Alumni Stories

Jessica Winters I DKJ Designs

Having started showing horses when she was just five years old, 2016 Christian County CEO alumnus Jessica Winters already knew that she loved dressing for success along the way. Today with her business – DKJ Designs – Jessica designs custom, unique, quality horse show jackets for performers in all walks of life. She has turned her real-life hobby into a highly profitable venture as she puts herself through college with her business and continues to grow and showcase her work all across the country.


Abigail Gerig l Dragonwood

2017 Kokomo CEO Alumnus, Abigail Gerig, savors selling premium products. Her business, Dragonwood, focuses on tapping trees and raising bees to create a line of pure and natural products that include maple syrups, sugars, candies, and both creamed and raw honey. A nature nurturer with a bit of biologist, at Dragonwood, they craft and cultivate exceptional product that satisfies the sweet tooth of their customers near and far.


Zach Mette l Mette's Distinctive Lighting

There’s no question that Zach Mette shines a light on quality and service. Since graduating from CEO in 2015, the Effingham CEO Alumnus has grown his individual business from trade show booth to professional showroom located in his home community of Effingham. Whether greeting people walking into his shop, giving an estimate, or doing an onsite visit, you’re sure to be inspired by Zach’s unassuming, down-to-earth, small town charm. With a company like Mette’s Distinctive Lighting that provides quality solutions to his community’s lighting needs, it’s clear that this already-business owner and recent college graduate has a very bright future ahead of him.


Karis Hortin l Jars of Hope

Karis Hortin is tackling a worldwide problem in a very tasteful way, with a smile just as big as her heart. With Jars of Hope, the 2018 Mount Carmel CEO Alumnus creates convenient pre-made, jar-preserved meals that will help make a difference in orphan’s lives by donating 100% of her profit to the very orphanage in Ethiopia that she once called home. Karis aims to support kids in need just like herself an obvious leader among a generation of philanthropy-minded young people.


Justin Wiggins I Wiggins Computing

Whether he’s installing server racks, security systems, or logistic solutions for businesses, hospitals, and/or schools, 2017 WACC CEO Alumnus, Justin Wiggins, has learned the value of caring for his customers and exceeding their expectations. He has grown his business, Wiggins Computing, into a nationwide solution, capable of taking on any problem in the IT space. From someone who figured he’d be working for someone else his whole life, to the owner of his own successful business, Justin is undoubtedly a computing IT extraordinaire.