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Variety is the Key in CEO

Our first week back was no exception to the variety students often experience in CEO class. We were at a different location each day, including our new home base, Sterling Federal Bank. 


Jim Gallentine

Mama Ciminos

What a great way to start back after spring break: a fabulous breakfast buffet from Mama Ciminos! Jim and his staff generously welcomed students to their banquet room, which would make a great location for a home base of a future Dixon based CEO class. He shared his journey from the abrupt closing of the Steel Mill to working a minimum wage job, to partnering to open Ciminos and learning the pizza-making business. He talked about the things he learned along the way, appreciating every step. Students learned about the demanding hours, marketing strategies, and employing good people. When asked about retirement/an exit plan, his answer made it clear that he loves his business! 


Representatives Demmer and McCombie, Congresswoman Bustos

Shaw Media

CEO students were honored to be included in the SV Leadership April meeting which focused on leadership in government and took place at Shaw Media in Sterling. The day started with thoughts from Representatives Tony McCombie and Tom Demmer, including a question/answer session. Upon the arrival of Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Tammy Stewart gave an overview of the Sauk Valley Leadership program, followed by Jasmine Haggard and Kallie Timmons presenting on CEO. Not only having special guests with us, but also the large cameras and microphones gave yet another dimension to the opportunity of speaking publicly! It was a great session on learning the ins and outs of political leadership and its challenges. 


Practicing Facilitating

Students Sam Hildebrand, Nick Clemens, and Jasmine Haggard were granted permission from their schools to stay beyond the CEO class time and attend the next session on the SV Leadership agenda, a discussion. They were each asked to facilitate a small group of adults as they focused on "take aways" from the politicians' presentations. They prepared good questions as they listened earlier and led the small groups. The session finished with a critique of their skills. Another great and appreciated opportunity!


Northland Mall

Students visited Northland Mall, meeting with Manager Jeff Wilson to ask questions about the upcoming trades show.

5th Annual CEO Trade Show

May 1 and 2, 4:30-8 pm and 4:30-7 pm respectively. 

The remaining time was used to dissect an article from Harvard review, a study that isolated 3 catapults to getting to the top. They included, go small to go big, inherit a big mess, and make a big leap! They were able to connect each point with various class speakers or experiences.


Finances!

Norm Deets

During April, Sterling Federal Bank is our new home base when not on a business visit. Thank you for your support!

As the trade show nears and students are working on their individual businesses, it was time to dive into the necessary financial statements. Norm challenged the students with the definitions and purposes of an expense sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet. While textbook definitions are useful, CEO students were able to make their use much more applicable as they begin to purchase supplies, inventory, and marketing needs.


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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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