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Hancock County group to host CEOlympics business luncheon

CARTHAGE, Ill. -- The Hancock County CEO program will host the CEOlympics, a networking opportunity for local businesses, on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Part of the CEO program's curriculum, the catered luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lake Hill Winery, 1822 E. County Road 1540, Carthage. Each of the program's 13 students will give presentations, sharing their experiences and highlights from the year so far. The event will feature a team-building activity with an Olympic twist.

"It gives community members the chance to network while supporting the CEO class," said Christine Murphy, Hancock County CEO facilitator.

Tickets for the luncheon are $30, and a portion of the money raised will be returned to the students to help them start their individual businesses -- an important part of the CEO curriculum.

"It's an opportunity to meet and get to know great people in this county," said Ty Jackson, CEO student. "It's a way of thanking all the people who have helped us."

For his business, Jackson has focused on preparing and selling frozen meals and snacks.

"It's something that revolves around me, something I can do in my free time," he said. "I just really enjoy cooking the meals."

Students keep the money brought in from the businesses they start. The idea, Murphy said, is to help the students create businesses that can be successful and can grow in the area.

"It's a great program, and a neat opportunity for students to learn outside the classroom," she said.

This marks the third year of the Hancock County CEO program. Supported by almost two dozen Hancock County individuals and businesses, CEO teaches students to think as entrepreneurs to contribute to economic development in the community. Students are partnered with mentors from the community and gain real-life experience in business management and public speaking, and develop leadership skills.

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