August 01, 2007

CampCEO participants learn entrepreneurial skills

by Christi Mathis


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. – What happens when 20 energetic, visionary teenagers with an entrepreneurial spirit come together? It's a fast-paced learning experience known as CampCEO at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

With guidance from the Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center at SIUC, the teens got a taste of what it's like to own their own businesses earlier this month. They developed negotiation, sales, customer service, leadership, problem solving, networking, time management, record-keeping and public speaking skills via a variety of activities and lessons. They visited businesses, attended leadership training, networking receptions, a professional etiquette dinner, and heard guest speakers. It was a week packed with hands-on learning experience as well as plenty of fun and when it was all over, campers emerged with a business plan, briefcase, business cards and marketing plans.

The young entrepreneurs tested their mettle in a pair of competitions too. One morning owner Steve Payne opened Quatro's Deep Pan Pizza in Carbondale especially to host the Breakfast at Quatro's Entrepreneurship Challenge. Campers divided into two teams and each created a special breakfast pizza recipe working with Quatro's staff and then went about marketing and selling their products to customers. Team Prestige emerged on top with sales of $292.15 for its "Breakfast Challenge Pizza" featuring eggs, sausage, three cheeses, peppers and onions. Total camper pizza sales amounted to $547.51. At week's end, each camp participant presented an individualized business plan in a second competition.

"CampCEO 2007 was comprised of an outstanding group of talented young people, many who came to Southern Illinois with their businesses already in operation," said Emily J. Carter, center director. "The class really showed their true entrepreneurial spirit both in their team challenge and individually as they presented their business plans for the business plan competition. Not only did the students learn some critical business skills during the camp, they also made new, lasting friendships and had a great time on the campus of SIUC."

Top prizewinners in the CampCEO Business Plan Awards Challenge, listed with hometown, parents and their winning business names and concepts are:

• First place: Tim Couch of Saint Peters, Mo., Jay and Jeanne Couch, Service Sitter house sitting service.

• Second place: Katie Furrie of Springfield, Mary Furrie, Mis'l Toe, Christmas stockings in a high-heel boot design.

• Third place: Jeremy Cornell of Chicago, Angela and Malcom McGowan, Royal Blue, designer clothing.

• Fourth place: Sharlene Luse of Chicago, Florence and John Ellis, Rymes for Dymes, rhinestone accessory designer.

• Fifth place: Matt Nolan of Mahomet, J. Mark and Linda Nolan, Joe Scoop, coffee and ice cream parlor.

Joining Nolan as members of the Quatro's Challenge winning Team Prestige, listed with parents by hometown are:

• Assumption: Ben Thompson, Patricia Puckett and Roy Thompson.

• Carbondale: Courtney Flowers, Carl and Linda Flowers.

• Charleston: Chelsea Turner, William and Cheri Turner

• Chicago: Ryan Bass, Sandra and Earnest Bass; Anthony Young, Natalie Jones and Anthony Young; Treshawnda Fleet, Tresa Thaxton; Idessa Butler, Brenda Butler and Steven Taylor.

• Flossmoor: Elise Smith , Eva and Rory Smith.

• Springfield: Dontrell Garrett, Vera Garrett.

Also successfully participating in Camp CEO 2007, listed by hometown with parents' names, were:


• Carbondale: Crystalbel Iwuagwu, Stella and Felix Iwuagwu.

• Chicago; Olando Robbins, Yvette Camper.

• Mt. Vernon: Blake Flota, Tom and Karen Goodwine

• Steeleville: Jessa Gramenz, Neal and Laura Gramenz.

• Vienna: Kayla Loyd , Jerri and Travis Loyd.


Fall Creek: Anders Drawbert, Helen and John Drawbert.


Caption follows story

Caption: Breakfast Challenge —Quatro's Deep Pan Pizza owner Steve Payne opened his business for CampCEO young entrepreneurs so they could test the skills they had learned through the week at CampCEO at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center directed the event for 20 Midwest high school students. Payne and the CampCEO participants are shown at Quatro’s.

Photo by Steve Buhman

Caption: Camp CEO Awards — CampCEO on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbonale concluded with participants presenting their individual business plans for judging. It was the culmination of a weeklong hands-on learning experience providing a taste of what it’s like to own a business.

Camp CEO counselor Lisa Knight discusses some of the week’s activities during the business plan presentation and awards festivities as camp coordinator Jenni Jannsen and counselors Fred Huff, Anja Meksem, Ivan Sanchez, and Mark Schimming enjoy the presentation along with campers.

Photo by Rusty Bailey