Back In Full Swing

After a few days to relax over Thanksgiving break, CEO students came back in full force ready for a busy week. Check our daily calendar at and plan to visit during "Class Time". We also welcome potential 2018-19 CEO students to stop in and see what class is all about. And, hey, pass the word...the 2018-19 application can be found at our website!

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers

Mission Statements and More

Steve Nunez

Steve Nunez, Vice President of Research, Planning, and Information Affairs, at Sauk Valley Community College joined CEO students on Monday after a long Thanksgiving weekend. His message was perfect timing as the teams struggle to figure out the details of their class business event. Mission = mean it and live it. Present tense! What do you do and who do you serve? Next, strategic vision, then a strategic plan with goals (SMART ones) and objectives. Excellent information for students to use when finding a pathway to business success.

Giving Tuesday

Home of Hope Breakfast

Nothing like jumping right in to a busy week! Tuesday was an especially early morning for students living farthest out as we poured into the Brandywine parking lot for a 7:00 a.m. event. CEO students were happy to pitch in to help serve and clean up a specical Home of Hope Giving Tuesday Breakfast under the direction of Joan Padilla, Executive Director. They enjoyed the Dixon madrigal group, learned more about neurobythy, heard from a cancer survivor, networked, and were educated on Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center.

After guests left and clean up was complete, there was still enough time to debate Sam's published journal which questioned the strength of one of the class business ideas, a Taste of the Sauk Valley. Great discussion, great students! 

What's Your EQ

Using the research of Daniel Goleman, students examined the Harvard Business Review article, "What Makes a Leader?" They took an indepth look at the five components of Emotional Intelligence, self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation. Students were able to site examples in their own lives, as well as professionals we have met who exhibit the traits studied. 

The day was extra special with visitors Kent Probst and Amy Tarr, who brought greetings from the Midland Institute of Entrepreneurship. 

Hello to Remax

Good-bye to The Post House Ballroom

One of the characteristics that makes CEO class special is that we move locations for our "class room" days. When not on tours, we gather in all sorts of business locations: community rooms, conference or board rooms, basement meeting spaces, even ballrooms! During November we used the beautiful Post House Ballroom in Dixon and say "thank you" for your hospitality. For December and January we move to Remax on Lynn Boulevard in Sterling. Check our calendar at and stop in to see us when we are in a class setting.  

Cash Flow Lesson

Earlier in the year CEO students learned the concept of cash flow first-hand when they realized their account had zero money in it. How would they purchase matching CEO polos and pay for name badges? Each student sold advertising and now wears that company's logo daily on their name badge. They greatly appreciate the support of the following businesses:

The Cornerstone Agency Inc., Gator Heating and Cooling, LarLin Caregiver Specialists, Wiggins Computing, Country Financial, White Pelican Inc., Raymond James, Country Financial, Basil Tree Ristorante, El Tapatio, Alvarado Plumbing, Inc., Agri-King, Rock River Grain and Lumber Co.,,TeeLee Popcorn, Cassie’s Dance Academy, Archer’s Choice Media, State Farm, Wilson Building and Remodeling, Sauk Valley Bank, and Sauk Valley Properties

Student Journal Highlights for this week

This week, our discussion with Kim Purvis meant a lot to me. She talked about leaders and the different leadership styles that it takes to successfully work with different personality types. I really agree with her statement that as a leader, you should never ask someone else to do something you are not willing to do yourself. This really made me think about the business people from our community that we see almost every day in CEO. For the most part, they come into our class looking and acting very polished and ready to speak about their successes. They often tell us about the number of people that their jobs allow them to lead, and how they once started in those same lower level positions. It is so important to remember that dedication and humility have to be paired in order to grow, whether that growth occurs on a personal or work related level. Moving on, Kim told us that it is necessary to think and find facts before you act or speak, and this was probably the idea that I personally related to the most. Because I believe in my values so passionately, my sense of right and wrong are very distinct. I guess I would say that my life does not really include a lot of grey areas, and I have found that that can be a weakness for me sometimes. It is really easy for me to call people out on the wrong decisions they have made, and even when I know I am right, I still need to be able to support my opinions. Finally, Kim touched on the definition of integrity. This is a word that is often used by adults, but I do not feel that many people actually know what it means. Kim defined integrity as having actions that match the values that you say you possess. Immediately, I thought of working with the young girls that I teach at dance. If there is one thing that I have learned about kids, it is that they are never afraid to call you out for anything. Because kids are so perceptive, I have been forced to become so, so accountable for all of my actions. Anything and everything I say and do seems to become permanently ingrained in their minds, and that is part of the reason I love kids so much. My favorite thing in the world is to be a person with enough integrity that parents want me to be a role model for their children

Kallie  Timmons

Kallie Timmons
Sunday, November 19, 2017Learn More About Kallie

I really enjoyed Kim Purvis's presentation about leadership.  Everything she said was so honest, and I think it resonated with all of us.  Kim didn't tell us how to be a powerful leader or a respected leader, but she told us how to be an effective leader.  We cannot get stuck in one leadership style, because that style won't work on everyone.  She told us the four different kinds of people we will have to lead: scouts, pioneers, settlers, and complacent.  Each of these people will have different levels of motivation, cooperation, and inspiration, therefore making it impossible to stick to one leadership style.  I find this information very helpful, given all of the leadership roles I have.  This weekend, I have gotten together with two different groups of people to start planning prom, as I am our class president, and to choreograph a poms dance, as I am a captain for our team.  While working in those groups, we disagree a lot, and that sets us back.  As the "leader," I need to get our team back on track, but I can't get everyone on the same page the same way.  Without the right leadership skills, it would be a hard task to complete.  Kim also talked about the Three C's to Leadership: character, competence, and communication.  I also think that one more c, confidence, is important.  You may have it all together, but you won't succeed if you don't think you will.  I often find myself lacking in that area, because I usually tell myself that there is someone who will do it better.  Confidence in my ability is defiantly something that I need to work on.

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Get Involved in CEO

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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