Newsletter for March 16th

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers

Never Give Up

Jeremy Wilson

He's a legend in the Jasper CEO family, the most knowledgeable person in ag precision, and owner of 60 pairs of creative socks! He is Jeremy Wilson, Manufacturer Relations Director for Crop IMS. Basing his presentation on three main quotes, he discussed his resume, Crop IMS breakdown, business plans, handling risk, and charismatic brands. Some of the highlights of his presentation were:

"Customers do not buy a product, they buy what your product can do for them."

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneur from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."

"Figure out what the consumer wants before they know it."

"Mindset is everything. If your fear is failure in business, you probably will. Scared money will never win."

Thank you, Jeremy, for speaking with us! You did a wonderful job!


Thank you to our wonderful 'bankers'! Financials can overwhelm any new business owner, but our students feel more prepared, thanks to our bankers. The nerves quickly turned into excitement as the students went through the two rounds of critique. They realized how much these adults cared and wanted to see them succeed. The students, in turn, took every bit of feedback to heart and made corrections. It was a culture of respect and encouragement, including having Jeremy Wilson stop in to dialogue with students during their down time. Our bankers were:

Mark Bolander, Rex Vault Services

Barney Brumfiel, Illinois Small Business Development Center

Travis Farley, Dieterich Bank

Kyle Klier, Peoples' State Bank

Brett Lessley, Peoples' State Bank

Kris Newton, First Financial Bank

Jim Phelps, Murphy Consulting, Inc.

Follow Up Survey

To fully gauge the success of our class business, students have constructed a follow-up survey. Students will then take the results and compare to the surveys that were given the day of the Expo. One of our goals for the class business was to increase the local foot traffic and highlight lesser-known businesses. We will post results once they are compiled. 

Student Feedback on Banker Day

"I appreciated the positive feedback"- Makenna Ochs

"This was a real-life experience that will prepare me for the future." -Sydney Zumbahlen

"It took away from the stress I was feeling towards Shark Tank and made me more confident." -Mykayla Spelbring

"We found solutions to the small problems that needed to be fixed." -Gabe Fulton

"It was kind of the bankers to give up their mornings to give us feedback on our business plans and to prep us for Shark Tank." -Chase Lemke

"I appreciate the critical feedback because it will help us in the end." -Alex Haarman

Evapco in Newton

Our morning at Evapco in Newton resulted in an exploration of their innovation and a conversation in leadership and communication. David Blecha and Rhonda Mahaffey led us on a tour of their facility where we learned about the benefits of the 'one piece flow' system they use. Because there is minimal handling, there is minimal damage; it also results in a faster production time. Once we sat down in the conference room, we began discussing how a project is completed, from the bidding procedure to the final construction. Bruce Schehlein also joined us and led a conversation about the difference between a leader and a manager. "A manager keeps things running smoothly. A leader implements change." As leaders, Bruce and Dave must actively using their communication skills to ensure quality work and a team culture. "Be flexible. Be accomodating. Be prepared," is Dave's guideline when working with others. "Learn to listen to catch what they are really communicating."

It was an educational morning at Evapco in Newton! Thank you for hosting us and special thanks to Dave Blecha, Bruce Schehlein, and Rhonda Mahaffey!

Student Journal Highlights for this week

We had our mentor roundtable. I sat with David Blecha and two other students. He looked over all three of our business plans. He gave us some really good tips. For me, he gave me tips on what I should add to the plan as well as ideas and tips for marketing and selling my products. He was a huge help, and to be honest I was kind of blown away by it.

Chase Lemke

Chase Lemke
Tuesday, March 6, 2018Learn More About Chase

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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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