Farris has done an outstanding job as CEO, and he is a great fit for Union County Hospital.

Jessica Glasco

Jessica Glasco
Tuesday, January 24, 2017Learn More About Jessica

I thoroughly enjoyed the business visit with Mr. Jim Farris at the Union County Hospital. Even though I learned an incredible amount of information about the hospital, what really ‘wowed’ me was the different advice that Mr. Farris gave to us. He spoke with inspiration and even gave us a list of some of his favorite quotes. My favorite quote was, “Wringing your hands prevents you from rolling up your sleeves.” When he was advising us on our personal businesses, he said, “You’re going to have dark times in your career when you start a business, but my favorite saying is; ‘The storm always passes.’” He also advised us saying, “You gotta do the right thing. Even if it’s unpleasant.” When asked about what he looks for in an employee, Mr. Farris explained, “Always hire attitude. You can teach knowledge, but you can’t teach a good attitude.” This really clicked with me, because it made me think about how I present myself. I am thankful that I have learned what business owners actually look for and can apply that in my own life.

Erin Dillow

Erin Dillow
Wednesday, January 25, 2017Learn More About Erin

Please let me preface this with the fact that Mr. Farris gave the students two pages of quotes filled with inspiration and wisdom, with a couple of funnies thrown in—EB. “Some people are like Slinkies. They don’t really have a purpose, but it puts a smile on your face when you push them down the stairs” was one of my favorite quotes of all time and Mr.Farris knew it, and it made my day that he did. That was one of the highlights of this week. That was towards the end of the presentation, at the beginning we talked about Mr.Farris and how he didn’t have any clinical medical experience but controlled a hospital which I thought sounded like a really hard job.

Shad Turner

Shad Turner
Thursday, January 26, 2017Learn More About Shad

The Gala was a great success. We did hit some minor bumps throughout the night, but we were able to overcome them. I really enjoyed seeing all the business owners and community members that we have met previous to this event. It was great to mingle with everyone and make more connections with people.

Aaron Lence

Aaron Lence
Saturday, January 28, 2017Learn More About Aaron

The best thing for me this week had to have been the Gala. I not only enjoyed the Gala itself but I also enjoyed the setup and the funny moments we shared. It was fun watching local business owners and community leaders blow up balloons and decorate the building. I enjoyed every aspect, seeing many familiar faces and also meeting a few new ones. I got to see my departed grandmother’s best friend and hug her, and it always makes me happy to see a little of my grandmother in the ones she was closest to. It was a great night filled with lots of laughs and fun. I especially enjoyed drawing the business card and pulling out my mentor’s name and thinking how does that even happen.

Julian Smith

Julian Smith
Sunday, January 29, 2017Learn More About Julian

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