In the Beginning...

Basic Training

Our day one focus was all about the essentials of the CEO program. It's a day full of logistics (such as where to park) and expectations (such as 'Producing the WOW!"). Twenty excited students also had the opportunity to start the process of getting to know each other better.

Special thanks to Mindy Hartke for taking our professional pictures for the website! Student bios and picutres are available at:

Badge Business Day

What an exciting day! The first day of the amazing journey from high schooler to entrepreneur! Students get their first lessons in negotiation, organization, and the basics of business. This first year facilitator was equally exhausted and exhilarated by the whole process! The Badge Business continued onto the next day as arrangments and visits were made businesses involved in the making of and advertising on the badges.

Students also took some time to write a letter to their future self, which they will receive at the end of the program. Within the letters, they included goals, aspects of themselves that they are working on, and how they hope CEO will change them into a stronger version of their current self. We call that our Elite 2.0 version!

If you get a chance, please come by and see these students in action! If you are interested in speaking to the class or allowing us to tour your business, feel free to contact Gina Kocher at

The Art of Conversation

Students were able to view a video by Bob Schultz about the "Art of Conversation". The topic covered hand shaking, how to ask interesting questions, and nonverbal skills. This is one of the best pieces of information for students to learn. Mr. Schultz had them visualize a home surrounded by different objects, each representing something to discuss during a conversation.

The seniors had an opportunity to begin the team building process when Juniors had to leave for a class meeting. Pieces of puzzles were spread across the table and students had to figure out how to arrange them. Light bulbs went on once they discovered that each piece had a number on it! In actuality, they were putting FIVE puzzles together, not one large one. This started some conversations about paying attention to details, digging deeper into challenges and how each piece is important to the puzzle.

Team Building and Fine Tuning

The most exciting portion of our day on Friday had to be the whole group team building! Students started with six squares of space to fit on. While it was not comfortable, it was easy. Then, one more block was taken away until only three remained. While it looked impossible as they were packed onto the remaining squares, once given a break to pause and discuss, students came up with a couple of ways it could work. The decision to tear the remaining squares of paper and stand on it individually brought relief and solved the problem.

What are the students saying?

When given a post it and asked to write one thing about this week, students responded:

"I enjoy CEO. It provides an opportunity to see a new experience that you would not see at school, and provides real world work in business creation. It also shows skills that we can use in our everyday lives, such as the art of conversation. It gives us first-hand experience of starting a business and getting sponsors. This class is very useful and very interesting. I am excited for the rest of the year."

"CEO has already inspired me even though it is only the first week! I can't wait to see how we are all going to change professionally."

"Throughout the first week of CEO, I have learned that if we all work together we can accomplish great things."

"I can already see the positive changes in myself, especially in my conversation."

"I am excited about CEO this year. I am ready to see positive changes in myself in maturity and social skills."

"I really like CEO so far because it's bringing out the different personalities in my classmates. We are learning how to work together to get things done in a safe environment where we are encouraged to do our best."

"This week went fine; it was kind of boring at times. I learned quite a bit, though. I had fun going to McClane's and talking to Kevin Short."

"After a week of frustration and success, CEO will be a long but beneficial journey."

"CEO has already helped me with my confidence and my ability to communicate with others. I have learned how to properly present myself to local business leaders and have a meaningful conversation with people I normally don't. CEO has already helped me a lot and I look forward to what I will learn and the opportunities that will open up for me."

"It's crazy that after only one week of class I have seen so much growth, not only in myself but also my classmates."

More quotes can be seen on our Twitter feed. Follow us @JasperCEO.

Share this news article

Jasper County CEO Calendar

Add this calendar to your iPhone
Print Calendar

Latest News

News Archive

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 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

Jasper County CEO Business Investors

Jasper County CEO Calendar