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Newsletter for September 29th

CEO Business Visits


The Power of NOW

Ray Diel

"We take care of you. We take care of you NOW. That's the secret to our [Snedeker Risk Management] success!"

Ray Diel, former Jasper County clerk, spoke to our class on Monday about risk management, the concept of a niche market, and the importance of building relationships. Snedeker Risk Management focuses on selling insurance to local governments. This includes, but is not limited to: counties, cities, school systems, villages, and water districts. As County Clerk, Ray had previously connected with many of the people he sells insurance to today.

While he may be selling, basically, the same product as his competition, Ray explains that they sell more than insurance, they solve problems. That's their "claim to fame" at Snedeker. Ray mentioned several times that relationships matter and that the best way to show appreciation to customers is by giving them time and attention, no matter what time of day it is. "Our clients are our friends." 

Toward the end of his presentation, Ray gave the students some grandfatherly advice. "Be yourself. Don't lie. Value relationships-people need to know you are trustworthy." We are so appreciative to Mr. Ray Diel for speaking to our class and sharing his motivation. 


Progress in Jasper County

Mark Bolander and Ken Larimore

On Tuesday, Jasper CEO participated in a strategic planning for the city of Newton and Jasper County. The planning was led by Newton’s mayor, Mark Bolander and Jasper County Economic Development Extension Educator, Ken Larimore.They reviewed the City of Newton Comprehensive Plan and Planning Policies as well. Students were honored to be able to play an active role in coming up with ideas to encourage economic growth in Jasper County. It was an amazing session and even fueled students towards a better designed class business concept!

We want to acknowledge the work done by Mark and Ken as CEO board members. Our class appreciates their leadership and feedback!


Like a Good Neighbor

Tammy Wilson

Tammy Wilson has been an agent for State Farm Insurance for over 20 years. Her experience is obvious in the way she was able to fully answer every question and scenario the students gave her! She discussed the procedure to become an agent, the benefits and challenges of owning two different locations, and the ins and outs of insurance. "Insurance is very ethics oriented," she explained, thus there are yearly trainings for ethics through the corporate office of State Farm.

We appreciate the hospitality and breakfast served this morning, but are most thankful for her continued support as an investor. 


TIF and Enterprise Zones

Ken Larimore

As a continuation of Tuesday, Ken Larimore came back to complete the SWOT analysis. Some of the 'strengths' students mentioned were that Jasper County is a great place to grow up because of the support of the community and strong leadership, both in the school administration and the county. One of the benefits that students gain from CEO is being able to see a bit of what goes on behind the scenes of the various community boards. Leaders share their hearts and students gain a stronger respect for the blood, sweat and tears that go into every decision.

Ken went on to explain the basics of the TIF and Enterprise Zones. He discussed the benefits and restrictions within the guidelines. The maps clarified the layout and any overlap of the two zones. He also discussed various loans that were available to businesses. The concepts elicited a number of questions from the students and Ken was able to address every one! 


Permission to Screw Up

Kristen Hadeed

Kristen Hadeed: Author of Permission to Screw Up, Ted Talk Speaker, Founder of Student Maid

Special thanks to Midland for sharing the 'Speaker Spotlight'! Kristen presented her story of overcoming failures and how her leadership skills have allowed her to create an environment of transparancy. Her book will be available October 8th, but you can preorder now via Facebook page.


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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 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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