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CEO Summit Feb. 4

The Hancock County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities class is hosting its first CEO Summit for local business professionals.

The half-day conference is from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, at Lake Hill Winery in Carthage. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m.

“I am extremely proud of these students,” said Christine Murphy, Hancock County CEO facilitator. “I hope that Hancock County businesses and community members will support these young entrepreneurs by purchasing a ticket or sponsoring this event. It is the first of its kind in Hancock County, and you won’t want to miss it.”

CEO student Emily Conover of Augusta said the conference, with the theme “Taking Business to New Heights,” is designed for “anyone who wants to learn more about business,” as well as those who want to support and learn more about the CEO program.

“It’s one of the only business conference opportunities that Hancock County has ever offered,” Conover said.

CEO student Sarah Cluff of Nauvoo added, “It’s a chance for the county to meet its young professionals.”

In its first year in Hancock County, the CEO program has drawn 20 high school students who spent the fall semester learning interactively about local small businesses and the county’s potential for growth. They are developing their own business plans and pitching them to prospective investors.

Conover and her peers believe they are responsible for the future economic development of their communities.

“We’ll be growing the county very soon,” she said.

The conference will feature three keynote speakers.

Craig Lindvahl, executive director, and Cheryl Mitchell, interim executive director of Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship, will talk about “the magic behind CEO and how it really has had a positive impact on communities,” said CEO student Trevor Sandidge of Basco.

Susan Hanfland, senior consultant at SCH Consulting, is certified in the True Colors personality assessment. She will explain how the assessment works, and will have attendees take the assessment to develop ways they can work better with others.

A panel of CEO students will answer questions, share about what they’ve achieved so far this year and give a sneak peek of the projects they’ve been working on.

Two breakout sessions will feature local entrepreneurs.

Craig Wear of Wear Drug, Lake Hill Winery and MORE Medical will focus on venture capitalism. Jan Filkins, motivational speaker and Mary Kay independent sales director, will talk about goal-setting.

Hors d’ouevres will be served during the conference.

Registration for the CEO Summit opens soon. Tickets will be available from CEO students and at, or register at the event.

For more information, call 217-357-3811, email or visit the website listed above. Hancock County CEO is on social media at and

Source: Hancock County Journal-Pilot

By: Megan McNeill Managing editor

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