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March 13th Newsletter

After taking the beginning of our morning to work on our individual businesses (most CEO’s are finishing their business plan, working on marketing or inventory acquisition currently) we were fortunate to meet with the Newton KC Hall manager, Jerry Gilmore to start planning the layout for our annual Trade Show on Wednesday, April 29th from 5-7. Here, students will display their individual businesses and have their products and services for sale. Put it on your calendar now to be there!!!


Jasper Jobs, Inc. / Panama Express Logistics

Jasper CEO students had a tremendous opportunity in the Jasper County board room to witness a land closing for the South Town Industrial Park on Wednesday morning along with JJI members Dale Harris and Judy McClure, John Stone with Connor & Connor Engineering, and Mark and Debbie Davis, owners of Panama Express Logistics. With the coordination of Scott Bierman with JJI, CEO students were able to hear about the project from beginning to end and all of the processes involved in a new construction start up for a business. We began with an explanation of what Panama Express Logistics does in terms of refrigerated freight and how their growing business has prompted the need for acquisition. John Stone explained to us how Connor & Connor worked with the city, IDOT, and the Davis’ to meet the requirements for building along a highway and storm water run off. Ken Larimore discussed how the TIF district came into play with this construction project and JJI member Dale Harris discussed some of the process involved with working with the Newton City Board and their sub committees to accomplish your project goals. This visit was a great summation of several concepts we have learned during our year in CEO!


JJ Outlet, LLC and KS Distribution, LLC

It has been said several times before in our newsletters how astounded we are at the businesses that exist in Jasper County, right in our own back yard, and yet we either don’t realize they are there or we don’t understand to what extent they do business. While meeting with Jason Kuhl on Thursday morning we were again pleasantly surprised at the enormity of the business that existed in what most Jasper residents know as “the old box factory”. There are actually two businesses that Kuhl and his business partner, Jeff Stacer, run out of this building, JJ Outlet, LLC and KS Distribution, LLC. JJ Outlet specializes in closeouts, overstock, and excess inventory of all kinds, tools, cleaning supplies, parts, and personal hygiene products. KS distribution focuses on Bulk and Packaged products. Ever heard of Brilliance cat litter or Brilliance laundry detergents? Yes, that is made right here in Jasper County! Some local groups and organizations have done local fundraisers with the Brilliance label. The goal of these two companies owned by Kuhl and Stacer are to take advantage of what industry considers “waste products” for various amounts of reasons but none that deem it unusable. An incredible business with tremendous entrepreneurial opportunities that take place daily as the create products from detergents and sub components to create outstanding usable retail items. This visit was chalked full of great learning lessons from product development to packaging, shipping, retailing, manufacturing, etc. These businesses are a great example of our rural American values of no waste. The business ideas are endless in today’s society, even in rural America, where global business is at our fingertips 24 hours a day.


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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 Jasper County 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 0 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 5 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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