Newsletter for February 23rd

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers

A Vision for Innovation

Tony Griffith

Tony Griffith can only be described as a visionary. His attraction to innovation is seen in his creation, fondly called the 'Dome House' in Jasper County. Owning and operating three businesses (Heartland Classics/Broadway Express/Griffith Trucking) as well as a not-for-profit (Eagle Country Water Works) keeps Tony quite busy at a time when most people his age have retired. Listening to Tony, you can't help but be energized by his love for challenges and for Jasper County. He took time on Tuesday to share a bit about his businesses, but to also challenge students to 'go for it'. "When it comes to opportunities, work an idea from every angle."

We appreciate Tony taking the time to speak and we look forward to touring the Dome House. We also appreciate Tony's three businesses and Eagle Country Water Works for investing in CEO.

The Dashboard

Jerry McDaniel

After Mr. McDaniel spoke to the class earlier this month, he promised to come back and explain how he stays organized. He explained his dashboard system for cash flow and how it shows him the big picture. Earlier in his career, he felt overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork crossing his desk, and being the problem-solver he is, created a solution. It can be recreated in a multitude of areas, both in business and at home. Thank you, Jerry, for taking an additional day to explain this logical, but essential tool!

Students also took the last two days to meet with mentors and work on individual businesses. They have a laser focus right now and it shows in the amount of work they can accomplish during class days!


Todd Martin

Integrity is defined as, "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness".

From the conversations and guidance of his dad to his time spent in the Air Force, Todd Martin learned to do the right thing and lead with integrity. Being the first to admit that it's still a concept he's working on, he humbly shared with Jasper CEO the importance of having the right mind-set. Being open to change, being transparent and real, and treating workers with respect and appreciation were just a few of the tips he gave. "If your name is on a building, you have to make sure it reflects you well." That means you have to be willing to do everything in your business and to sacrifice the time it needs to make it grow. Todd also stressed the importance of being consistant in the attention to detail and cleanliness of each of the three stores he owns: Martin's IGA in Newton and Casey, and Save-a-Lot in Effingham. "When I had the opportunity to buy the IGA in Newton, I chose to because of the quality of people here," and we are so glad he did!

Todd is a family man, lover of books, and full of passion for his business. We appreciate his time and how he started our day so perfectly! We also value him as an investor and appreciate his willingness to support Jasper CEO.

 When asked what book he would recommend, he answered, "The Bible, especially Proverbs." 

Wolf Eye Care

Wolf Eye Care

"Take business classes, no matter what field you enter." -Dr. Adam Wolf

In September of 2012, Dr. Wolf started his practice here in Newton, Wolf Eye Care. His previous work in Olney, Effingham, and Champaign had created connections with patients he still has today. His job is more in depth than simply writing perscriptions for contacts/glasses, but even he is amazed at the variety of issues he addresses at his practice. As Dr. Wolf shared his narrative from college student to business owner, he reflected on important concepts he's learned. "Pay attention to the non-compete clause and make sure it's fair," he emphasized to students. He discussed how to value a business and how to price your products. A practice like his breaks down into two areas: medical and retail. This creates new challenges and new opportunities!

Thank you, Dr. Wolf, for taking time to share! Usually, the students are meeting the business people for the first time, but this visit was different. Students were able to see a different side of the business, not just one of being his patient!

Student Journal Highlights for this week

Today we went to JJ Outlet, where owner Jason Kuhl talked to us about what JJ Outlet does. It is mainly a closeout store, so most of its business comes from low-priced, straight from the manufacturer goods. It was cool hearing about all of the places he does business with, whether it’s buying product or selling it to other consumers. Little did I know that this business even helped with hurricane relief in Houston when the disaster hit. It’s amazing knowing our little community has made such a huge impact on the country, and most people don’t even know, and would never know unless they asked. That was the most interesting part of this business visit, and I can understand why such a niche business can stay busy!

Makenna Ochs

Makenna Ochs
Thursday, February 15, 2018Learn More About Makenna

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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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