Growing Entrepreneurs - Nurturing Success

It was a productive week working on  publicity for the trade show and making sure we have enough booth poles for the 12 businesses that will exhibit.  Please mark your calendar for the:
ClassE Entrepreneurship Celebration &  Trade Show 
Monday, May 2nd 
5-7 pm. 
Lifespan Center

Mentors - Students should be sending you their preliminary business plan for review in the next week.

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, 3/28 - No Class - Spring Break

Tuesday, 3/29 - Work Day
(Bring printed out business plan in binder for peer review)

Wednesday, 3/30 -  Visit from Congressmen John Shimkus
All are invited to attend.

Thursday, 3/31 - Tour of Mattoon Precision Manufacturing, Inc. with Glenn Pruett
 2408 S. 14th St., Mattoon

Friday, 4/1 - Teambuilding #2 with Frank Brummer
at the Mattoon YMCA
221 N. 16th St., Mattoon

Final Business Plan (in binder) is due -please bring to the Mattoon YMCA to turn it in.

Keith Summers of KC Summers spoke to the class about his business that his dad started in 1964 and how it has changed and grown to 160 employees. He mentioned that they have always had a culture of treating the customer with the upmost respect, as if they were your mother, father or sibling that you like.

Tony Aghaei, Sales Manager, stressed the importance of getting to know your customer. This industry has gone through a major change. The internet has given more information to the consumer and the cars have many more technological features. It used to be that they would take 3 hours to negotiate and 10 minutes to show the car features, now it takes 10 minutes to negotiate and 3 hours to show the car features.

John Beel and Evan Drummond gave us the tour of all the facilities, including the new showroom they are constructing.
Cindy White leads up the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce. She explained the role of the chamber and the benefits of becoming a chamber member. 

We check in with the student businesses each week to see if they are progressing with their individual business. Sales have been brisk for some businesses, but a few have yet to make sales. Only 5 weeks until the trade show - so let's get selling!

Class Investors 

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

 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