Newsletter for 2/2

CEO Business Visits

The Ins and Outs of Building a Home

Schackmann Insulation and Construction

Schackmann Insulation and Construction visited the CEO class on Monday, bringing in examples of their process. Charlie addressed students on work ethic, explaining that it can make or break one's success. He also commented that you only get one chance to build a home correctly and that researching beforehand will allow a home owner to make the best decisions. Dustin spoke about the insulation side of the business, giving students information on the different options: fiberglass, foam, or cellulose fiber filling. He explained how he uses a multiplier for pricing. Jarad and Kyle gave students a run down on the construction portion, explaining about their 'energy wall'. Schackmann's are one of the few companies that construct a wall using 2x4 studs with an 8" center, off setting each stud to allow for insulation to fill the whole wall. This results in an impressive energy savings with a minimal up-charge.

All four of the team members spoke about estimating pricing, margins, allowances, and customer care. Charlie explained that speed does not equal quality and that 'you are only as good as what the finished product looks like'. We appreciate them taking the time to share and for the visual aids. We also appreciate their role as a Jasper CEO investor.

Contact information on this business:

Phone number 618-783-3965

Location:  903 S. Van Buren St.

Facebook:  Schackmann Insulation & Construction, LLC


Newton Auto Parts

Alan Mendenhall, Newton Auto Parts

Building his way up from delivery guy to owner of Newton Auto Parts, Alan Mendenhall learned the business through experience. While the Webb family had owned the business for over 50 years, Alan bought the store in 2011; it is one of 5500 independently-owned NAPA stores. Newton Auto Parts is a retail and wholesale dealer in vehicle parts and accessories. Because of his vast background, Alan was able to speak on the difference between factory direct and distribution center ordering, branding versus franchising, pro imaging, reclassing and the difference between corporately-owned businesses and independently-owned businesses. Based on the questions, he clarified some points on sales taxes and support fees.

It was obvious that Alan has a passion for what he does and we appreciate him taking the time to share with us. We also appreciate Newton Auto Parts for being an investor in the CEO program. We couldn't have it without the sacrafices of local businesses like Newton Auto Parts whose owners understand the benefits of investing in the students. We encourage you to keep your business in Jasper County and shop locally.

Flying S

Flying S

Flying S is located outside of Palestine, IL and hired their first employee in 2007. David and Penny Shaw’s business exploded and currently they have 60 employees and do work for the military and NASA, as well as private companies. The benefit to their business is that they can create a prototype, manufacture the parts, test the design, and created the finished product all under one roof. “Quality is so vital to our business that it’s almost essential to be able to do it all ourselves,” explained one worker. While the jobs are challenging-it is quite literally rocket science- the culture of this business is one of trust and respect.

Penny spoke on supporting local families by keeping their business in Crawford County. “Helping a homeless person may help them for a day, but when you give a person a job, you change the individual, a family and a community. To those who have been given much, much is expected.” The fact that they stay busy and are growing, even though their location is out of the ordinary, speaks of the high quality of product they manufacture. Pride in their work is obvious in each worker with whom we spoke. There’s little room for mistakes, yet the workers can handle that stress because they are treated so well by their management.

Penny also challenged students to become an expert in their interests and to get all kinds of experiences. She discussed the concept of ‘growing yourself into bankruptcy’ and the wisdom in keeping debt low, if not nonexistent.

They are interested in hiring people who want to stay in the area because they love the Midwest and the morals found here. Check out their website for more information:  

Thank you, Flying S and Penny, for making our visit so eye-opening and impressive!

Grants and Loans

Brett Lessley

Thank you, Brett Lessley, for coming in and explaining to the students the grant process through our CEO board. A portion of the proceeds for the class business will go to help students fund their individual businesses. Students also will be giving a portion back to a not-for-profit, which they discussed today as well.

Small Alumni Panel

The juniors from the CEO Class of 2017, currently seniors at NCHS, were asked to come in today for a short Q&A. As the CEO students proceed towards the creation and execution of their individual businesses, the wisdom from the previous students is very helpful. Having been there, they were able to address fears, explain how the trade show will work, and give students individual feedback. We appreciate Alicia Buerster, Walker Goodwin, Holden Kerner, Victor Sandschafer, Paige Webster, Brett Woodard, and Leslie Woods for sharing their experiences!

Giving Back

Because serving the community and philanthropy are CEO essentials, Jasper CEO students took time on Tuesday to pack Blessings in a Backpack. It's a simple way to help the community and help those in need. If anyone is interested in volunteering or donating, see their Facebook page at

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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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