Happy Valentines Day everyone,

8th Day Boogie was hugely successful. Brandi Cripe met us at the venue on Friday night and we decorated for several hours. It looked very nice when we left. We were all excited and nervous Saturday afternoon (except Natalie, that girl was calm, cool, and collected and very reassuring to me!) We arrived at 4 on Saturday to meet the caterer and band and to get the desserts cut and displayed and do other odds and ends that needed finished. We were ready when our first guests arrived at 5:15. By midnight Saturday, we were feeling pretty great about how it went off. I wish you could have seen this class clean! I never had to remind anyone to “get busy” or “help out”. If they didn’t know what to do, they asked and mostly they just jumped in and got it cleaned and cleaned well!

There were just a couple of things we would have done differently. Seating was a minor problem and we used class time on Monday to figure out a better way. The catering bill was more than we expected but we learned that our estimate did not include a service charge or gratuity (and Amy graciously donated the gratuity to the class - which was over $500!) and we forgot that tax on thousands of dollars was a lot. But we learned! We had one table sponsor who did not receive their two free tickets. Everyone felt awful about it and decided to refund the $200 table sponsorship money to the business with a note of apology.

Cassidy and Joel will be at the CEO board meeting on Wednesday with a business financial report (they made a lot of money!) They are very excited about becoming the first class to be Fayette County CEO investors.

Monday we spent the morning processing the event, assigning thank you notes to be written, and tabulating financial information. Makenzie and Maddi did a fabulous job, with the help of board member Sally Emerick guiding them along the way. We appreciate the time she spent teaching the girls proper accounting. After the board meeting, I will share with you their documents. (I don’t want to steal their thunder!) I think you will be impressed!

Tuesday was a business visit to Deer Park Distributors. Owner Scott Bingaman is always a lot of fun and a wealth of information. We toured the offices and the warehouse and then went downtown to his conference space. There are so many interesting pieces of equipment to be seen and heard. Deer Park is a very important piece of the economics of Fayette County!

Wednesday we were back in class to finish writing thank you notes and wind up the class business. The notes have all been mailed.

Thursday was time for something fun! They worked hard and deserved it! The class was divided into 4 teams for a Road Rally. It was a scavenger hunt of sorts and judging by the laughter and tales they had to tell when they returned I think it is safe to say they had a great time! The winning team was Emma, Sophie, and Amber. Prizes were gift cards of their choice from Shimoji, Sonic, or Walmart...some chose gas, some chose coffee or fast food.

On Friday, Scott Borntreger, one of our investors, mentors and guest speakers took us to St. Elmo to Mary Ann’s for a working breakfast. He spent some time teaching some of the finer points of writing a business plan. The example he had for us and his willingness to coach anyone struggling will prove to be valuable!

The journal assignment for this week is to begin working on “elevator pitches” for individual businesses. Students have a couple of Youtube examples to watch and will write their own. They will also send our board members their business proposal for approval. Later, when the business plans are refined, board members will receive them. Mentors are working with their mentees to make changes, corrections, and improvements.

The Week Ahead
Monday - No School
Tuesday - Business visit to Nzuri Boutique
Wednesday - Class Day to work on businesses
Thursday - Business visit to Family YMCA of Fayette County
Friday - Guest speaker: Brody Walworth from Midland Institute (Brody says this will be conversational and any of you that would like to attend would find this day enjoyable!)

The next few months will go quickly. All 12 students have their business ideas down and a business plan submitted to their mentors for suggestions/improvements. Banker Day and the Shark Tanks are in March and the Trade Show in April. It will happen fast!

Important Dates:
February 16 - Board emailed business proposal
March 6 - Mentor Morning @ 8am Holiday Inn Express
March 13 - Shark Tank #1 @ FNB Community Bank downtown 7:15
March 18 - Banker Day @ Holy Cross Lutheran Church 7:15
March 22 - Final Individual Business Plans due to mentors, board members & facilitator
March 27 - Shark Tank @ Sarah Bush Lincoln-Fayette County Hospital 7:15
April 3 - Final Mentor Morning @ 8 am Holiday Inn Express
April 24 - Trade Show (time and place TBD)
May 8 - Tentative last day of CEO
May 16 - Graduations - Brownstown 3pm & Vandalia 7pm (St. Elmo and Ramsey TBD)

It was so wonderful to see so many of you at the class business and receive words of encouragement from those who weren’t able to attend. Your support is important to the success of Fayette County CEO and is appreciated!

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