Growing Entrepreneurs - Nurturing Success

The first week back to class was packed with learning about logo design, marketing SWOT, 4 P's, elevator pitches, legal structures and contracts. Not bad for a short week!

This semester, the students will officially be taking two courses and earning 6 dual credits from Lake Land College, so their Canvas program that captures their journals and assignments will divided into two classes. It shouldn't be more difficult for the students; the teacher just needs to break down the projects based on subject matter.

Remember, if you know a student that is a sophomore or junior in Coles County or Neoga, have them go to their counselor and ask about ClassE for next year. 

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, 1/11- What You Need to Know About Taxes
with Mike Metzger of Gilbert, Metzger and Madigan

Tuesday, 1/12 - Tour of Unique Suites and the Brickhouse Restaurant
with David Kirsch and Paul Mejdrich
920 W. Lincoln Ave., Charleston

Wednesday, 1/13 - Branding Your Business
with Patty Peterson of Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center

Dinner and a Movie Night - All are invited!
6 pm - Dinner at Stadium Grill (dutch treat)
7:30 - Movie
The Big Short at AMC Mattoon Showplace 10 - First 25 that RSVP get complimentary tickets - $4 tickets after that.

Thursday, 1/14-  Mattoon YMCA Tour & Personal Finance
with Tony Sparks
221 N. 16th St., Mattoon

Friday, 1/15 - Book Discussions 
First Things First - Covey - led by Matt Vaselovic
Boomerang - Lewis - led by Kyle Packer
Shark Tank Presentation - Cole Diepholz

Coles Together's Angela Griffin spoke to the class about how she sells Coles County using her SWOT analysis, the 4 P's and the elevator pitch.
The students then took turns in presenting their swot analysis and elevator pitches on their individual businesses.

Craig Cunningham, of Wells Fargo Advisors, discussed his educational journey from college to law school and why he decided to become a financial advisor. He also discussed the pros and cons of each business structure and the main components that are needed in a contract.

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 Federal Savings & Loan Association

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

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