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September Recap


Steve Bost

Miller and Bost
Steve Bost has donated so much of his time to Jackson CEO as a member of our board.  Here, he came and spoke to the group, highlighting what it takes to be a leader.

Les O'Dell

Carbondale Chamber of Commerce
As Executive Director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Les works tirelessly to help businesses in our area.  He came to Jackson CEO to share his passion for the region.  The entrepreneurs learned a great deal about how important it is to buy local.

Chris Egelston

Corporate Entertainer & Infotainer
The Jackson Williamson Sunset Rotary Club sponsored an event for all southern Illinois youth entrepreneurship programs.  There, members from Jackson, Jefferson, Saline, Union, and Williamson counties came together to collaborate and learn.  Chris Egelston, one of the coordinators of the event, entertained the group while imparting great insights into how to make their goals a reality.  

Quincie McFarland

Selective Lawn Care & Services
Quincie McFarland is the owner of Selective Lawn Care and Services as well as a graduate of eLaunch Williamson County.  He came to discuss what he gained from his time in a youth entrepreneurship program.  It's always great to see a graduate return with a great story!

Team Building Activities

During the Rotary Youth Success Rally, the members of Jackson CEO engaged in different team-building activities.  They had to turn one member into a mummy in one event.  In another, they were given a set of supplies and tasked with protecting an egg when dropped from a ladder.  What was interesting about the second activity is that each group had different types and amounts of supplies.  This symbolized the different strengths and weaknesses of each person and team.  

Karen Cupp

Karen Cupp Coaching
Karen Cupp, a business leadership coach, realtor, and organizer of the event, trained the entrepreneurs in proper etiquette.  This included how to eat the excellent meal prepared by the caterers with Garden Grove Event Center.

Jessica Glasco

Jessica Glasco completed the Union County CEO program last year.  She returned to tell her story, including how CEO led to her receive a full scholarship!  Congrats, Jessica!!!

Susan Willis

Susan Willis Photography
We've all heard the term, "business casual", but what does it actually mean?  Susan Willis came and explained the different levels and types of professional attire.  We'll hear from her in October as she comes to explain what a picture can say about and do for you.

Deborah Frey

FreyWorks & Associates Consulting
The majority of students are already very familiar with social media, but few know how to use it to their advantage, professionally.  Deb Frey led a session on LinkedIn and how to build your personal brand through the use of social media.

Greg Bouhl

Illinois Small Business Development Center at SIU
Greg Bouhl is the Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SIU.  During his time with the SBDC, he has helped start or grow hundreds of businesses, and he has used that wide knowledge base to help guide the members of Jackson CEO.

Emily Burke

Walker's Bluff
The Jackson and Williamson County programs joined together for a tour of Walker's Bluff.  They were able to see behind the scenes at the General Store, Legends, and even the Grotto.  The tour was amazing, and it's always nice to get the groups together!

James Mayer

Mayer Networks
James Mayer, owner of Mayer Networks, opened his doors to us for a tour of his business.  He explained how his team functions, each taking on roles based on their particular strengths.

Speaking to Rotary

Jackson Williamson Sunset Rotary Club
Karen Cupp invited us to be the speakers at the Jackson Williamson Sunset Rotary Club dinner.  Between sporting events and jobs, many of the members were unable to participate.  However, Liyang Chen, Shawn Veras, Gage Funk, and Yaser Naser stepped up and joined Ken at the event.  There, they reported how the Youth Success Rally went and took the opportunity to thank the group for sponsoring it.

Kent Probst

Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship
The CEO Program began in Effingham, Illinois when Craig Lindvahl saw an opportunity to bring community business leaders and students together.  It didn't take long before he knew it was time to take CEO beyond Effingham's borders.  When that happened, Kent Probst stepped in as facilitator.  As the second facilitator of CEO, he has some great stories and experiences to share.

Kristen Hadeed

Student Maid
As the first participant in the Speaker Series, Kristen Hadeed teleconferenced with us to tell her story.  Before becoming an author and speaker, she founded Student Maid, a business which paired student cleaners with clients.

Dr. Paul Chugh

Dr. Chugh has his doctorate in Mining Engineering and has nine patents to his name.  He is in the process of working some of his technologies into other industries.  His passion lies in the region, its businesses, and its youth.  To that end, Dr. Chugh is getting involved with the Jackson CEO program, helping ensure the members are prepared to be business owners.

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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 Jackson 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 14 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 19 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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