CEO-September 22nd

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers

Training in SWOT

Once David Blecha led the class in 'brain writing' last week, the class narrowed down the options for the class business. Today, students were led through the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) process using one of the options. Later in the week, the leadership team will guide students into following the SWOT process for the remaining options. It helps students to anticipate issues that may come up and puts them on the offensive instead of the defensive. 

Service with Elegance

Tuscan Hills Winery

"Come as our guest, leave as our friend."

That motto is at the heart of everything the drives Wanda Pitcher, Founder of Tuscan Hills Winery. She described her history in business with the class over doughnuts and milk. She and her husband, Wes, currently own four businesses. They are the quintessential entrepreneur couple! Her vision for Tuscan Hills took about nine months to come to fruition. And, what a vision it was! The elegance and welcoming feeling that surrounds Tuscan Hills is felt as soon as you step over the threshold. 

Taking time to share some tips on being business savvy, Wanda discussed strategy sessions, hiring a hospitable staff, and customer care. Wanda spoke with great authority when she said, "If you aren't afraid of failure, you aren't doing it right! Never be too afraid to just try something. Failure is a chance to learn something." She discussed the role that weather, an uncontrollable factor, played in the development of her location. But, never did she want to throw in the towel! When asked about wanting to quit, she responded, "I never wanted to quit! I don't have the 'overwhelmed' gene!" Her innate entrepreneurial spirit was impressive!

We are thankful to Wes and Wanda's support of the CEO program and for being investors. Wanda's passion is unmatched and she is a fantastic example to the CEO students of what a driven, determined woman can accomplish! 

Selling Points

"Selling is essentially a transfer of feelings" -Zig Zigler

Students practiced their sales skills in class today. While some people are natural-born persuaders, others see trying to sell as a brick wall. Yet, at its very core, selling is simply about connection and passion for the product. After a very basic breakdown, students were able to attempt to sell the rest of the class on a specific product. They used humor, facts and positive energy to bring out the benefits of their product. 

SWOT Analysis

Thursday was filled with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on three options for the class business. Students were able to share their thoughts on the options previously developed. It's such an exciting portion of CEO and all students want to see the business succeed! One of the most beneficial aspects of the day was when committees were created; the decision on committee leaders came about organically and plans were started. As we have learned from Wanda Pitcher, a business plan is a living, breathing document, so there will still be a number of changes from our original plan! We need to keep an open mind!


Susan Shull

JCCU 1 Educator, The Push Ahead Co-Founder, Yoga Instructor, Hobbyist turned Accidental Businessperson: Susan Shull is a well-rounded lady who has a love of learning! Susan told students, "Never be afraid to challenge your thinking!" She certainly has proven that life is full of transformations when you follow your passions.

Sharing her story with the CEO class led her to discussing how she handles stress in her life. She informed them of the dangers of being overly stressed, some of the stress indicators, and discussed with students how they handle having a lot of irons in the fire. She was able to show students some simple stretches and breathing exercises that they can use daily to help their body combat the negative aspects of stress. She explained how breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and how she incorporates it into her daily life.

We are thankful to Susan and her husband, Brad, for being investors in Jasper CEO. Their support of our youth has been a lifelong focus of their lives and Jasper County is better for it! 

Student Journal Highlights for this week

I received some good news I wanted to share with you. A small, private school (Blackburn College) in Carlinville, Illinois has offered me a huge scholarship of $10,000 based solely on the fact that I am in CEO. The only requirement is that the class business and my individual business are a success.

Paige Klingler

Paige Klingler
Friday, September 15, 2017Learn More About Paige

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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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