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Entrepreneurial Spirit

Many junior and senior high school students entering into the Midland Institute CEO program are interested in the idea of starting their own business, but the reality of getting a profitable business off the ground is a learning curve once students enter the class.

Michael Brummer, a 2010 graduate of the Effingham CEO program, said he was raised with an entrepreneurial spirit. His father, a businessman, often took Brummer to trade shows and encouraged him to talk to other business owners so he could see the importance of networking as a business owner.

When the opportunity to be a part of the second Effingham CEO class under the instruction of Craig Lindvahl came up, Brummer took it even though he wasn’t sure what type of business he would like to run because he wanted to surround himself with quality students.

Brummer said the CEO program, reiterated the foundation his father gave him by providing opportunities for students to meet and work with local business leaders who were willing to mentor students as they built their first business throughout the course of the year.

“One of my favorite parts of CEO was the involvement of the community,” he said. “The community invests so much into (the program and the kids). It really brings together a community spirit. The program gives you access to people who, when you do start your own business, are there and willing to help.”

“I guess the thing I learned is that people really do want to help out this next generation of business owners,” he continued. “They are willing to go out of their way to do so. I am really grateful for that.”

During CEO, Brunner managed a tennis lesson business at the Prairie Training Center in Teutopolis, IL. He offered tennis lessons and managed court times.

“I’m not naturally an organized person,” he said. “CEO helped me develop that part of my personality.”

Brummer also said he loves running businesses because he gets to solve new problems every day.

After high school, Brummer went to college. On a trip to Austin, Texas, the nation’s food truck capital, Brummer realized he could bring a food truck culture back to his hometown of Teutopolis and Effingham.

Now, as the owner of The DOG, Brummer travels throughout Effingham and Teutopolis, selling gourmet hot dogs to businesses during lunch hours and to patrons after bars close.

“I’m a huge fan of Effingham and Teutopolis,” Brummer said. “People want experiences and culture, and that’s what brings people back to me.”

And Brummer believes that the lessons he learned through CEO: networking, people and scheduling, also bring him back to his roots as an entrepreneur.

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