November 2017 with Union County CEO


The Gathering Place

Dr. Susan Whitemountain
Dr. Susan Whitemountain  recently opened a store front for her geneology business now called The Gathering Place.  The class was fascinated by the amount of history in Union County and the ability to trace records back so far.  Even though the internet has started to change geneology, there are some records that can only be found on paper and require hands on work to do the research. Dr. Whitemountain has a passion for this work and it is very evident in her new business. 

Conversation Skills Training

After watching "The Art of Conversation" video and discussing the method to remember information about someone during a conversation, the class was challenged to a role play situation in which each student created a new personality and then their partner used the Art of Conversation technique to remember as much as they could. 

Kiki's CoffeeHouse

Kathy Bryan
Kiki's CoffeeHouse is owned by this year's class facilitator, Kathy Bryan.  The class was excited to see exactly what baristas are doing behind the counter and how their favorite drinks are made as well as how the coffeehouse came to be. After a company wide lay off where she previously worked, Kathy and her husband decided to open the coffeehouse.  Kathy says "When life gave me lemons, I made coffee."  Kathy stressed that at any point in time your life can take a sudden turn and that can be a good thing.  It can open new doors and opportunities. 

326 Productions

Steve Hornbeak
Many of the students didn't know what to expect or how Steve Hornbeak came to be in the music business when they visited his studio.  They were very surprised that his music career started by him taking a chance by giving a casette tape to Lee Greenwood in the 1980's.  They were also amazed at the changes to music recording over the years and how technology has shaped those changes.  The class enjoyed working in the vocal booth and reading commercials.  It was more challenging than they had anticipated. 

Glenda Boone

U.S. Bank Cobden Tour
The tour of U.S. Bank was much anticipated.  Glenda Boone gave us a tour of the bank and gave us an overview of opening the bank, security, and the changes in banking given the gains in technology.  Glenda explained that some of those changes can be difficult for customers  such as the drive-through teller screens that replaced the teller window but ultimately the customers have found that these changes improve their customer service experience.  

Team 2018 Holiday Card

This year's class decided to send holiday cards to investors, friends, familiy and supporters of Union County CEO! After taking the pictures the students then designed the holiday card.  Here are a few of the pictures that didn't make the card.  

Working with the Union County Chamber of Commerce

As part of the CEO class, students join the Union County Chamber of Commerce for a nominal fee.  The students are able to attend meetings and events sponsored by the chamber as well as take advantage of any other member benefits.  The class took part of one class day to prepare the yearly member renewal forms for mailing.  The number of chamber members surprised the students as there are so many behind the scenes businesses that the class was not aware of.  

Lincoln Heritage Winery

Bonnie Cissell
Bonnie Cissell, owner of Lincoln Heritage Winery, gave the class an overview of the evolution of the wine trail in Southern Illinios.  Bonnie also shared how she and her husband decided to open a winery after many years in teaching and return to Southern Illinois.  She touched on the decision to remain a smaller winery and the number of tourists that visit Lincoln Heritage.  

Rendleman Orchards

Wayne Sirles
Over half of Team 2018 students are from Cobden so were familiar with Rendleman Orchards but did not know everything that Rendleman Orchards did or offered.  Wayne Sirles talked with the class about the family business and how the amount of work and employees varies over the year. The class  enjoyed the store front and seeing some of the behind the scenes areas.

Student Journal Highlights for this week

John on The Gathering Place--The passion that the ladies had for bringing this unique business into the community is what struck me the most about our visit. They really had a desire to help people learn about their genealogy and I found it very compelling.

John Russell

John Russell
Tuesday, November 7, 2017Learn More About John

Zoe on conversation skill activities--I love the communication activities we do. Not only do they give us the chance to learn the communication skills we need, but they are also really fun.

Zoe Fuhrhop

Zoe Fuhrhop
Thursday, November 9, 2017Learn More About Zoe

Cheyenne on Conversation skills--I think this helped me very much to remember all about the person I’m talking to.

Cheyenne Thorn

Cheyenne Thorn
Thursday, November 9, 2017Learn More About Cheyenne

John on Kiki's CoffeeHouse--The way that businesses and business owners find a niche in their community and fill it really interests me.

John Russell

John Russell
Tuesday, November 14, 2017Learn More About John

Grace S. on a practice business plan--It was interesting to me that the same business could be so different in other people’s eyes. That just showed me how uniquely everyone thinks.

Grace  Schroeder

Grace Schroeder
Thursday, November 16, 2017Learn More About Grace

Megan on US Bank tour--I did not realize all the steps it took just to get the bank going for the day, and how confidential those steps are.

Megan Rhine

Megan Rhine
Tuesday, November 21, 2017Learn More About Megan

Zoe on U.S. Bank tour-- I saw the employees talking to the customers at the drive up, and you can tell that they really value their customers.

Zoe Fuhrhop

Zoe Fuhrhop
Tuesday, November 21, 2017Learn More About Zoe

Alejandra on Rendleman Orchards--Mr. Sirles was telling us that one factor that helped boost their business was the local movement. The local movement raises awareness for local businesses, which leads to a better community.

Alejandra Lopez

Alejandra Lopez
Thursday, November 30, 2017Learn More About Alejandra


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