Archived News

Last Week Before Our Trade Show

Belleville CEO Trade Show Quickly Approaching

Next Thursday, April  19, the Belleville CEO students would like to invite you to their Trade Show from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Southwestern Illinois College PSOP Center (210 North Church Street, Belleville).  There will be 20 businesses showcased that evening such as:

  • Acts of Assistance
  • Awali Tee's
  • Belleville Sport Support
  • Belleville's Mini Boot Camp
  • Design by Pallet
  • DSK Designs
  • Emilie's On-the-Go Studio
  • Fat Food
  • Graphogo
  • HoneyTees
  • J&E Detailing
  • JR's Lawncare and Landscaping
  • Mechanic on the Move
  • Noteify       
  • Purple Diamond
  • Rettro
  • Senior Craft Masters
  • Stickers for Sustainability
  • The Second Hand

Announcing Elevator Pitch Winners

JoAnn DiMaggio-May, SBDC SIUE Director

On Monday, Mrs. JoAnn DiMaggio-May came to class to announce the Belleville CEO Elevator Pitch Winners sponsored by the Small Business Development Center SIUE.  We are happy to announce Emilie Smyth with Emilie’s On-The-Go Studio took first place; Jacob Gall with Belleville Sport Support took second place; and Brett Rowe with Rettro took third place.  We wanted to thank SBDC SIUE for sponsoring the Elevator Pitches for the third year in a row! 

Banker Day

Bank of Belleville, Bank of Edwardsville, & Providence Bank

Bank of Belleville:  Ron Stephens & Rick Tschudin 
The Bank of Edwardsville:  Robert Mueller 
Providence Bank:  Matt Warren & Tim Evers

On Tuesday, the CEO class was visited by the Bank of Belleville, The Bank of Edwardsville, and Providence Bank. The CEO students presented their business plans individually to a banker as a way to prepare for meeting their bankers in the future and preparing to ask for loans in the future. The bankers gave all of the students some helpful tips to give them the opportunity for further success in their personal businesses. We would like to send out a thank you to all of the bankers who visited that day, for taking the time to assist the CEO students for another successful Banker Day. 

By John Lewis

Associated Bank

Phillip Hickman, President, Southern IL/St. Louis Metro East

This past week, the CEO class had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Phillip Hickman of Associated Bank. He spoke to the group about the differences in the sizes of banks and how that allows them to function. It also dictates what they can offer to their customers, and as they grow, their requirements change. Mr. Hickman also spoke about how the different sizes of bank plays a part in the way they market their business. The class was very grateful for this chance to learn more about this type of business and for all the helpful information Mr. Hickman was able to tell us.

 Written by Elizabeth Harla

Dove Technologies & Horton Auto & Outdoor

Ed Horton, Owner

Mr. Horton was our guest speaker for Friday’s class.  He talked to the class about what it truly means to be “successful.” He explained that it’s not always about the materialistic things in life that make you a successful person. He also gave us a few tips and tricks for business and life in general such as making sure you know where to put your advertisements and making sure it’s a target market for your product or services. Mr. Horton did a great job and we appreciate spending the morning with us!

 Written by Nick Lippert

Student Journal Highlights for this week

I really enjoyed hearing Ed Horton’s story that he shared with us. His driving point was that if you want something, it does not matter what others think or say of you. You are the only person you can hold accountable for the success or failure of your venture. When owning a business, the amount of devotion that one puts into it has to be one hundred percent. If you get told no or you try something and it does not work, you have to attempt it again until something clicks and you find the solution you are looking for. Another trait of a business owner is that your innovative mind never turns off. A CEO is constantly thinking of new techniques or strategies to run their company. The level where you know you can confidently call yourself successful is not based off the concept of having the most or always wanting more, but rather, knowing the satisfaction that came from hard work and trials that finally paid off. Success can be in any type of form because it depends on the person.

I am excited for the trade show coming up soon. I decided I wanted to wait to open my business until then because I wanted to make sure my inventory would last. If any attendees want to purchase stickers, I would prefer to make the exchange there instead of having to mail the product. After the trade show, though, I will officially open up my business. Depending on how those sales go, I may need to order more inventory from the manufacturer I am going through for my decals. I am still working on coming up with a final plan for how I am going to set up my booth because I hope to stand out. To me, the trade show is a compilation of everything we have learned in the program throughout the year. It is the place to showcase the skills and qualities I have gained and how the CEO program has developed students to be successful young adults with entrepreneurial skills so others can see the impact it has on the community.

I had no idea what to think after I gave my elevator pitch last week, so I was really excited and surprised to hear I won too! I felt like I worked pretty hard on it, as well as articulated my ideas effectively...

I enjoyed Mr. Horton's presentation. He had more energy that most of our speakers, and effectively demanded my attention. I liked how he hit on the point that good grades aren't exactly necessary for successful business people, but hard work and ingenuity are what drives entrepreneurship. I also found it interesting how he gave us tips regarding concepts I hadn't previously considered, such as sponsoring and avoiding sharing political views. He was one of the most entertaining speakers we've had while staying on topic for the most part.

I'm looking forward to the trade show. I think I got a good plan set up for my booth. My merchandise should be ready for the day, as well as my business cards. I still need to order a banner, and get other supplies, such as command strips for it and my tablecloths. I just finished a google slide presentation on loop to explain my business and product to display as well...

Jacob Gall

Jacob Gall
Friday, April 13, 2018Learn More About Jacob

This week in Belleville CEO, and the past couple weeks included, have gone by superfast. Between visitors, elevator pitch competitions, and now the trade show coming up, we students have been kept very busy. I say this in a good way, this is ending up being my favorite quarter of the class, so much is happening, and we have grown so much as a class, and as individuals.

I mentioned the elevator pitches, and that was a great experience. I believe that a lot of students learned how to effectively talk about their business, and actually learned more about it in the end. We had to hit certain points within the pitch to successfully talk about our business, and through that we filled in possible missing parts within it. It was such a great learning experience and I am glad that we were able to do that.

I officially have a new favorite visitor to our class, and it is Ed Horton. He was so honest and real, and super informative with all of us. I really enjoyed hearing his life story, and he was very inspiring to listen to. I loved all of his insight about starting your own business, and how itis true that people do not care what you think, as long as you do your job well and have confidence within yourself and your own business. He is my favorite by far, in all respect past visitors, but Mr. Horton blew my mind and I really enjoyed his visit.

To conclude, we have our trade show coming up on this Thursday, and we are all finalizing our booths. CEO is winding down, and while it is sad, it is also exciting to be able to use what we’ve learned and put it into the real world. I can’t wait to see how Thursday goes for all of us, and hopefully this whole week will be as good as last week.

John Lewis

John Lewis
Friday, April 13, 2018Learn More About John

These past few weeks have been pretty eventful ones in regard to our CEO class. We had to complete the tasks of finalizing our business plans, creating and giving an elevator pitch, and presenting our business ideas, plans, and financials with a designated banker from any of three banks. Trying to get my business plan in was an interesting experience, as my printer at home had no ink to print it, and the printers at school were broken. This lead to Mrs. Siebers having to come up to the school and wait nearly 30 minutes for a couple other students and I to scramble to get it printed. Being prepared beforehand is a very important lesson gained from this.

I was satisfied with my elevator pitch, as I thought that I covered the important aspects of my business and I believed I made the pitch somewhat interesting or engaging. The one thing I knew I messed up on was trying to remember the names of the websites I would have used in order to market my business. But, I don’t think that it had that big of an impact on my performance. I honestly would have liked to place in the top three, but I trust that the judges’ decisions were fair in choosing the winners.

The experience of talking with the banker was not as bad as I initially thought it would be. At first, I thought I would be a lot more nervous going in and that he would ask me a lot of really difficult questions that I might have struggled to answer. However, this wasn’t the case, as he asked fairly simple questions that I was actually prepared for, and I actually enjoyed our talk as he was a cool guy in my opinion.

Other than these three major things we did, we visited a couple businesses and their CEOs, such as Phillip Hickman and one of my personal favorite presenters to date, Ed Horton.

...Getting ready for Banker Day was basically making sure we understood our financials and profits. Also how what are we planning on doing in the future with our business. Banker day went really well, my banker was Mr. Tim Evers from Providence Bank. He said that he like how I already had a plan for expansion when business gets more customers, he also asked me how much it cost to buy the shirts and create them. We talked about future plans after high school and colleges.

The class have been preparing for most important project which is the Trade Show. I have all my business cards my shirts will be finished on Tuesday and I will have my banner and order forms on Monday. I will be wearing my brand shirt and some jeans that I made, and I will have my friend modeling my shirt at the booth as well. I'm excited for the Trade show and how everyone's booth is going to turn out. This is our final project and this class has went by so fast and this is a great class for any future entrepreneur should take. I wish everyone the best at luck at the Trade show and I hope this helps them and their business

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