Week 23


Kim Emery, Anna Baking Company


Visiting Dongola High School

10 Days Left for Application Return

Team 17 made their final school visit this week speaking to the Sophomores and Juniors of Dongola High School. All involved in CEO hope that students from all Union County communities apply. Applications are available from all guidance counselors and from Whitney Accounting, 105 Transcraft Drive, Anna.  The applications are evaluated using a blind process. All names, schools, and any other identifying information are removed from the applications sent to the selection committee. What are they looking for? Honesty, integrity, a great attitude, curiosity, and the kind of character that makes the student "do the right thing" and to try to "exceed expectations". The investors and the board want to know that those they are donating their time and money to will represent the Union County CEO brand excellently.


Mark Chamness, CPA--Whitney Accounting


Brett Whitnel, Small Business Development Center at SCC


Student Journal Highlights for this week

I think the most fun I’ve had this week was spending our Monday class with Ms. Kim Emery at Anna Baking Company. For the business aspect of it, I thought Ms. Emery had great tricks to make her business run smoother. She realized that all the work of a bakery simply made hours too long for each day, so she started hiring people to do just one job, like make icing or unfolding the boxes. By doing this, she took some extra weight off of the shoulders of her full-time workers, and I thought that was a really smart move. She was also very organized, with her orders and records, and because of this, we could ask for an idea to be put on a cake, and she could search a keyword and we would see if they have made any cakes that fit our idea. On the personal level, what was most fun and interesting for me, was when she pulled out some cupcakes and icing so we could practice icing… and then ‘practice’ eating cupcakes! Yum!

Erin Dillow

Erin Dillow
Monday, January 30, 2017Learn More About Erin

The visit with Mrs. Kim Emery at Anna Baking Company was extraordinary! I have never had so much fun on a visit before. Ms. Emery not only had so much knowledge and skill as to what she was doing but she was kind enough to share her knowledge with us. I really enjoyed seeing the system Mrs. Emery had on taking orders from her customers. When Ms. Emery pulled out the cupcakes and icing for us I was ecstatic! I was so excited that she made that just for us. Even though I was not good at decorating my cupcake, it still tasted amazing. I think Anna Baking Company is going to do very well.

Mr. Mark Chamness had an abundance of wonderful information to share with us. He was able to clarify what we need to do to register our businesses in Illinois. It all seemed very confusing at first, but the more he explained the more we understood. I found it very helpful to meet with him and for him to tell us the requirements for what we needed to do.

Aaron Lence

Aaron Lence
Tuesday, January 31, 2017Learn More About Aaron

This week we've had two speakers talk to us about our personal businesses. Mark Chamness came Thursday and taught us how to register our businesses in the state of Illinois and about sales tax. Brett Whitnel talked to us on Friday about making profit. He gave us a scenario with a certain amount of income and expenses. He then changed some situations and all the sudden you were in the hole by $3,000.00. It really helped me to understand that you need to think of all situations. That's why it is important to have someone asking all the hard questions.

Jessa Bond

Jessa Bond
Thursday, February 2, 2017Learn More About Jessa

Mr. Brett Whitnel is a business advisor in the Illinois Small Business Development Center of Shawnee Community College. Mr. Whitnel prompted us to think about how businesses run their monthly operating incomes and expenses and showed us the different things we must consider when we begin, such as loans and insurance. We went through a mock situation about how a factor might impact your cost and ways you could deal with that, and why you might need certain insurances. As a soapmaker I will likely be getting liability insurance, and it was good to hear how I might go about that and why it was important to have. I feel a little more prepared going into my business plan, and I cannot wait to start!!

Erin Dillow

Erin Dillow
Friday, February 3, 2017Learn More About Erin

The following is being shared with permission from AJ Senior Shad Turner.  As the students mature, they become more reflective.  Half the journals had similar sections this week, the others too personal to share.  The second semester has shown the beginnings of the "transformation" we talk about in CEO.  Stay tuned.  Remarkable things are happening!  EB

As I’m finishing this up I’m in the middle of a wrestling meet, regionals to be specific, and I just wrestled my last match.  It was my very last match for the season actually. When football was over it hit me hard that it was over, and again today it’s hitting me hard. I know that my last day of CEO will be the same hard hit of reality, and there's no way to prepare for it. In the end, though, I know that I gave it my all in the season and in the CEO class.

Shad Turner

Shad Turner
Saturday, February 4, 2017Learn More About Shad

The best thing related to CEO this week for me had to have been my meeting with my new client. I have been very blessed when it comes to my business, and I have had so much luck and good fortune that I am now past the amount I originally put into my business and I am making a profit. I love that CEO has opened these opportunities for my friends and me. I love seeing how everyone's businesses are growing and becoming more than we could all ever imagine. I am happy with the path my business and I are on, and I hope the future is as good as my past has been.

Julian Smith

Julian Smith
Saturday, February 4, 2017Learn More About Julian


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The manner in which the CEO program is funded is critical to its success and sustainability. All funds raised are used exclusively for the Union County CEO program. To participate, a 3-year $1000 per year commitment is required. Business Partner Investors commitments of time and energy are also critical to the program's success. Contributions may be tax deductible, as our organization is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

When we are not touring local businesses, we need a place to host the class. During that time, the 10 CEO students and their Facilitator would meet at your site where they would also have guest speakers and guests from the community attend. Hosting requires a facility with internet access and adequately accommodates up to 15 people.

We are looking for people to share real-life stories about the concepts of running a business, from strategic thinking, product development to marketing, and cash flow management. Also, sharing your personal successes and failures are what recent classes have enjoyed the most.


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