January with Union County CEO

CEO Guest Speakers


Team Meetings

Team meetings in January focused on the class business, The Battle of the Businesses.

Alumni Visit

Thanks so much to 2017 Union County CEO Alumni Jessa Bond, Erin Dillow and Julian Smith for joining class to discuss the personal business process.  The class appreciated the feedback, pointers and words of encouragement. 

Cobden Lion's Club

Three of this year's students were able to present to the Cobden Lion's Club.  The students gave the Lion's Club members an overview of CEO and discussed some of their experiences this far in the program. 

Kim Emery

Anna Baking Co.
Kim Emery, owner of Anna Baking Co, discussed with the students what lead her to opening her own bakery in Anna and how she works to grow her business in Union County.  Many of the students were surprised to learn that Kim maintains a full-time job in addition to owning the bakery and were very impressed by her dedication. 

COAD Chevrolet Buick

Jason Miller

Jason Miller with COAD Chevrolet Buick discussed with the class how the internet has changed the business of selling cars.  And how technology has improved the way that cars are maintained and repaired.  


Shawnee Hills Lavender

Charolotte Clover
Charlotte Clover with Shawnee Hills Lavender talked with the class about starting a lavender farm in Southern Illinois, an area that has not traditionally been a lavender growing area.  As with many entrepeneurs,  the inspiration for a new business can come from anywhere. Charlotte's inspiration for a lavender farm came from reading a magazine article. 

Country Financial

Charlotte Clover & Danielle Stevens
Charlotte Clover and Danielle Stevens from Country Financial discussed with the class how they each became insurance agents, and the complexities of the insurance world.  

Union County Chamber of Commerce Gala

The Union County CEO program assists each year with Union County Chamber of Commerce's annual Gala.   The class enjoyed an evening of working, socializing, learning and laughing. 

Student Journal Highlights for this week

 On Alumni visit: I loved Erin Dillow’s business and meaning behind it. Seeing her business helps me set standards on how I expect to see my business.

Zoe Fuhrhop

Zoe Fuhrhop
Friday, January 6, 2017Learn More About Zoe

On the Alumni visit:  This gave us additional sets of eyes so that we could get more outside viewpoints on our business. This is important as it makes sure we are not overlooking aspects that are important for a business.

John Russell

John Russell
Friday, January 5, 2018Learn More About John

On the Alumni visit: I really liked this visit because I got to talk to them one on one and learn a few tips for whenever I start up my own business.

On Kim Emery and Anna Baking Co:  I really liked getting to hear how she fell into doing what she does and that she works really hard. I thought it was interesting to know that she believes that one has to do the work to accomplish a goal.

Megan Rhine

Megan Rhine
Monday, January 8, 2018Learn More About Megan

On Jason Miller and COAD Chevrolet Buick: The most interesting part in my opinion was the room where they fixed the cars. I found this most interesting because technology was really used a lot.

On Charlotte Clover with Shawnee Hills Lavender:  I thought it was amazing to find out that she started all of this just from seeing an article about different farms in a magazine.

Megan Rhine

Megan Rhine
Monday, January 22, 2018Learn More About Megan

Two statements that Danielle Stevens said, which is widely known but is easily forgotten for most, is that “first impressions are very important” and “community involvement is important for a business”.

On Danielle Stevens and Charlotte Clover at Country Financial: I had no idea how many various types of people they must insure and how complex an insurance agent’s job is on a daily basis. I was really surprised by the love they had for what they did. They both mentioned how much it means to them to be able to help people.

John Russell

John Russell
Thursday, January 25, 2018Learn More About John


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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 0 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 5 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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