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What Can a Chamber Do For You?


Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce

Kris Noble, Executive Director

Monday morning found CEO students seated around the huge conference table at the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce office. Executive Director, Kris Noble, answered questions about her role and the role of a chamber in a community. Students also heard from several board members, Pam Topper, Mike Loos, Jerry Binder, John Mandrell, and SVACC Board President, Brain Hawkins. Students were asked if their own communities had an active chamber and encouraged to learn more about it. 


MCR Technologies

Mark Humphreys

Mark Humphreys, President, and Marvin Reyes from MCR Technologies filled CEO students in on the many products they provide for a variety of industries. Metal detectors of all sizes are used in the food and aggregate industries, for example. Mark also shared his expertise on x-ray machines, mechanical and amp converyor belt scales, safety switches, romote displays, and more. To understand the amount of technology used at a quarry site, Mark had students log in to a simulation where he had several converyors set up for romote display. Students where able to use their phones to see the number of tons produced. Both Mark and Marvin emphasized the importance of always looking to the future to be on the cutting edge of your industry. Students asked many questions about a world they knew very little or probably nothing about, prior to our visit to MCR Technologies. 


Youth Assets

Kris Noble

Kris Noble is passionate about youth and their well-being. On Thursday CEO students learned about the 40 Developmental Assets, a research-based project which uses data collected from thousands of youth across the nation. Each asset listed includes the percent of students who, as a result of a detailed survery, reportedly had it available in the lives. Students chimed in with their thoughts regarding such topics as family support and positive communication, creative activitites, achievement motivation, and positive view of personal future, to name a few. Kris mentioned that a list of supplies needed for school success is created (markers, calculators, etc.), but where is the list of assets needed to be healthy, happy, and whole?


Knox County Area Partnership

WACC CEO Panelists

Former CEO students Justin Wiggins (2017), Isaiah Celestino (2015), Kevin Sigel, and Kyle Sigel (2016), along with current students Anastasia Matias and Maddy Weaver traveled to business meeting in Galesburg, sponsored by the Knox County Area Partnership. Also in attendance was Mike Sigel, parent, and Facilitator, Le Hartman. They served on a panel to answer questions about the CEO program for an audience of approximately 50 business professionals, as they prepare to support an inaugural 2018-19 class. Networking followed the panel discussion. 


Student Journal Highlights for this week

I’ve been thinking about the wow factor a lot.  I can definitely tell who has it and who doesn’t!  I waited until now to do my journal entry, because I represented our FFA chapter as an officer at the Carroll County Farm Bureau "Farm to Fork" event. We helped the ladies set up the dinner tables and served food. So I did already use the place setting that we learned when we talked about etiquette! I knew there was going to be a lot of adults there that I needed to impress. I thought about the wow factor.  I knew I should introduce myself and approach others. I wanted to make my chapter and myself proud.  I wanted to leave the people I talked to impressed. After talking about this in CEO, I set a new standard for myself. I didn't want to wait for the other kids to set the standard, so I did. It was a good opportunity for me to practice my "wow factor."  People react differently toward you when you have impressed them.  Like you guys said, they treat you like an adult.  

The first day I arrived to CEO, the class changed the way I thought about business. Collectively as a group, we were asked a tough brainstorming question: “With the millions of dollars it would take to remove aspectus and toxins from the abandoned factories next to the first avenue bridge, simply taking down the buildings is not an option at this point, but what can we do in the meantime?” At first everyone was stumped, but then it was though something clicked, and people started to give great ideas. From that moment on, it made me think of the world differently. With every business I saw, it made me think of the numbers they are bringing in, and it also made me look around for potential competitors of these businesses. This also made me ask myself “What could I do that they aren’t to win customers if I were in that field?”. I am also gaining a better understanding of real estate value when It comes to businesses. For example, the new Casey’s in Rock Falls is now the first gas station shoppers and truckers see when entering town from the interstate. Conveniently, the store sells diesel as well, making it the first choice for most truckers coming off of 88. Another thing that caught my attention is collaboration between businesses. An example of this is Selmi and Country Financial’s mutual agreement to remodel their storefront together and place a matching awning that displays the names of both businesses. These are just a few of the things I saw, and with the new things I’m learning everyday, this is just making me more excited about the class. I am eager of what the future will bring:)

Jack Williamson

Jack Williamson
Sunday, August 27, 2017Learn More About Jack


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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 WACC 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 22 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 27 people.

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