Growing Entrepreneurs - Nurturing Success

A big thanks goes to Alex Hagen and Joyce Madigan for visiting class and supporting their mentee as they presented their book discussions. 

ClassE Schedule - 8-9:30 am
Location: Lifespan Ctr. (unless note d below)
11021 E. Cty. Rd. 800 N. Charleston (Loxa Road just NE of the hospital)

Monday, 2/22- Work Day (Bring in all of your scrubs)
Lifespan Kitchen

Tuesday, 2/23- Tour of General Electric
with Dan Taylor
1501 S. 19th St., Mattoon

Wednesday, 2/24 - How to Value a Business and learning about the Appraisal Business
with Dan Corrie of Corrie Appraisals

ClassE Presentation at the Kiwanis at noon (Bryan's Place in Mattoon with Kaitlyn, Morgan and Kyle)

Thursday, 2/25  Tour of Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce with Cindy White
501 Jackson Ave., Charleston

Friday, 2/26- Book Discussions 
Think and Grow Rich (Hill) led by Jenny Hildebrand
The Traveler's Gift (Andrews) led by Katie Brush
Imagine: How Creativity Works (Leher) l ed by Hannah Houston

Janet Grove, of Grove and Armstrong Law, practices estate planning and tax laws but not criminal litigation. Her advice is to plan for the good times and plan for the bad times. She specifically discussed partnership agreements.

Andrea Applegate of Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center discussed how to hire and be hired. We discussed the questions that you cannot ask a potential employee in the hiring process. She shared her do's and don't while interviewing and discussed cleaning up your email addresses and social media sites to present a good first impression.
ClassE visited Rural King Corporate Headquarters on Thursday. Rural King began in the 60's with two stores in Coles County and now has 84 stores in ten states. They also employee approximately 5,500 employees. Twenty-five percent of the business is owned by its associates.
Don Davis told us the history of this entrepreneurial retailer that markets to the value-based customer and is the fastest growing privately owned farm and home supplier. Some of their goals are to maximize their inventory investment and become a highly reliable organization (HRO).

Lorraine is in charge of purchasing and gave us wonderful examples of how Rural King does their market research by: checking out the competition, attending trade shows, collaborating with their buyer's group and listening to suppliers. They have created and improved upon their RK branded products such as their jeans to differiente themselves.
Ted Sells from distribution, Bianna Owens from human resources and Blake Pierce from Finance also spoke about their roles in the company.

Class Investors 

(Click on the name to go to their website.)

Advanced Digital Solutions 

City of Charleston

City of Mattoon

Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Commercial Electric

Curry Construction

Dau Consulting

Diepholz Auto Group

Ealy's Real Estate Appraisals

Eastern Illinois Properties

First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust

First Neighbor Bank

Flesor's Candy Kitchen

General Electric

Gilbert, Metzger & Madigan LLP

Jerome C. Groniger

Howell Paving, Inc.

Innovative Staff Solutions

Inyart Tire and Auto

Lake Land College

Lifetime Eye Care

Lorenz Supply Company

Marketing by Jones, LLC

McDonald's of Coles County 

Mid-Illinois Concrete, Inc.

Ne-Co Asphalt Company

Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC

Reed's Fly-On Farming


Rural King Supply

Sarah Bush Lincoln 

Health System

Scholes Trucking, Inc.

SEED Center at Eastern Illinois University

Eli & Ann Sidwell

Slumberland Furniture

The Sparks Foundation

Unique Home Properties

United Graphics, Inc.

Upchurch Group, Inc.

Vantage Outsourcing

Veolia Environmental Services

Washington State Bank

Wells Fargo Advisors

West & Company, LLC

Wireless Mikes 

Coles County Council on Aging Lifespan Center
Class Hosts




Due to the increased enrollment, the class will meet at the Coles County Council on Aging LifeSpan Center for the entire year. We will still be touring businesses 2-3 days per week. Thank you LifeSpan for this great partnership.


Coles County Council on Aging Lifespan Center 



Would you like to become an investor to support this class?
Call 217-549-2564 or contact Jeanne Dau at