CEO: Students 3.0

CEO Business Visits


Sondra Carter, Jerry Benninger, Ryan Hedrick

AG-Land FS

At Ag-Land the CEO students were shown how large of a business agriculture is. Within the operation were multiple businesses. There was transport of fuel, soybean seed preparation, chemical application and more. Not only were business functions explained, but Ag-Land showed the students how some of the machinery worked. This time of year is such a busy time getting ready for the Spring planting. Just because things are expensive does not mean they are not doable. Teaming up with other companies to share the cost associated with plant equipment is a great way to keep overhead costs low.


Midland Institute

Amy Tarr

Amy Tarr from Midland Institute came to speak to the students. Amy reminded the students that life does not have to be a straight line. Life will be anything but a straight line and still end up in a good place in life. A good motto she gave them was “fail, learn, repeat.” She told them it is not bad to fail. You should learn from failure. However, she said not to fail to have goals and plans. Finally, not to be discouraged by what happens when you can’t control it; although, you can control how you react.


CEO Student Connect Day

19 Area Students Visit the Land of Lincoln CEO Program

Oh boy! We have ourselves a Land of Lincoln CEO first! This year we decided to change things up a bit. The students each brought classmates from their respective schools to CEO for the day. 19 potential students came in! They got to witness different aspects of CEO, along with what a typical day is like. It started of with Dave Salander, who is an employee at Integrity Data, talking about his side business of creating household items with a steampunk design. He spoke on how the best way to enter a market is finding your niche and running with it. The new students also got to partake in a team building activity and flex their CEO muscles so to speak. They had to introduce their new partners to the rest of the group. Overall it was great experience and we hope to get some of these students into the CEO program.


Millikin University Entrepreneurship Students

Aric Hopp and Daniel Rivera

Aric Hopp and Daniel Rivera stopped in to talk to the Land of Lincoln CEO Students. Aric is an Alum of their Business Entrepreneurship program, and Daniel is currently in the business program. They talked about the different Entrepreneurship opportunities they are afforded. They launch businesses, develop ideas, study marketing strategies, compete in business competitions, implement moments of "Pivot", and create the WOW!  The program seems to be very familiar to CEO students as they are having many of the same opportunities, and challenges. Aric and Daniel were very open about their opportunity and conveyed that learning to fail is also learning to succeed. If you don't fail at some point, you probably aren't pushing yourself.


Small Business Administration

Valerie Ross

Valerie Ross is the Branch Manager for the Small Business Administration office out of Springfield, IL. Val shared so much information on where to go to find resources, how to market yourself, where to go look to find funding, and the list goes on. There are many hoopes to jump through when going into business, so having the SBA around to help navigate through situations is very valuable.  There are organizations out there that really want to help small businesses succeed. Resources are all around you....... if your willing to look.


Student Journal Highlights for this week

Amy Tarr, WOW. She was absolutely INCREDIBLE. Definitely my favorite speaker we’ve ever had. She brought an entirely new energy to the room that could practically lift me out of my seat. I couldn’t stop taking notes. Not only was her story interesting, but inspiring as well. You can definitely tell that all of her experiences have taught her many valuable lessons. I also loved seeing how passionate she was about the program. It’s always incredible to be reminded that there are so many people that have such high hopes for us as entrepreneurs.

Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper
Sunday, February 25, 2018Learn More About Emma

Thursday’s trip to AG-Land FS was cool. The entire process to what their operation does is really unique. I feel there is a lot of risk in what is being done. You could really tell that the people working really loved what they were doing. That in itself was amazing. We were told that the seed and nutrient combiner machine was expensive to get. They obtained it by looking around and making deals. Seeing that happen is encouraging. I want to see if I could possibly do that with some equipment I want to get.

Touring AG-Land FS was a very different tour then most. It was interesting to see how some employees within FS are really like their own boss. We saw how you don’t have to necessarily own your own business to “own” what you do. For some it is a lot like having their own business because they handle everything about their position. They have to know their customers and treat them well to keep them coming back.

Talia Andrade

Talia Andrade
Sunday, February 25, 2018Learn More About Talia

Inviting the students to our class was a great networking opportunity as well as a recruitment. Ninteen students attended the CEO Student Experience Day. We gave the students a taste of the WOW. The WOW is how a CEO students carry themselves and interacts with others. We also made sure to help them with any questions they had and get them rolling on their applications. 

Dustyn Gaston

Dustyn Gaston
Sunday, February 25, 2018Learn More About Dustyn


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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 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 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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