A Successful Trade Show

Belleville Chick Fil-A

Mr. Matt Gilreath, General Manager

Mr. Matt Gilreath from the Belleville Chick Fil-A came in to talk to us on Monday. He shared with us the history of Chick Fil-A and commented on how the Belleville Chick Fil-A has received the three highest awards, Increased Sales, Increased Profit and Decreased Costs. He talked about how Chick Fil-A is about service over volume. Mr. Gilreath talked about how sales can fix most problems like labor and profit.  During his discussion about labor, he said there are two reasons that companies will hire employees.  There is a need that needs to be filled or the person is such an all star that the company will find a position for them. He also discussed the concept of lost leader.  Thank you, Mr. Gilreath, for spending the morning with us and sharing your knowledge about the  Chick Fil-A franchise business.  

Written By Alayna Wells

Trade Show Set Up

On Wednesday, the class spent the day preparing for their trade show and running last minute errands. Everyone worked on setting up their booths and laying out their products. Some of us even practiced running through with mock customers. Whether it was stressful or fun for us, everyone really learned something from this experience.

Written By Alayna Wells

Mentors Giving their Support Before the Trade Show

Students and Their Businesses

More Students and Their Businesses

Students Making the Pitch about Their Product

“I was really impressed with the fact that all the businesses seemed liked things that will continue beyond the school year! The entrepreneurs really went for it.”     ~Wendy Witte, St. Louis Community Foundation

“Great show.  The kids really put their passion behind it this year which was very clear as I spoke to each of them.  I witnessed a lot of growth in these kids from the beginning of the year opening ceremony to the trade show in confidence and manners really exciting to see.”  ~Brett Baltz, Egyptian Stationers 

“I was so impressed by the caliber of the businesses. These young entrepreneurs already understand the dedication and hard work it takes to create and grow a business.”  ~Geri Boyer, Kaskaskia Engineering 

“I thought every single student was well prepared and set up their booths perfectly to suit their business and personalities. I was so impressed by each and every student but what I was most impressed with was how much talent and innovation there was in this class. Each student had a viable business and I think they all have the ability to sustain and maintain their businesses.  I wish them much deserved success and cannot wait until I see them again to see what they’ve accomplished.”  ~Renae Eichholz, Precision Practice Management 

“The Trade Show was such a fantastic ending to a wonderful program.  The students work all year to prepare for that day and everything came together in a really impressive way!  These students are extremely creative and already ahead of most individuals in their age group.  I have no doubt they will be successful entrepreneurs!”  ~Alexa Callahan, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale PC

“The trade show went well. It was nice to see that the students, and some staff who were interested in our event, and booths.”   ~Epiphany Smith, Co-CEO of MadReps 

“It was just so eye-opening and it showed me that even as high school kids, we really can do anything we put our mind to. I also want to thank my partner, classmates, and great facilitator for all the hard work and time they've put into this program and I'm proud of how far we all have came”   ~Royce Payne, Co-CEO of MadReps

“Connections are extremely important in business so I appreciate the opportunity to get better at connecting with other people.”   ~Michael Lassman, CEO of Shrat Shirts

“It was definitely a fun experience that taught me a lot about the business world. I was even fortunate enough to sell some of my first products!”   ~Tim Donaho, CEO of Donaho Vinyls

“Of course the profit made me happy, but seeing my classmate’s ideas all come to fruition from the brainstorming at the beginning of the year was almost surreal.”   ~Alayna Wells, CEO of The Art of Roots

“While showcasing our businesses, our investors were in the crowd and it was nice seeing their friendly faces again. Until experiencing this, I have a whole new respect for folks that showcase their businesses at fairs and events.”    ~Austin Thurman, CEO of Classy Trailer Resurrections 

 “Honestly, I was dreading this day. All I could see was that only a few of our investors would show up but I was truly surprised.”  ~Carson Gamboe. CEO of The Watch List

Alayna Wells Wins at NAACP Competition

CEO student Alayna Wells wins two gold medals at the NAACP ACT-SO Competition.  She will be advancing to Nationals in two categories- vocal contemporary and drawing. The drawing she won with is her most award winning art piece “decendent”.  Alayna Wells’ business is selling prints of her artwork online.  You can find this piece available on her facebook page “The Art of Roots” and see her other works available for sale.  

Share this news article

Belleville CEO Calendar

Add this calendar to your iPhone
Print Calendar


Latest News

News Archive

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 Belleville 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 20 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 25 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

John Lewis - Belleville CEO

John Lewis

About Me

I am a senior at Althoff Catholic High School. I am interested in going into Business Marketing as a career in the future. I applied for the CEO program to get a better insight into the business world.

I am involved in my school and community. Some of my school clubs are Crusaders Against Alcohol and Drugs, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, CRusaders Take Action, Student Ambassadors, and I was even one of the founding members for CBN, the sports broadcasting service for Althoff. I  have also been involved in two sports all throughout my high school career, basketball and soccer.

I am very outgoing, intuitive, hardworking, and driven to set a goal and make succeed. Once I graduate from high school, I plan on attending a four year university and majoring in business. The top three schools that I am deciding between are St. Louis University, University of Illinois, and Loyola University in Chicago.

Learn More about John

Belleville CEO Business Investors

Belleville CEO Calendar