No Time To Relax

Big announcements this week!

Dodgeball Tournament, February 24th

Taste of Sauk Valley, March 8th.

Check out the newsletter for details!

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers

A Buffett Inspired Activity

While visiting a University in 2008, Warren Buffett was asked if he was happy. He then challenged the college students by using an analogy of the stock market. He told them to think of investing 10% in a classmate for the rest of their lives. Who would they choose to "buy long?" Who did they believe would "grow" and become more valuable? CEO students were asked the same questions, including, "What traits do they possess that made you pick them?"

According to the article, Mr. Buffett says, "You will find that these are not things you are born with, like the ability to kick a football or sing a high C; they are qualities that you actually generate for yourself. These are things like generosity, humor, forgiveness — all of the qualities that you admire in other people. The thing to do is look at that list and say, 'I want to be like the one I want to own 10 percent of.' Work on developing the personality of people you admire, while ridding yourself of the qualities you dislike in other. The person that does that will be someone that is happy, I guarantee you."

A Lesson in Helping

Sauk Valley Food Bank

After 41 years of employment at the Steel Mill, Carol Siefken found herself without a job when it closed. That's when she went to work at the Sauk Valley Food Bank, starting with only one pallet. Today the Food Bank continues to serve local food pantries (as many as 16) and millions of pounds of food have passed through its doors. The Bank is filled with racks of pallets reaching the ceiling in hopes to meet the needs of those who are hungry. Carol explained the processes used to secure and distribute food. She talked about compassion, pride, judgements, asking for help, confidentiality, and tough situations. Students finished with a tour and an opportunity to lend a hand. 

3rd Annual Dodgeball Tournament

Email for a team form or more information.

Valentines for Vets and More

CEO students took a few minutes from their busy schedule to get creative! They produced handmade valentines, along with a personal message for a special cause, Valentines For Vets. The cards will get mailed to U.S. Representative, Cheri Bustos, who is in her fifth year of distributing the cards to local veterans. If you would like to get involved, cards should be mailed to her office by February 9th. (2401 Fourth Ave., Rock Island, IL, 61201 OR 119 N. Church St., Suite 207 and 208, Rockford, IL, 61101.) Not only was it a quick, easy activity and meaningful to remember veterans, we also found out who, in CEO class, is not so creative. No names will be mentioned.

The day included a Skyped lesson on leadership from Norm and class business meetings. 

Taste of Sauk Valley

CEO Class Business Event

A second CEO team has been working diligently to bring a celebration of the foods of the Sauk Valley! To date 14 restaurants are on board for this exciting tasting event slated for March 8, 5-8:00 p.m. in Dixon. Tickets and more details will be available soon! If you know a restaurant that would like to be involved and receive more information, email

Camp Benson, The Business Model

Eli Rolli, Camp Director

Friday class started with engaging problem-solving and energizing activities conducted by Eli Rolli, the director of Camp Benson. He shared his journey to his current position, from college, to research projects, to AmeriCorp and YMCA Camp experiences. While working with the YMCA he realized the Y Mission, to build stronger kids, was important to him. He eventually landed at Camp Benson in Mt. Carroll. The business side of camp falls into seven "buckets" for Eli: marketing, staff recruitment, programs, property management, financial management, fundraising, and alumni relations. Selling the camp "product" is far more than promoting a week of fun in the outdoors, a focus on the "why" is key. Eli' presentation was a good reminder of the business aspects CEO students need to be thining about as the move forward with their class busines events. 

Student Journal Highlights for this week

Dinner Recap

I’d like to start off by saying thank you to my classmates for making my job as one of two project managers of the SVACC annual dinner an easy one. Anything that Isaac and I asked for they were willing to provide. Thank you to the servers that did the job that everyone needed, but no one wanted to do. Thank you to everyone who helped set up decorations Thank you to Andrew and Jasmine who blew the jeopardy hosting out of the water and made an otherwise dull game into an interactive entertainment section for the people in attendance. And also a huge thank you to my co-project manager Isaac. He always kept me informed as to what he was doing and developments he was overseeing. His willingness to help with the welcome made it no doubt memorable for everyone. There were some bumps along the way, but in the end, everything worked out even better than we once thought it would. I think that the dinner was a great learning experience for the class. In class on Friday, we went over what we could have done better and what we did right. Gehrig brought up a good point when he said we could learn a lot about how our class businesses will go by looking at how this event went. We can use what we learned to make everything run smoother. I’m excited for us to implement what we learned to make our class businesses successful.

This week was a big week for us as a class. Obviously the Chamber dinner was our only focus for the week, and trying to make it as successful as possible was our goal. At the beginning of the week I felt very unprepared and I felt like I didn’t really know what was going on. It also seemed like no one really knew how the event was going to go as far as the organization and the order of everything. My main focus was on Jeopardy, and I was so nervous being the host for it and getting prepared. The main thing I struggled with was the intro and how I would explain all the categories to everyone. At the event before the game show started, I wasn’t nervous at all. But of course as soon as I got called up, my stomach dropped, and I thought everything was going to go downhill. However, I ran up there, greeted everybody and explained the categories. I messed up a little bit but it didn’t even seem to matter because it made it kind of humorous in a way. I thought that it went really well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Also, Mitch and Isaacs intro was absolutely FLAWLESS. I think this event really brought our class together as a team and we were able to make it a huge success.

Side note: As I was driving through Rockford from my friends house to my game, I spotted a T-Rex mobile screen from Astec in what looked like a construction site.

Andrew Laub

Andrew Laub
Sunday, February 25, 2018Learn More About Andrew

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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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