Walmart DC, A Chilly Visit

Do you know a sophomore or junior who would be a great candidate for CEO? Someone who is interested in business, life skills, and would like to spend part of their day out of the traditional classroom setting? The application for 2018-19 school year is now available and can be found at our website, The CEO board is prepared to take early applications. 

CEO Guest Speakers

Class room days

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday found CEO students in a class room setting. Keep in mind, that doesn't mean we are at school. We are still in a business setting, dressed business casual, conducting business! Students are wrapping up the Moore Media Challenge and will soon be looking for your views and likes to meet our goal. Teams for the Dodgeball Tournament Business and the taste of the Sauk Valley idea met to deliberate what direction they were going, figure out details, and assign action items. Friday concluded with more student-driven business decisions and included committee assignments for the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. The day concluded with a communication exercise which challenged their listening skills. As you can see, Kallie may be a little frutrated listening to Cassidy, while the rest of the class observes. 


Chandra Meyer

The CEO and the Sauk Valley Leadership classes joined for a session about a month ago and that is when students first met Remax realtor and SVL participant, Chandra Meyer. After meeting the students, she requested a class visit to share her journey through college to the west coast and back home to the Sauk Valley. Her inspiring presentation addressed her decisions as related to risk, trust, finances, youth, branding, goals, networking, opportunities, balance, and failure. Students appreciated how openly she shared her firsthand experiences. The day concluded with Chandra and John Rosengren as they explained the Remax business model and answered questions. 

Walmart Distribution Center

The tour at Walmart Distribution Center may have included subzero temps, but CEO students were given a warm welcome as they arrived at the massive supply chain business. Eric Hinrichsen presented extensive details which covered such things as the number of trucks that come and go, the quantity of cases (183 million/month), the types and number of stores they service, how shifts are determined, and much more. He explained that the concept is simple, things come in and things go out. However, our tour showed the complexity surrounding smooth operations, especially with such a tremendous volume of product, which is constantly moving. All of this done while paying close attention to processes and safety. Proceeding through each department, from the banana rooms to the freezer rooms, was an enlightening experience, one CEO is fortunate to be part of. 

WACC Open House

Whiteside Area Career Center is 51 years old and for many years has celebrated their programs with an Open House. Students, German De La Cruz, Kortney Queckboerner, and Hannah McCarty helped spread the news about CEO to the guests on Thursday night. Thanks!

Student Journal Highlights for this week

Sharing our business plans on Monday. I spoke to a couple of my classmates and I found out that I was not the only one that had a hard time making a business plan. I was a bit nervous presenting but after I started speaking I felt more confident. Some ideas such as all you can eat pancakes sounded like an amazing idea. Moving on meeting with all the mentors really helped me get their background. All the Mentors were really great. Nick Jakobs came into class on Thursday and took over the spot of a mentor that could not make it. Nick talked to us and told me to pick a mentor that is good at my weaknesses because if I pick a mentor that is great at what I am already then what would I use my mentor for. Picking a mentor that is good at my weaknesses will help me get better. After that I started to think of different question to ask the mentors. After we were done with meeting all the mentors we started to pick what class business we are going to do. I feel like the dodgeball tournament is going to be a great business because all the students enjoy playing dodgeball and being competitive. It will be pretty easy to set everything up for the dodgeball tournament. Now the dinner is going to take more time and more hands on deck to get everything done. Both businesses will bring in profit but the dinner will be more profitable. I enjoyed this week but now we're planning our businesses so our weeks will be becoming more hectic. One more thing making the little notes really makes a persons day. I saved all the ones I got for when I had free time. Today I had some free time while eating breakfast, I looked over them and it made my day. I felt so happy all day and I took out my family to eat and I made their day.

I had a great experience with the mentor match days. I was very pleased to meet so many community members and business professionals that would take time out of their busy day to try and help us learn. I think it says a lot about the community we live in that there is such an abundance of willing and talented people that have so much to offer us in terms of advice and world experience. The two days we did our mentor matching were possibly my favorite days of CEO to date. I love to talk to people, especially for the first time. I enjoy the opportunity to make a first impression. Of the three people in my interviewing group, one question that we always asked was, “What are to looking for in a mentee?” The answer we received most often was that these mentors just wanted for their mentee to utilize them. They all said that they have so many things to tell their mentees and they just want their mentee to make an effort to build a relationship with them. Knowing this makes me excited for the opportunities that CEO and the mentor program have in store.

As I look back on the time we spent with our mentor prospects, I am conflicted. Do I match with someone of whose thought process is like mine, or the opposite of mine? To find someone who is exactly like me would help me towards making progress with my personal business. But to find someone who is opposite me would allow me to be whole. A well-rounded business does not have to be created by one sole person. I intend to extensively use my mentor. Our mentors have been through the process before. They can help us when we struggle, and push us to look from different aspects. Every time that Le explains how past students forgot to, or never tried to use their mentors, I am dumbfounded. To not use a mentor is to give up an opportunity, especially in a class that teaches about taking an opportunity and running with it. I am dumbfounded by this lack of usage. Hopefully I do not turn my mentor away from using them too frequently. 

Kade  Kovarik

Kade Kovarik
Sunday, November 5, 2017Learn More About Kade

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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.

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