CEO: Experience

CEO Business Visits

CEO Guest Speakers


Business Leader Event

CEO Experience

The students had a great opportunity to be apart of the Effingham CEO Group Business. THey put on a business leadership conference each year called the "CEO Experience". A great opportunity to interact with other CEO Communities and build relationships. Read below to hear about some of the different speakers that presented.

Austin Hayes:

Diane and Jamie Rieck’s breakout session was “Faces of Change”. In this breakout session Diane and Jamie spoke about bridging the generational gap and how to effectively interact with employees of different age groups. They talked about how the workforce is changing and businesses need to change not only how they hire, but how they keep employees. Though the presentation was about all generations, it mostly focused on how to deal with millennials, the newest generation to enter the workforce.

Felipe Buenrostro

        Dr. Rich Bailey is the founder of Billy Bob Teeth. In the opening of the event, he was the first speaker to break the ice. He spoke about his life, and how it led to Billy Bob Teeth, as well as speaking where his life has been led since. There were a lot of stepping stones throughout Dr. Bailey’s career. He began studying within a dental program. One day he was goofing around and purposefully made an ugly mold of teeth. His colleagues were interested in the newly made product; he decided that his teeth were something worth pursuing. At first it was difficult to market his teeth. He went in with a professional approach. After deciding who his core demographic was, he loosened up and went in a more casual approach. He was successful with this. Though his product was successful, he no longer felt content and wanted something new. He considered becoming a full time dentist in his office, but instead he headed into a nursing home and helped residents with their dental care. Dr. Bailey’s message was one, to understand who all composes your demographics, and two, that happiness is a journey and not a destination.

Emma Cooper

Dr. Kollinger talked of his eventful journey to the successful life he lives today. From being
enlisted in WWII and facing life threatening conditions as he fought against the Russians, to
seeking freedom in the United States where he developed the Effingham Medical Park. He
explained his struggles and triumphs as he practiced medicine and continued to strive towards
his goals of living and working in a free nation.

Talia Andrade

Alexis Teichmiller had some very helpful information on how to use various social media platforms to your advantage. We learned which platform you should use and how you should use it. When using Instagram your photo should to be very eye catching and trendy to get your audience's attention. Twitter is geared more towards support service so companies can connect with their customers. The takeaway from attending Alexis’s session was amazing. Anyone who has a business could have really stepped up their social media account and learned how to use social media to its full potential.

Mya Roberts

The last keynote speaker of the day was Cordia Harrington. Cordia, as a single mother of three, decided to buy a McDonald’s Franchise. After 2200 hours of training Cordia was able to acquire the Effingham McDonald’s! Not only did she do this, but later on founded the Tennessee Bun Company, which has been visited by President George W. Bush. Through all of her success, Cordia has remained humble. She thanks God for the opportunities she has been given, and hopes to keep the Tennessee Bun Company in the Family!


Mentor Day

CEO Mentors

The CEO students and their mentors enjoyed breakfast and discussed the progress on the students’ individual businesses. They received business plans and shared marketing and networking ideas. They then took the time to participate in a team building activity that highlighted the importance of teamwork and communication. The mentors will continue to assist their studentsas they work through their individual businesses!


President: Dr. Gerlach

Lincoln College

Lincoln College President, Dr. David Gerlach, welcomed the students on Wednesday. The students listened to Dr. Gerlach speak about the history and reputation of the college, before a complimentary breakfast was provided. While the students ate together Dr. Gerlach talked about the 4 P’s of marketing and how to brand yourself to stand out from the crowd. It’s interesting how a business concept can be used in your everyday life. Afterwards, the students were taken on a tour to see a senior business class. The CEO students participated in a business simulation that the professor provided.


Crawford Group

Judy Crawford

Judy Crawford is the owner of the Crawford Group, an advertising and marketing company in California.  She taught the students a lot about partnerships and the reality that they are not always as glamorous as they seem. Often time, someone in the partnership gets the tail end of the deal, and being prepared for this is essential. Along with this, she warned the group of the risks behind word of mouth agreements; the first chance you get to legalize things with a contract do it. Overall, Judy reminded us that it is better to be safe than sorry. Judy provided the students with a slideshow presentation on the key points of maintaining a business. This mentioned important elements such as keeping the “exit” in mind when taking on a new business or challenge. One of her many recommendations was to constantly look towards the future, and see the potential to move forward.


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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.


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