As Hancock County CEO finishes up year four, I can’t help but take a step back and see the impact that you, as community leaders and business owners in Hancock County, are making on the students. Thank you, Hancock County Economic Development, for supporting this entrepreneurial experience for Hancock County students. Each week, CEO students write a journal with their insights. Hearing how this class is transforming their thinking and lives is best coming from them. The following are journal excerpts from the Class of 2019.
- “This week in CEO I’ve learned that I shouldn’t get so caught up in the outcome of things. I need to put my best effort into the task at hand. The first quarter has taught me responsibility and accountability, no matter the situation. People skills are the best skills to have, and even though it’s challenging, you need to get along with everyone. My opportunity to take part in this program is something to be very thankful for and many wish they had the same opportunity. I know it will lead me on a successful path and I take pride in this program.”
- “Wednesday we went to Carthage Veterinary Service. This visit was so interesting!! We went on a tour through their training facility. I had no idea what all was there. I didn’t know they never had actual pigs there. It is so cool that in little Carthage, Illinois, we have the ability to train hundreds of people from all over the world on how to care for pigs. That’s so cool! The opportunities are endless.”
- “This week in CEO was so much fun. We went on visits to Udder Hill Dairy and Harrison Monuments, both very different from each other, yet so eventful. On Tuesday we had our Mentor Morning. After talking to my mentor, I can finally say I have my personal business idea. My mentor has helped me so much already and I cannot wait to shadow her and see what a morning in her position looks like.”
- “Friday, Dwight Mulch came and spoke to us. Wow. What a guy. He has done everything under the sun, plus some. His stories were amazing! He is an incredible guy. He also really cared about each one of us.”
- “JR Parn came to speak to us. JR had A LOT of things to tell us. He stressed the idea of starting to save money now. It was really interesting to me when he showed us the visual of saving money with the three different people. I had no idea how important our time was to us. One of my favorite quotes he said was, “Opportunities that don’t have safety nets are the best. If there isn’t a safety net below, there probably isn’t a ceiling above.” That one hit me for some reason. I had never thought about it that way.” “We went to Outlaw Tees. He explained that customer service is important. I enjoyed the pinstriping that we did. I love going to these businesses that have hands-on things to do. I knew how they printed on shirts but it’s a lot different when you see it up close.”
For the first time in the history of Hancock County CEO, the Class of 2019 decided to tackle their class business before the semester break, which proved to be beneficial with the multitude of snow days in January. “Breakfast With Santa” served over 165 people, and was a morning of interaction and fun for families of Hancock County. In addition to the breakfast, businesses advertised on the tickets to promote shopping local for the holidays. The profits generated from the breakfast allowed the CEO students seed money for their personal businesses. The Hancock County CEO Trade Show is set for Tuesday, May 7th, 4-6PM at Lake Hill Winery to showcase their business endeavors to the public. You are invited to attend and support the CEO Class of 2019 personal businesses.
With a new online application process, we are anxiously awaiting the CEO Class of 2020. Thanks to the CEO Board and local investors that fund this dual credit program through Carl Sandburg College. If you’d like to know more about Hancock County CEO, visit or host a class, suggest a guest speaker, or receive a weekly newsletter, please contact CEO Facilitator Christine Murphy at [email protected] or www.hancockcountyceo.com.