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Young entrepreneurs display their wares

The Shelby County CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) held its 2nd Annual Shelby County CEO Trade Show on Wednesday, at Spruce Street Studios in Shelbyville.

Sixteen students from schools across the county spent this last school year in the CEO program every Monday through Friday from 7:30 - 9 a.m. at the Shelby County State Bank Investment Center learning how to create a business and then went out and did it. The students receive two credit hours at their school for their participation in the program. There were students are usually seniors, but can be juniors. This year they were from Shelbyville High School, Cowden-Herrick High School, Stew-Stras High School, and Windsor High School.

The CEO students this year and their businesses were: Backyard Succulents by Jocelyn Schultz and Mackenzi Tabbert fromStew-Stras, Bennett Beef from Beau Bennett of Windsor, Bleskey's Best Athleisure by Joel Bleskey of Shelbyville, Chunky Monkey Treats by Kendra Reed of Windsor, FabFormals by Cassidy Tucker of Shelbyville, Fly High Aerial Photography by Kyle Stauder of Shelbyville, Groovie by Madelyn Sommers of Shelbyville, Hoov's Pet Essentials by Valorie Hoover of Shelbyville, JoSewphine's Pillows & Goods by Josie Gambrill of Shelbyville, Rylee's Photography by Rylee Black of Cowden-Herrick, TIEZ by Jack Burton of Stew-Stras, Triton Tees by Malcolm Miller of Shelbyville, Vinyly Ever After by Macey Heselton of Cowden-Herrick, Watson Show Pigs from MaKayla Watson of Cowden-Herrick, and Well Said Designs by Dylan Webster of Cowden-Herrick.


According to CEO Facilitator Marla Pruemer, the students had contact with 70 different speakers this year, that either came to them or the students went to the speaker. Additionally, each student has a mentor from the community, one-on-one.

Mentor and student teams were: Denise Bence and Valorie Hoover, Noel Bolinger and Kendra Reed, Jake Hankins and Josie Gambrill, Aaron Hawes and Kyle Stauder, Derek hayden and Cassidy Tucker, Jody McCormick and Madelyn Sommers, Madison McFadden and Macey Heselton, Bonnie Moore and Joel Bleskey, Derek Pearcy and Jack Burton, Ashley Pruemer and Jocelyn Schultz, Annie Reed and MaKayla Watson, Vanessa Shafer and Rylee Black, Josh Shallenbarger and Beau bennett, Glenda Sphar and Mackenzi Tabbert, Justin Walen and Malcolm Miller, Jerry Yockey and Dylan Webster.

The students put on a group project to provide seed money for their businesses. This year the project was a Murder Mystery Dinner. The students created their own business plans and then met with bankers in order to improve their strategic advantage. They toured more than 40 area businesses and had 30 business people speak to them.


It is just the second year for the program in Shelby County that is funded by 31 Investors and 14 Friends & Partners.

The CEO Advisory includes: Chairman Jeremy Jokisch of Jokisch Insurance and Financial Service, Inc., Owner; Treasurer Kelly Pasley, City of Shelbyville, Treasurer; Secretary Bonnie Moore, Lake Land College, Director to Center for Business & Industry; Denise Bence, Shelbyville CUSD #3, Superintendent; Derek Hayden, Shelbyville Insurance Service, Risk Manager; Jaden Widdersheim, Shelby County State Bank, Loan Officer; Josh Shallenbarger, Shelby Electric Cooperative, President & CEO; Justin Deters, Stewardson-Strasburg High School, Principal; Karen Logan, IHI-Turbo America, Human Resources Manager; Laurie Sweeney, Shelbyville CUSD #4, Teacher-Retired; Molly Pruemer, Shelby County State Bank Investment Center, Administrative Agent; William McKinney, Country Financial, Moweaqua, Agent.

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