CEO: Gardens and Storms

CEO Guest Speakers


Thank You ALMH

Nine weeks ago, CEO student’s came together for the first time in Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. ALMH has contributed to the success of the CEO program for three years, and we couldn’t be any more thankful for their assistance. Due to the generosity of the hospital, the class has had a reliable location with wonderful benefits such as a great staff, free wifi, the ability to grab some breakfast and even free coffee! Pretty cool, right? We couldn’t have had a better starting base location. These last nine weeks have flown by quicker than we ever expected, and our group will forever be grateful for the lasting relationship with ALMH!


Jules Flower Shop

Julie Mason

Tuesday the class visited Jules Flower Shop, owned by Julie Mason of Mt. Pulaski. As her business is a relatively new one, Julie was able to give the students advice on some of the challenges she came across. Julie took the needs of her community and combined them with her love for floral design, to create a successful business. Inspired by floral shops in the Netherlands, Julie lets her customers pick out their own flowers and then she wraps the flowers they have hand-picked. She encouraged the students to take time on their businesses, and to make sure that it was something they would enjoy doing.


Central Illinois AG

Michael Schmidt / Chad Colby / Abby Coers

On Wednesday, the CEO team took a trip to Atlanta, and had a powerful visit with Michael Schmidt, Chad Colby, and Abby Coers of Central Illinois Ag. They touched on many different aspects of the current group project which is the lanyard business, and offered many great pieces of advice to give the team a different perspective of success. They also expressed the importance of social media usage, and how it is a huge aspect in the business world. The visit was one to remember, and one the entire team is grateful for. Thank you to CIA for their time, and the sharing of their knowledge!


Chamber of Commerce

Cathy Wilhite

Cathy Wilhite of The Lincoln and Logan County Chamber of Commerce, came to meet with the CEO Program on Thursday October 19th to discuss the progress of the lanyard business. With Cathy's experience within the world of business, she provided the program with advice on how to improve and push the process of creating the name tags and lanyards for the class. Cathy explained the importance of accountability, communication, and teamwork. With her words of wisdom, the class has learned ways in which to be more efficient and productive. They will carry her advice with them as they continue to thrive in their businesses.


Student Journal Highlights for this week

Tuesday was our visit with Jules Mason. I had a great time on that visit because it was relatable and I felt like we had the opportunity to ask more personalized questions. She gave me some hope for myself to run a business because she didn't go to college for business but is still able to run a great store. I felt like if she can do it than so can I. She said “don't lose focus of what you want” and “do what you have a passion for.” Both of those things I will always remember.

Talia Andrade

Talia Andrade
Sunday, October 22, 2017Learn More About Talia


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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 Land of Lincoln 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 10 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 15 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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