Growing Entrepreneurs - Nurturing Success

Thanks for all that attended the Dinner/Movie Night last week. It turned out to be a nice evening spending time with mentors. 

The deadline to apply for next year's ClassE is February 12th, so if you know a student that is a sophomore or junior in Coles County or Neoga, have them to talk to their counselor and ask about ClassE. 

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, 1/18- MLK Day - No Class

Tuesday, 1/19 - Tour of Drake Homes
with Mary and Avery Drake
1765 Beechtree Road, Charleston

Wednesday, 1/20 - Logo and Name Review
with Jim and Nate Zimmer of Eastern Illinois Properties

Thursday, 1/21-  Tour of Stone Cold Tile 
with Jason Madlem
1625 Madison Ave. Ste. B, Charleston

Friday, 1/22 - Book Discussions 
Whole New Mind - Daniel Pink - led by Val Zendeli 
Boomtown, USA - Jack Schultz - led by Erin Anderson

David Kirsch and Paul Mejdrich taught us about the hospitality industry and the history of Unique Suites Hotel and the restaurant Brick House Bar and Grill.

We performed a SWOT analysis of their property and asked many questions about their various marketing niches for each part of their businesses on property.
Patty Peterson, Director of Public Relations at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Systems discussed the steps to brand your business. Branding is not just about logos, it is also about the consistency and quality of the experience.

Blake Fairchild, Director of the YMCA, toured ClassE around the facility and showed us the new wellness wing. 

Later, Tony Sparks spoke to the students about ways to become a millionaire by starting to save early and being smart on college, car and other lifestyle choices. He based the discussion from David Ramsey's  Financial Peace University philosophies and words of wisdom from the book The Millionaire Next Door.
Matt Vaselovic, led a discussion about Stephen Covey's, First Things First. He reinforced some of the time management strategies that we discussed in class last semester.

Cole Diepholz presented his idea for his individual business. He will be creating videos for businesses and has a few clients already.

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