An Eventful Night for Granite City

Preparing and Decorating for our Event

St. Gregory Armenian Community Center
Students met on Sunday at our venue, St. Gregory Armenian Community Center, to set up and decorate for our event. Tables were set up, moved, covered and decorated. Signs were hung, bows were tied, and tables were skirted. Last minute to do lists were written. Business signage was placed on the vendor tables and name tages were prepared. Programs were folded and event bags were stuffed. There were many details in preparation for our event, The Best of Our Granite City Area. 

The Best of Our Granite City Area

Our CEO Class Business

Granite City community members enjoyed the atmosphere at our event, The Best of Our Granite City Area, on Tuesday, January 30, at St. Gregory Armenian Community Center. Students connected and talked to guests and vendors. Vendors arrived at 3:00 pm to set up with networking opportunities from 4 to 4:30. The doors opened to the public at 5:00. Guests enjoyed the menu items provided by the restaurants and explored our local vendors. A slide show of CEO was scrolling on a big screen with videos of 3 businesses, Port Harbor Railroad Corp., TheBANK of Edwardsville and icon Mechanical and Engineering. Proceeds from this event will help provide capital for students' start up businesses and to pay it forward to become an investor in the CEO class. 

We appreciate the support of our board members, our community and the following local businesses at our event:

Nicol Financial ServicesThe Nicol Foundation
1st MidAmerica Credit UnionBindy's Bar & Grill
3 Little Birds 4 LifeLocal Business Patriots
Six Mile Regional Library DistrictKool Benz Cafe
Farmer's InsuranceO'Brien Tire & Service Center
First BankLloyd Miller & Associates
Shipley's ChiropracticMarco's Pizza
Shirts Galore & MoreGene's Auto Body, Inc. 
GCS Credit Unionicon Mechanical & Engineering
R&B WoodArtPetri Cafe & Catering
Jerry's CafeteriaDarin Chiropractic
Granite City Park DistrictIllinois Electric Works
Justine PetersenTheBANK of Edwardsville
GC Business FoundryCommunity Care Center
What You Don't Know Can Hurt You!

Thank you to our other contributors of our event. They are:

Shirl K Floral Designs
Charlie Gitto's Downtown St. Louis
Hollywood Tan
Charles E. Scott Co.
Chris McCullough
Express Employment Professionals
Casino Queen
Darin Chiropractic
Dr. Almeda Lahr-Well
Lloyd Miller & Associates
Pace True Value Hardware
GCS Credit Union
1st MidAmerica Credit Union
icon Mechanical & Engineering
Karen Greenwald

Breakfast with Mr. Dillard

Petri's Cafe

Mr. Ron Dillard, retired school board member and teacher, treated CEO students for a breakfast at Petri's Cafe in downtown Granite City. He attended our event Tuesday night and was proud of the students' success and efforts. He chatted with students and talked about his 30 year teaching career as a drivers' training instructor and department head. Mr. Dillard served on the school board for 24 years and currently is a member of the Granite City Park District Board. 

Entrepreneur Mr. Larry Petri gave the history of the cafe, which opened in 1946. He strives to provide quality food, good service and excellent customer service. Larry has been managing the cafe for ten years and he says they have the same customers 5 out of 6 days. Word of mouth is the best advertising if you treat customers right. 

Larry is the Head Boys Soccer Coach at Southwestern Illinois College and he was on the 1972 Granite City High School State Championship Soccer Team.

Thank you, Mr. Dillard, for treating students and sharing your morning with CEO. CEO also appreciates and thanks Mr. Larry Petri and Petri's Cafe for participating in our event, The Best of Our Granite City Area. 

You Should Always Have a Take Away

Carl Yount, VP Customer Solutions, Port Harbor Railroad Corp.

Port Harbar Railroad Corp. at America's Central Port was our business visit on Friday. Carl Yount, VP of Customer Solutions, told his story from high school, to the Marines, to Viet Nam and to his career path in the railroad industry. He has moved 13 times and has been in the St. Louis area since 2004. He has been in customer service for 48 years. 

Carl gave a presentation and displayed the different types of railcars and explained the layout of a rail yard. He talked about the changes in the industry because of advances in technology and the challenges in the industry. The number one priority is safety.

Carl encouraged students to keep learning and to always have a take away. Always ask "what is the value to me?"  He also asked students "Challenge yourself as an individual."

Thank you Carl Yount and Port Harbor Railroad Corp. for sponsoring our CEO event, The Best of Our Granite City Area, and sharing your Friday morning with CEO. You are the BEST!

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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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