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CEO program hosts year-end trade show

CARLINVILLE (April 26, 2018) – Macoupin County high school seniors who have been participating in the 2017-18 Macoupin County CEO program introduced the businesses they have created as part of the program at a trade show, held Saturday, April 21, at Cross Church in Carlinville.

Over the course of the last eight and a half months, the students have gone through an intensive coaching and mentoring process to create a real business. At the trade show, the students launch their businesses to market.

Students and their businesses represented at the trade show were Lilly Booth of Staunton, Chic and Unique (repurposed furniture and barnwood); Anna Brand of Staunton, Puroma (homemade candles); Bryce Buzick of Staunton, Handful of Help (helping students get work); Logan Cayce of Staunton, Cayce’s Total Car Care (detailing); Mackinzie Colley of Staunton, Colley’s Cozy Covers (tie blankets); Alexis Cox of Staunton, Suds N’ Share (homemade bath bombs); Brandon Delaney of Staunton, B-Dawg’s BBQ (spices and rubs); Melina Fagg of Palmyra, Queen Bee Lip Balms (homemade organic lip balms); Madison Frey of Bunker Hill, Mother Green Fragrances (homemade essential oil perfumes and lotions); Grace Garner of Staunton, PenPoint Art (pointillism pictures); Chelsey Gorsich of Mt. Olive, Modern Designs Vinyl Printing (customizable printing business with personalized phone accessories); Charles Helton IV of Carlinville, Ties the Limit (formal ties); Gabe Long of Long Shot Yard Games (custom yard games); Christopher Magelitz of North Mac High School, The Otherside Apparel (affordable alternatives to expensive, trendy clothing); Noah Pickerill of Staunton, Pickerill’s Flags (rustic wooden flags); and Olivia Schellingburger of Bunker Hill, Sass-A-Frass Pearls (customizable pendant pearl jewelry).

“This year’s trade show exceeded our expectations in every way,” said program facilitator Pete Visintin, owner of Fight the Fight Clothing. “The support from members of all the Macoupin County communities for what the students in this program are doing is absolutely awesome!”

Visintin said more than 350 people attended the event, and there were long lines at each student’s booth. “Sales were excellent at all student product booths at the event, and they also generated many leads for future orders to give their businesses a jolt in the start-up phase,” he said.

This is the second year for the program, which is funded largely by contributions from area businesses and organizations. “The Macoupin CEO program has become more established over the past year, and more community members are aware of it,” said Visintin. “Last year we couldn’t have had a better group of students and rookie year for the program. We’ve been able to use what we learned to work out some kinks and continuously improve the experience for the students.”

Visintin also thanked Cross Church for hosting the trade show.

2018-19 participants

All eight Macoupin County high schools will be represented in the 2018-19 CEO class, which includes 22 students, as follows.

Bunker Hill: Steven Thyer.

Carlinville: Emma Smith, Cora Gray and Macy Walker.

Gillespie: Lindsay Stoecker and Rylee Jarman.

Mt. Olive: Dakota Stagner, Quintin Zillen and Tessa Mumper.

North Mac: Macy Wellhausen, Garrett Smith and Julie Butler.

Northwestern: Zane Thompson and Aaron Williams.

Southwestern: Jared Dunnagan and Reno Benjamin.

Staunton: Daniel Jarden, Madelyn Legendre, Holly Bollman, Jenna Carrigan, Erin Wall and Haiden Zumwalt.

For more information about the CEO program, visit  or

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