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Bring A Friend To CEO Week

CEO Business Visits


New Faces Every Day

Kim Purvis

Class on Monday through Thursday found administrators, counselors, and potential students stopping in to get a feel for what CEO class is all about. The week included a variety of activities such as a Skype lesson with Business Liasion Norm Deets, a question-answer session, student led class business meetings, and team bonding games. Kim Purvis joined class to facilitate the role-playing of nine complex workplace scenarios and debriefed each outcome. Each day presented several of the typical activities CEO students find themselves involved in when in the "classroom." 


Wiersema Waste Service

Lisa Wiersema

Lisa Wiersema gave a thirty minute overview of Wiersema Waste Service, which she and her husband grew from one to five trucks. Her mini-lesson discussed their business and some of her community leadership roles. Although speakers typically spend 60-90 minutes explaining their business, the goal was to give the student visitors a taste of what some CEO classes are like. They experienced the business-like setting and asking of good questions. Thirty minutes was far too short; Lisa is someone we will want to visit class again. 


A Spur of The Moment Opportunity

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanquinetti

Tuesday brought a request for Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanquinetti to stop by CEO class on Wednesday at 10:30. Unfortunately, class would be over, but some CEO students were able to get permission to return for the meeting. The flexibility of teachers, counselors, and parents to allow students is greatly appreciated. She asked serveral questions about the CEO program, discussed her role in key programs and agendas, and told her "story" from failing first grade due to a language barrier to her current position. It was a pleasure and inspiration to meet Lt. Governor Sanquinetti. 


Rotarian Breakfast Meeting

Thursday was an early morning, but a great opportunity to network with community members at the 7:00 a.m. Rotary meeting. Students introduced themselves, gave an overview of the class, talked about current projects, and shared a CEO experience that has been meaningful to them. We appreciated and enjoyed breakfast and being asked to present this week's program.

At 8:00 students headed to the classroom to work on the upcoming Dodgeball Tournament and Taste of Sauk Valley. 


The Taste of Sauk Valley

CEO Business Event

Z Best West, Candlelight Inn, Froggy’s, The Factory, The Boulevard Pub and Grill, Folsoms Bakery, Main Squeeze, That Place On Palmyra, El Tapatio, Triple P, Cannova's Italian Cuisine, Mama Ciminos, 3 Headed Monster, and Rico’s Salsa.

How exciting! These businesses have commited to joining CEO for The Taste of Sauk Valley on March 8. And the list is growing!

Tickets will be available from CEO students or through the Whiteside Area Career Center beginning Monday, February 12. The cost of $20 will give guests 10 tasting tickets to use on samples of their choice. Let's celebrate the delicious cuisine of the Sauk Valley Area!


Student Journal Highlights for this week

During this past week our class was able to Skype with Norm twice and learn many important lessons. As I was sitting there listening to him speak, I thought of how I could apply the lessons he shared with us to one of our class businesses, The Taste of Sauk. The first lesson was delegation. As project manager it can be quite hard to decide who can do what and if they will be good at it. He gave us the idea that instead of assigning people based off of what we think, ask for volunteers and see where they feel they best fit. A leader must understand the skills and abilities of those they are delegating. The next lesson was about priorities; I recently heard a quote that says, “Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’, try saying ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels.” When you apply this quote to a real-life situation, things change quickly. The last two lessons that Norm spoke about were focus and multitasking (which I think go hand in hand). It’s pretty obvious that in order to accomplish a task successfully, we must focus; however, many times we don’t focus on one specific thing. We try to juggle multiples tasks and end up not performing our best for any of them. Writing about this brings up a valuable lesson that I learned while reading The One Thing by Gary Keller. He says that it is possible to multitask, but it is NEVER possible to multitask successfully. Everyone gets the same 24 hours 7 days a week - how will you use yours?

On Tuesday we learned about Warren Buffet and his theories about being happy and traits that we possess. He says that the personality traits we possess are not something that we are born with but rather develop over time. I agree with this. Depending on how we have grown up, our values and morals will be different. Some people are more fortunate to grow up living in an environment in which it is not hard to live, while others have more struggles which ultimately develops certain traits. We talked about how we never know what people are going through. I am a camp counselor at Camp Emmaus, and in the past few years we have had numerous campers coming from inner city Rockford. My heart went out for these kids. I remember one kid saying to me on the first day, "We get to eat dinner? I haven't eaten since yesterday!" We also had a girl who was afraid to eat anything. We couldn't get her to eat anything and eventually had to send her home a day later. We have no idea why she has that fear. While other kids with more wealthy families that had been coming to camp for a while were completely prepared for camp with all types of clothing for various weather, we found ourselves as counselors running to the store during our free time to get extra clothes for the kids who did not have it. I truly believe that we have made a safe, fun, and supportive place for these kids at camp, and while some of them claim to not like it at times, we always see them again next year. When some of them would act up or throw a temper tantrum, I would just sit there with them and listen to them. That seemed to help enough. I think that some kids don't have enough attention from their families that most of us in CEO have been fortunate enough to have, however, we never know what others are going through. Although these kids are hard to work with at times, they hold a special place in my heart.


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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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