A Short, But Productive Week

This week's newsletter reports quite a variety of activities. It includes news about alumni, a recap or our week, and journal excerpts. Students are always asked permission before publishing their thoughts. Last week Kortney and Jack were featured and appear again due to some glitches last week; we wanted to make sure they were seen by all. Also, included are writings from Jose's and Maddy's September 3 journals. 

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers

Leadership, Business Plan, and Life Insurance

Jim Keenan

Jim Keenan, Country Financial, spent time with CEO students on Monday. His presentation included life lessons, a brief overview of the parts of a business plan, marketing strategies, and a life insurance overview. He gave insight using examples, including the goals he has set for his own business. 

Moore Tires

Jeff and Angie Moore

Jeff and Angie Moore, owners, hosted the CEO students at their Moore Tires Rock Falls store. Jeff explained how they got started and the current business model, which includes four more stores and additional owners. Kyle Moore challenged four different teams of CEO students to each create a social media post with the most "likes." If the challenge is accepted and met, the class may increase their cash flow due to the Moore Tires generosity. Under the direction of Jeff, Kyle, Brock Rude, and Liz Knebel, each team of students scrutinized the business checking the interior, exterior and website, workflow, and processes/systems/people. Students looked for such things as store appeal, best practices, attitude, safety, and more. The day concluded with students reporting in on their findings. 

Two Days Filled With Variety

Thursday and Friday found CEO students at their new "home base." When not on business visits, class will be held at United Way of Whiteside County, located on 502 1st Avenue in Sterling. The basement offers Wi-Fi and ample space for activities and various table arrangements. Norm revisited financial concepts, a discussion on conversation skills and asking good questions took place, students reviewed how teams operate successfully, problem-solved the maze, and started the Moore Tires social media challenge. We enjoyed visitors, Ray Bergles and Jerry Binder on Thursday, and former CEO students, Emily Smith and Justin Wiggins on Friday. Check out our calendar at and plan to join us at United Way. 

We Have Writers Among Us

Madi Purvis and Ross Cady, CEO 2017 and pictured below, have had articles published. Congratulations!

Madi is attending the University of Iowa and penned the following article.

Ross, Iowa State, was featured recently in our Alumni News regarding the selection of his article for The Odyssey, which is now published.


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

The things I learned this week from the visits to MCR Technologies and Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and the talk with Kris were actually a ton. Lets start off with MCR Technologies. I was considering going back to learn more about Mr. Humphreys' products and to talk about future plans for his company. Personally, I want to minor in Computer Science and thought that Weigh Shark was something to definitely pay attention to. Also, Mr. Humphreys was very passionate in what he does which also attracted my attention because I want to be as passionate and love what I do in the future just like he does. He's a great example of a person who loves what they do. I enjoyed when he was explaining how he is ahead of his competitors because of the new technology they have integrated to their products. He stated that they are the only company with this new technology which puts you way, way ahead of the others. I loved the way he spoke to the class and how he utilized precise details when talking about his products and what he does. 

Jose Castro

Jose Castro
Sunday, September 3, 2017Learn More About Jose

Going to the CEO event in Galesburg was a great experience. Not only did I get to network and meet lots of business people, but I learned a lot more about information the program/ running a business from former students than I knew before. It was intimidating to approach the business men and women but once I did they were so friendly and helpful in the conversations we shared. I like taking a hold of these type of experiences as often as I can because they really help me come out of my shell more and more each time. Also, in general I love going to new places and meeting new people.

I also gained a lot from Kris Noble’s presentation about youth assets. I learned a lot and thought about things that I hadn’t thought of before. Being teenagers, I think it was a really easy topic to connect to and an important thing to know about. Basically, the 40 youth assets are things we should strive to reach in order to be happy, healthy, and whole. Kris’ lesson reminded me of when I took the Early Childhood Education course at WACC last year. I had an amazing teacher, Mrs. Neubauer (and Mrs. Mekeel), who taught us so many life lessons each day that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. She taught us the importance of soft skills and always taught about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which I was immediately reminded of during Kris’ presentation.  Maslow’s describes what everyone needs in their lives starting from the bottom with basics needs and going all the way to the top with self actualization (pyramid structure). I can still picture it in my mind today: basic needs (food, water, shelter, etc), safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self actualization. This made me think about how the classes at WACC are all connected in some way and provide you with skills that you can use in any area of your life.

Madison Weaver

Madison Weaver
Sunday, September 3, 2017Learn More About Madison

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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.

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.

If you are interested in participating in any of the above programs, use our contact form to send us a message

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