CEO Hancock Continues to Move Forward

The Hancock CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) Program’s Steering Committee is pleased to bring the people of Hancock County an update on our progress. Student applications have far exceeded our expectations. In the first year of a CEO program, it is reasonable to expect around eight applicants. We have received twenty four applications representing all four county high schools.   Thank you to our high school counselors for helping the students get in touch with this great opportunity! The students had to complete a rigorous application process, which included a personal narrative and three character references.  All applications have been reviewed through a blind judging process with all names and school references removed. Our next step is to hire a facilitator to teach the class. Carl Sandburg College will serve as the administrative agent for the hiring process as well as provide student and instructional support services for the program, and we thank Deb Miller for her expertise and guidance.  We have interviewed several qualified candidates and will be making the selection shortly. Once we have the facilitator in place, the students who have been selected will be notified.

Hancock CEO is a privately funded program, and Western Illinois Works will serve as our program’s fiscal agent.  We thank Blanche Shoup for her leadership in this organization.  We are still and will always be raising funds to provide this opportunity to our juniors and seniors in our county high schools. The Hancock County Economic Development Corporation has invested the initial $20,000 seed money for the CEO Program developed by Midland Institute.  We continue to gain additional support from private investors, but more will always be needed. This can come in the form of a monetary investment, but we also need business people willing to mentor the students or welcome the class into their business for a learning experience.

Currently, the Hancock County CEO Steering Committee members are Dustin Berg, Steve Breckon, Matt Dickinson, Amy Graham, Peggy Latherow, Deb Miller, Blanche Shoup, and Craig Wear.  We are actively seeking additional members for our steering committee as well as investors to fulfill our mission for creating entrepreneurial opportunities.  If you are interested in helping with the Hancock County CEO Program, please contact Dustin Berg at (217) 357-3811 or executivedirector@growhancock.com.