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Lindvahl, MIE receive Outstanding Leadership in Community and Economic Development Award.

East Central Illinois Development Corporation (ECIDC) has named Craig Lindvahl and the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship the 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Leadership in Community and Economic Development Award.

Craig Lindvahl, a nationally recognized educator and filmmaker, has taught every grade K-12. Projects have taken him all over the world and given him the opportunity to work with students from more than 25 countries.

He currently owns Callan Films Corp., which produces documentaries and corporate projects and wrote the book, “Things You Wish You Knew Yesterday”. Craig was appointed as the facilitator of the first CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) class which began in Effingham in the fall of 2007.

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship was established in 2010, as an outgrowth from the first CEO class, for the purpose of bringing the CEO program to interested communities and helping them to create networks of business people connecting to students. A key to the success of CEO was Lindvahl, who was hired to teach the first CEO class in 2008 and developed the award-winning curriculum and innovative approach to teaching entrepreneurship.

Following that successful launch, Lindvahl was hired as the executive director of the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. Midland States Bank provided all of the financial support for the program for the first four years, but has been joined by other banks, entrepreneurs, foundations, alumni and their parents/grandparents in allowing the Institute to continue to grow. The fall 2016 classes will be in 40 communities and six states. Plans and funding are in place to expand the program across the USA over the next decade.

While in CEO, students visit dozens of area businesses, meet with dozens of area business professionals, and start their own businesses. CEO students take responsibility for their own work and behavior, and the entire curriculum is designed to provide real world experiences. Businesses run the gamut of products and services, and reflect the passion of the students who start them.

The award recipients will be recognized during the 2016 ECIDC Annual Celebration and Regional Recognition Awards Presentation. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on May 19 at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

To learn more about the event or to make online reservations, visit or contact Bohannon at or 217-540-3517. Registration deadline is May 12.


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