Everything You Do Has Value in Your Life


Photo Shoot at Wilson Park

Photographer Mark McAmish

The Granite City CEO students met in the gazebo at Wilson Park in their best dress to pose for professional photos with Mark McAmish on a cold Monday morning. Mark McAmish is a retired Illinois State police officer and served as a board member for our District #9. The students took turns posing for individual pictures and then Mark arranged the students for a group photo. These photos will be added to the CEO website and included in our 2018 CEO Annual Report.

CEO appreciates and thanks photographer Mark McAmish for spending his Monday morning with us. 


Nothing is Deserved Until It Is Earned

Dr. Tyler Crews

Students of the CEO program welcomed Dr. Tyler Crews to their host business, Nicol Financial Services, to hear his advice on preparing for a professional career. He covered and talked about information on how to be successful in college, at work, and on interviews. Tyler was passionate and lively; he is a man that values enjoyment in life.

After graduating from Granite City High School in 2005, Dr. Crews attended St. Louis University and earned a degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. Just before the final course exam, he decided that dentistry was his passion and so he went for it. Switching majors and course exams were a challenge, but using the lessons he taught our class, he was able to persevere. The most important thing about college is to treat it like a 40 hour work week; if you do that you will never be behind in classwork or in life.

With so many life lessons from Tyler it is difficult to choose one as more important than the other. The most universal of all his advice was to get in a routine, develop good habits early. You will never evolve if you do not plan your day for success. If you allow yourself to waste unnecessary time, then you will never achieve the highest possibilities of human excellence.

Dr. Crews ended with the statement, “Nothing is deserved until it is earned.” That quote is true in every aspect of life. If you want to reach a higher position in this world of capitalism and opportunity, you have to be willing to work for it.

written by Brian Bauman


Kent Probst and Austin Brooks

Midland Institute

Kent Probst was a CEO facilitator at Effingham County CEO before becoming Community Director of the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. He has dedicated his life to teaching and improving kids and young adults, and continues to do so through the CEO program.

Kent shared with the class that their are two things employers look for, and that is quality work, and the punctuality of that work. Is it your best work and is it on time? If you are going to do something do it right, because you will regret your lack of effort in the future. When he was a teenager he worked at Mcdonald's. This taught him that you should do everything right, to the best of your ability, because if you do it right there is no chance of having to re-do it. If you don't have the time to do something right the first time, how do you have time to fix it?

When the CEO students feel like they shouldn't try or shouldn't pay attention, Mr. Probst told them to change the way they are looking at the situation. Am I taking a lesson out of the conversation? Do I have to do this or do I get to? Everything you do has value. There are only 600 teenagers in the United States that are getting to experience what CEO is about and the benefits of the program, don't take it for granted.

Kent and Mrs. Greenwald passed around all of the young entrepreneur’s PDP survey results. The analysis told each student what his or her mental strengths and weaknesses are, and how to approach each personality. It was insightful and really brought to the students attention that working on themselves is the most important part of life. Not only does it help you understand yourself, but can also help communicating with others.

Austin Brooks spoke to the CEO class after Kent, emphasizing their need to be different than everyone else. He wanted the students to understand that you can take something good, add your unique twist and make it even better.

Mr. Brooks is the Community Engagement Leader for Midland Institute, and in that position it is his duty to connect businesses and the public by making personal connections in the community. He felt that one of the simple ways to improve from last years class business, The Best of Granite City, would be to socialize. So many teenagers are scared to talk to people that they never make any real impressions. That is the meaning of the CEO program, to make lifelong connections.

In CEO, you are constantly hearing every opinion from the people around you. You can’t always remember each idea that comes your way. That is where taking notes comes into play. As Austin put it, “Take it all in, and sort it out later.”

Thank you, Mr. Probst, for sharing your experience and hard earned lessons with the class. We appreciate the work you and the Midland Institute provide for our program. Austin, the Granite City CEO class appreciates your insightful tips and experience, and thanks you for coming to speak.

Written by Brian Bauman


Dr. Almeda Lahr-Well, Gail Mueller and James Amos

CEO Investors

Gail Mueller and Dr. Almeda Lahr-Well came to our host business, Nicol Financial Services, to help the students plan for the class business. Most of this planning was in the form of setting committees and creating a mission statement for our event. The class discussed different marketing strategies as well as how to appeal to our target market.

Dr. Lahr-Well's advice was to always speak in a strong and positive tone. Her example was someone who goes for a job interview. If that individual is shy and doesn’t speak very loudly, and another person goes to the same interview speaking clearly and strong. Who would you hire?

After creating a blueprint of the class business, the CEO class listened to James Amos, Granite City’s Economic Developer, suggesting the format students can use to present at the following week’s appreciation breakfast. Investors, businesses, and sponsors of the Granite City CEO program will be enjoying breakfast at Ravanelli's and hearing how CEO is changing lives of CEO young adults. He stressed always telling the truth but formatting it into a “story of change,” a statement of your life before the program versus after.

Thank you to these three professionals, Dr. Almeda Lahr-Well, Gail Mueller and James Amos,  for your expertise in the business community.

written by Brian Bauman


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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 Granite City 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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