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Parades, Nonprofits, Containers, and Shopping Malls

If you haven't visited our website lately, you may want to stop by wacc-ceo.com and browse our newly uploaded class and individual photos. Thank you Niki Hunt!


Fiesta Parade

It was up to the students to make it happen. They needed t-shirts, candy, a vehicle, and a commitment from one another. Nine CEO students were able to fit the Fiesta Parade into their busy weekend schedules. They enjoyed the challenges and succeeded in having enough candy to the very end, as well as hand out all 800 informational flyers. It was a beautiful day to walk the route and let parade goers know that CEO is alive and well! We espeically appreciate Juan Alvardo, Alvardo Plumbing, Inc. and step-father of German DeLaCruz, for the driving his business truck for the CEO parade entry.


United Way of Whiteside County

On Monday, Diana Verhults, Chief Executive Officer, and Pam Martinez, Director of Programs and Services led a discussion on the good works of United Way of Whiteside County. Students also met Lolita Hull-Roch, Director of Business Accounts, to round out the staff. Diana spoke about brand identity, character and reputation, relationships, and volunteers. Pam mentioned or explained several of the programs, events, and agencies: Power of the  Purse, 411, Pharmacy Assistance, Feed the Children, LIFE, Home of Hope, YWCA, Chili Cook-Off, etc. Class ended with an opportunity for CEO students to lend a hand.They labeled, stuffed, rolled, and banded baggies needed for the Penny Challenge.


Northland Mall

Karyn Brouilette

While visiting the Northland Mall, CEO students began to understand the details of mall operations, from Karyn Brouilette, Mall Manager. She spoke extensively about the process of acquiring new stores and the roles played by the store's corporate offices, Northland Mall's headquarters, e-commerce, demographics, and leasing agreements. The process is far more complicated than most realize and it can be years in the making. Early each morning Karyn walks the property looking for details; something as minor as smudged glass on store fronts. Jama Ebenezer shared her expertise from the marketing standpoint, mentioning social media and promotional events. Like many of our business visits, CEO students will now enter malls with a new appreciation and "eye" for the details.


Its Corrugated, Not Cardboard!

Lynn Hammer, Sauk Valley Container

A visit to Sauk Valley Containers, owned by Lynn Hammer and Jake Amsbaugh, provided a great lesson in the world of cardboard...opps, I mean corrugated cardboard. Lynn gave CEO students a detailed overview of the industry, which included the historic improvements of containers. Regulations, such as the meaning behind the stamped symbols, were also discussed. Students viewed automation, some manual tasks, and learned about who orders these boxes and how they are shipped. Special cut dies are made precisely to fulfill the needs of customers. When leaving United Way on Friday, Kade, Jasmine, and Le just had to look at the symbol on the disposed tshirt box. Yup, we know what that means! 


Class Time = Work Time

On Wednesday Norm Deets asked students to discuss and take a stance on robotics in the workforce. It was all about practicing good communication as he asked CEO student Brenden Riesselman to try his hand a facilitating the discussion and later asked students to role play a situtation of terminating an employee. On Friday, students walked across the street to be greeted by Denise Garcia at the YWCA. She gave a brief greeting before they got busy "borrowing" offices and a conference room for photos needed to create recruitment flyers. This was an opportunity to their hand at marketing. Another week quickly came to a close as we wrapped up the day recapping key take-aways. 


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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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