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Final Presentations and Come & Go Celebration

You are invited to our 3rd Annual Belleville CEO Come & Go Celebration.  Pick a day and stop by to listen to the Belleville CEO's final presentation and network with the students one more time.  It will start Wednesday through Friday, May 9-11 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Artigem.  It will be a time for the students to thank you for making this program possible either through your financial support and/or your time.  Refreshments will be served on Friday, May 11 so please stop by and wish them good luck as they get ready to graduate and begin the next chapter of their life.  

Their final presentations will give you some feedback on their experience in CEO, what they have accomplished during the year, and a financial update on their business.  

Hopefully we will see you at one of those days!

Jacob Gall Presented with the Belleville CEO Award

On Sunday, Geri Boyer, Belleville CEO Board President, presented Jacob Gall with the Belleville CEO Award at the Althoff Senior Breakfast at 4204 Banquet Hall.  This $1000 award can be used either for his personal business or for his college education.  The Award is based on an application, a type-written essay on the three most valuable things they have learned throughout their time in the CEO Program, three Letters of Recommendations, and the quality of their Belleville CEO Trade Show project.  Congratulations again, Jacob Gall!

The Edge

Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell, owners

On Monday, we visited The Edge with Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell. Seeing their current expansion for the first time was amazing. Everything they put together to create this place makes it a one of a kind. Their newest additions of the bowling alleys, go carts, and Virtual Reality systems was the biggest visual example. That if you want to continue to be profitable, you must invest in yourself to grow bigger. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dahm-Schell have a good mindset of always moving forward and being two steps ahead. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us and allowing us to experience the thrill of riding your go-karts!

 Written by Ian Hass

Kurt Artinger Awards Two CEO Students

Kurt Artinger, Owner

Kurt Artinger, Owner of Artigem and his new venture, Allurigem, and his Assistant Product Manager, Jessie Gomez, awarded Teonna Davis and Nick Lippert with $100 each for their input on a ring’s name.  Mr. Artinger announced that Allurigem will launch in 45 days!  They will feature 13 styles of engagement rings ranging from $3,800 to $15,000.  Each ring will come with a free ring cam!  Belleville CEO thinks this new venture will be a HUGE hit!

Trinity Financial Group

Mike Dunnigan, President

On Wednesday, we met with Mike Dunnigan of Trinity Financial Group and were able to talk to him about how to invest in the stock market.  We learned about the Rule of 72 and the differences between being an entrepreneur and saver. We had a great interactive discussion and was told you can be political but be careful how it affects your investing decisions. We would like to thank Mr. Dunnigan for spending the morning with us and providing us with breakfast bagels.


Renae Eichholz, Owner

On Friday, we were able to meet with Mrs. Renae Eichholz, owner of CopperFire as well as Precision Practice Management. Mrs. Eichholz explained the struggles of running a restaurant while also simultaneously running another successful business. While we were at CopperFire, she explained to us how she's handling the new pressures of reading reviews on her restaurant. She also explained her choice to go with the Excel Bottling Company soda instead of Pepsi or Coke products.  We would like to thank Mrs. Eichholz for letting us come visit her new restaurant and we appreciate the time she spent with us!

Student Journal Highlights for this week

First and foremost, I’d like to start my last journal by saying thank you to those who contributed to helping the class be what it is. I cannot speak for past classes, but I feel as if the CEO class of 2018 was one of the best. The class will continue to improve and be better year by year, but I hope that this one in particular will be remembered by the investors, the students, and Mrs. Siebers. I cannot begin to emphasize how surprised I was this whole year as I learned so much more from any class than I ever have before. When my parents first heard that I was taking a class that required me to be up at 6:30, they thought I’d fail the class by the third week, due to my past history of tardiness during my sophomore and junior year. But the thing is, when you’re passionate about it, your motivation will conquer any barrier. I wake up thrilled to get to the class, to learn more, meet other business owners, and gain knowledge that I will continue to use for the rest of my life. When I tell underclassmen to apply for their senior year, they look at me funny, due to the wake-up time, the requirements, and dress code. But they don’t see the image in front of them. I was never a straight A student, NHS or any club participator, or anything along those lines. Yet I have a good head on my shoulders and a drive for a successful future. If I managed to not only be in the class but lead it as CEO for the class business, I’m tempted to see what other challenges my future will hold that I will now take down head on.

I will suggest this class to anyone who has the slightest bit of interest. If it wasn’t for Devin Alexander, I wouldn’t be here today with the wisdom I have. Once again, thank you, to the investors who make this possible, the business owners who have taught all of us so much, and our facilitator for leading us in the right direction.

Ian Hass

Ian Hass
Friday, May 4, 2018Learn More About Ian

This week was one of our final weeks in CEO, and that’s just absolutely crazy. This school year has gone by way faster than I ever expected, also I feel like we’ve all accomplished so much in these last couple of months. We have started a business, as a group. Which turned out great, also one of the largest in Belleville CEO and maybe even larger than any other CEO group. We have been to over 80 businesses in the Metro East in the last 9 months. I feel like I have learned a lot from many of the businesses that we have visited, and some of the businesses I have never heard of or even knew what they do. What we learned from these businesses ended up helping us in starting our own companies. Information that you can’t learn in a regular classroom, which is why I took this class. I took this class to have a better understanding of business and to also build connections that I wouldn’t have had without hearing about the class through some other people who took it. This class has helped me with being more responsible and more accountable for myself only. Not only that, but I’ve made more friends because of CEO; which is pretty cool. Overall I think taking the CEO class was one of my best decisions I have made because I have learned more from this class than I have all 4 years of high school. I feel like this class has helped us be more prepared for college and the real world. It has been a great year, full of memories and knowledge that I’ll always remember. We are all going to do something great someday, and I can’t wait to see where we will all be one day. Let’s see what week 36 can bring Belleville CEO!!

Visiting The Edge was really cool. It was cool to finally hear from the people who were so supportive of our class business, and we got to see the event center we almost used. I had been there a few weeks ago briefly for one game of laser tag….But with the theatres, bowling, go carts, and other stuff, I can still go there and have a great time because of their numerous attractions. I liked how Keith and Mary shined pride in their impressive expansions and how they are unique in that they are the only business that does what they do. Their services and very broad and all appeal to the same customer, which will make them successful for year.

I really enjoyed Trinity Financial. Ive a,ways been fascinated by stock trading, and how you can turn around the phrase and make money work for you. It's a gamble, but one of the few ways to make significant money and all you need for it is money. I don't know much about what trades to make, but I definitely want to learn how to. I'll probably try to learn more about it over the summer.

I loved that we got to visit Copper Fire. I thought it sounded really cool when Renae mentioned it a couple months ago. The place looked really nice, and the food sounded very tasty. I could tell she's definitely thought it's been a rollercoaster ride with the new challenges she's been facing. Knowing her though, I know the place will do well eventually. I know my aunt really liked it when she went there.

Another week of CEO has passed and this next week will be our last. Kind of sad to think about. I have learned so much in the past year through this program and I have met so many people that I never would have the opportunity to without CEO. I’ve also made some new friends and grew closer with friends I already had. I’m already excited to come back next year and visit next year‘s class and see how they are doing.

This week we got the opportunity to visit with Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell at The Edge. This was definitely one of my favorite visits that we’ve done all year. I was pumped when I heard that they were going to let us ride the go-karts. I think it’s really cool that they make money by selling “fun.” Keith and Mary are the type of people who are always finding the new and upcoming things to add to their business.   Besides the go-karts, they recently just added a bunch of virtual reality games.

This week we also met with Renae at Copper Fire restaurant. I think it’s cool how they are focusing on a healthier meal by using only ovens. Renae is the definition of a serial entrepreneur she’s always coming up with new business ideas and she manages her time well. It just shows that hard work pays off. Renae puts in over 100 hours a week between PPM and Copper Fire and she still finds time to support her community such as CEO.

This year, with me being a part of the CEO class, has been a very eventful and one filled with load of new experiences. This class has allowed me to do many things I have never done before and speak with business owners and other significant people I would have never thought I’d speak with. I experienced what it was like to go around various communities and ask businesses and business owners and pass out papers that ask to sponsor our event, in exchange for advertisement. I experienced the difficulty of trying to sell tickets to people, including even your family sometimes. Searching for sponsors and selling tickets both lead up to an even bigger experience: the talent show. For our class business, we decide and to host a talent show, where we personally chose 10 people to perform, paid for a venue and for catering, and set up and decorated the venue. What I did personally to help out everything was create and help create the two logos we used for Belleville’s Got Talent and the Artitorium, respectively. I believe that these were two main factors that pushed me to make my personal business what it is.

 In addition to learning so much about business, I enjoyed being able to meet new people from different schools, and being able to learn and growing in entrepreneurship together. Towards the beginning, we had a few minor rough patches, where a couple of us had disagreements and maybe even some character conflicts, but in the end we came together and reached success.

I always considered, but never actually went through with, actually creating a business until I had the opportunity to in this program. With my business, Graphogo, I provided the service of creating personalized logos for a considerably affordable price. The things that I appreciated about my business the most were my lack of expenses and the fact that I was actually able to make profit due to it. I created a total of of 8 logos, and the people I made them for each seemed to be satisfied. I hope that in whatever business I get into, may it even be this one, that I will have as much success as possible.

I hope the next CEO class will be able to become even more successful in their endeavors and will learn as much about business and entrepreneurship as we have had the opportunity to.

This week during CEO we met with Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell of the Edge, Mike Dunnigan of Trinity Financial, and Renae Eichholz with Copper Fire.

We met with Keith and Mary at The Edge on Monday.  We had a blast because we were able to ride their go-karts and have a great experience. One of the things that they touched on when they talk to us was that you have to continue to improve your business so it doesn't say stagnant. This is important because if you don't try to improve your business nothing will come of it because it will never grow and it'll just stay where it's at. They also told us to always be brainstorming on new ideas and learn about other people's businesses to see if you can take something from their business and apply to yours.  

We met with Mike Dunnigan from Trinity Financial. We were able to learn about the stock market side of a business and how as a person you should try to invest and as a business how you should try and manage the stock of your business. One thing I was able to learn from talking to him was that the stock market is always going to be hit-and-miss and with your business you need to be able to ride the waves of your stock going down and up. 

When we talked to Renae on Friday at CopperFire, she kind of said the same thing Mary and Keith were saying on Monday. She told us that you can always have your business staying in the same place it is because when people become used to it they will want to move on to something different and may not come back to your business. She also told us that we shouldn’t be afraid to try something different. The reason why she said that was because they're serving Excel Bottling Co. soda products instead of Coke or Pepsi products which is something completely different and very refreshing. I would like to thank all three businesses for having us this week and I'm super ecstatic for the final week of CEO I can't wait to see what it has in store.

Last week me and my CEO class talked with Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell owners of the Edge. They both have contributed to making the Edge even better than before. They first added movie theaters in the edge a couple of years ago. Now they have go karts and other fun attractions to make the edge the perfect place to spend your money at. Me and my CEO class got the chance to ride the go carts and can I just say it was a very fun time. I could just see the smiles on everyone faces when we riding the go karts and the bonding the whole class was having with each other.

It is crazy to say that this is the last week with my CEO family and with Mrs. Siebers who has been our best facilitator. The Edge has everything you could ever want out of fun things to do in one building. Keith and Mary are both very smart people because they have made improvements towards the edge that I thought could of never happened. The Edge is just getting bigger and better year by year. The Edge is a very successful business and will keep being successful in years to come because of Keith and Mary’s hard work and dedication towards the Edge.  

Mike Dunnigan said, “you make money by buying stock from a growing company.” Mike emphasized that the market is filled by two things fear and greed. He said that great entrepreneurs have to have great people skills. If you’re an entrepreneur you want people to invest money into your business, so you have to be a people’s person.

Since this is the last journal I want to take time to reflect a little bit on the year. This year has been a year of adventures. This year has been very successful for me. I got to meet so many entrepreneurs and see what it takes to become an entrepreneur an opportunity I thought I would have never got before. I also got to meet some really great people in my CEO class. We all came in the class clueless and knowing little about entrepreneurship. We had a class business that was like an ice breaker for us to all get to talk to each other more because we had to make an idea for all us to agree on. I really want to thank Mrs. Siebers again for being the best teacher to all of us and for making us so much more knowledgeable in field of business.

Not only was The Edge super fun to visit, but they also spoke about many interesting points. They talked a lot about how their business has changed over the years which helped them expand. The laser tag game has developed so much over the past years, and it is still evolving. To gain a wider audience they needed to incorporate other aspects of entertainment to draw in a bigger more diverse crowd.

Meeting with Mr. Mike Dunnigan at Trinity Financial Group was very educational because I had not previously had that much exposure to the investment business before. It baffles me how brokers are able to stay on top of the constantly changing stock market and make good choices for their clients. I think that someone in that field would require a great entrepreneur quality because they are always taking risks, and nothing is ever one hundred percent dependable.

By visiting Copper Fire, I was able to learn a lot about the restaurant business that I never even knew was important. For instance, large walls should be decorated in order to add to the environment of the setting, but it also assists in controlling the acoustics so the sound does not become too over powering. Also, running a kitchen takes lots of cooperation from the staff to be able to produce items in a timely fashion, so it is vital that the they follow precise procedures. That makes it more difficult to have a larger menu, but that is allowed with more time to adjust to it.

I cannot lie and say that I am sad that this is my last of these journals, but I have been able to get a lot out of doing them. They forced me to think deeper than just hearing the words of the speakers we have had, and they made me see the situation in its entirety. Hearing from a wide variety of people gave me the great opportunity to explore many fields and learn a lot I otherwise would not have known about.

Monday the class visited the Edge and met the owners, Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell. They talked to us about their expansion and gave us a tour. I remember coming there as a little girl and there’s such a difference in it compared to what it looked like when I was younger, I even remember the rock climbing wall. The best part was riding the go karts, I had so much fun.

Wednesday we went to Trinity Financial Group with Mike Dunnigan. He talked to us about the difference in saving your money and investing it, and which one is best for a future entrepreneur to do. He also talked a little about politics, apps and products that are successful and some of them they are as successful as you think, such as Snapchat. You would think because so many people use it that they will be making revenue off of it, but they don’t, they get paid through advertisements.

Friday, we went to Renae Eichholz’s restaurant Copper Fire. She talked about trials and fails that she had with restaurant. She talked to us a lot about how the reviews on social media can affect your business and how she has gotten bad reviews online because of their small opening and the restaurant wasn't fully finished, and from when they just opened, and the menus and recipes were changing so the employees and to get used to the changes, and some people came in with bad service. She gave us a tour of the kitchen and told us about her ovens from Italy and that they do not fry foods and everything that they serve is fresh, she even let us try the drinks!

As this class is coming to an end I truly enjoyed the opportunity to be in this class with the group of amazing students. This class has taught me so many things and showed me placed that I never noticed or knew they existed, I did a lot of networking and met plenty of successful people. I am planning on seeing the next class and I would to come and talk to them about my experience in the class and give them advice.

We draw to an end on our very last week and journal of the Belleville CEO class. we started the week off with a fun experience but something we learned a lot from. We attended The Edge laser tag and movie theatre and learned how to turn a small business into a big company. They talked to us about finding something that drives you to wake up every morning and causes you to enjoy and love what you do every day. They emphasized that it will take a lot of hard work effort and learning along with long nights and many days you doubt your business but keep driving to be better. These little incentives are things we as Belleville CEO students are able to learn every day that not everyone gets the chance to understand.

Getting the chance to also visit a financial group such as, Trinity, gave a lot of students the perspective and insight of the business world through the money and economic point of view. It sparked a lot of interest and questions and Mr. Dunnigan emphasizes the importance of being bull in the business world that is hungry to always succeed. Being able to visit two local businesses that are very different but very successful give us better insight into how to run our own businesses and excel in the real world.

The Belleville CEO class program has been an amazing experience and fun. We grew as young business men and women, growing bonds and networks with successful business people. It formed us into more confident young adults, and we were able to get the experience and real-world knowledge that many other students in schools usually do not get the chance to have. As a class, we have all come a long way from the start, and I am excited to see how everyone succeeds in the future. Sadly, it all has to come to an end this week, but it has been a great experience with everyone. I look forward to the future as a young business person.

We are coming into our last week of CEO and it seems as if we were just getting our badges a month ago. This has been a great learning experience and I will greatly benefit from it. Many students do not have the opportunity to be in a class like this. To be able to take time out of school to visit businesses and talk to their owners is a privilege. Our visit to The Edge and Trinity Financial Group this week were some of the visits that really make me enjoy this class.

Visiting The Edge with Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell was a fun visit. Even though we declined their facility to be our venue for Belleville’s Got Talent, they were very pleased to have us visit them. I really like and respect the fact that is it independently and they have a fun time running the business. I aspire to run my future business in a similar fashion to them. Also what impressed me is that they knew everything about our business to the wire. Mrs. Dahm-Schell knew everything about the game systems they have at The Edge and all about how trends will affect people playing those games. With that I am sure she knew that we would have loved to drive the go carts. She was correct. Doing so was a fun way to start our week and has made me want to visit The Edge again.

I have always wondered the factors that go into affecting the stock market. Visiting Mike Dunnigan at Trinity Financial Group was a great introduction to the workings of the stock market. Mr. Dunnigan pointed out very useful things that affects the stock market that I would not have even considered thinking about. The factors we learned will be very useful to know for the betterment of our businesses. I will use what he taught us about these factors and see if I can find more factors that that affect the market. I think that this visit is the spark to my entrepreneurial interest in the stock exchange.

Cam Wicks

Cam Wicks
Friday, May 4, 2018Learn More About Cam

This week in Belleville CEO was very busy, but I was only able to make it to three classes because of events going at school. I could only make it on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, and Tuesday and Friday were work days for our class. So, for this I will be covering what happened on Monday when we visited The Edge.

The Edge was a really nice visit for the class. We all enjoyed listening to Keith and Mary Dahm-Schell talk about how they have been improving the business very single year. They were very friendly and open with all of us and were even kind enough to let the class have a spin or two on their Go Karts. But overall it was really surprising, to me, to see how much The Edge has changed from when I was younger, and how much better it is. I highly recommend going there if you haven’t been there in a while, even just to see what is all new.

I did mention earlier that this is one of the last CEO journals, and I’d like to take a second to talk about the class. CEO has really become more than I ever would’ve thought it would be, and I am actually really grateful that I signed up for the class. I’ve learned so so much about almost all aspects of business, networking and making connections, and so many more aspects of just life in general. Being in CEO has been such a good experience for me, and I would recommend it to anyone who would ask about it. Once you get over the fact of having to wake up a little earlier, you’ll really realize just how worth it the class is. I am beyond thankful to have such a good group of people in the class. We’ve grown so much as a group and it is really neat to see how everything has played out. We are down to our final week, and hopefully it goes super well, and that everyone’s future in business (or whatever they choose) goes even better than they can imagine, just like we did with this CEO class.

This week in CEO we got to visit the town's best arena! I’ve been living here in Belleville for about 10 years now. One of the things I used to always do as a kid is go to the Edge. Literally every weekend that would be the “hangout spot” for all of the middle school kids. After a while as you get older, us young adults no longer want to go to the Edge because we were so used to being there all the time as kids. Now looking back, all these changes that this place has made its refreshing to want to go back and relive those memories at the Edge. I absolutely agree with the decisions that Mr. and Mrs. Dahm-Schell, the owners of the Edge,  have made to improve the facility and make it more family friendly! It was mouth dropping to see how different it looks! It’s exciting to see it grow and I will surely be going back for go-karting soon!

 As we get to our last week of class, I cannot believe how fast it has went by! Not only the last week of CEO class but the last week of high school. I am seriously about to graduate soon! My high school years have been a rollercoaster and my classes and my amazing teachers have help me tremendously in finding myself and my true passions. I have joined things that I would’ve have never joined if it wasn’t for the help of my teachers. CEO was one of those classes. My teacher Mr. Caswell was a great factor in opening doors to be a better business student and a better person at heart. I started CEO not knowing what I was getting myself into or who I would even be with. This class has taught me so much about myself. This class has taught me how to be a better professional and businesswoman. I wish I was a little more open and got to know my classmates a little more. I have grown relationships with people such as Dauneshia, Martrell, Emmie, Antwan and I can’t forget about my friend Daniel! These are friendships that I hope to cherish and continue down the road. I would like to thank Mrs. Siebers as well, without our amazing facilitator guiding us closely we wouldn’t have been where we are today. I have enjoyed this class and everyone in it. I have realized that 7:30 is too early but it’s totally worth it!

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