Planning for CEO's Future with the Brightest Minds

Touring Sierra

with Mandy Jewel and Abby Snyder

Sierra’s Mandy Jewel, HR Business Partner, and Abby Snyder gave CEO a tour of their processing and distribution warehouse. Sierra has more than 200 employees and distributes thousands of aftermarket SKU’s for marine engines and drive parts. Mandy explained their reorganization efforts in recent months for their work areas to maximize efficiency; “We are planning to expand and build a more advanced product room and training center.” Team members discovered the importance for continuous evaluation, problem solving skills, and implementation strategies.

Jacob Stockamp reflected on the tour, “Sierra is a business that has so many departments, including: product managers, accountants, customer service, marketing, IT, inventory management, etc. Starting a coffee business I plan to give service to other businesses by maintaining their coffee. I would not require as many departments as they have as my business is on a much smaller scale than Sierra’s, but that doesn’t make it more efficient for me because I have less. I lI will save money starting out doing everything myself, but I learned that they do their work more efficientlybecausethey have more resources.”

Combined CEO Meeting

with the Team and Board Members

The Board and team met together and discussed the CEO experience at this point in the year. The board shared insight on the purpose and vision for the program and their encouragement for this year’s team to succeed. The board also listened as team members shared about their experience including what they have found useful and what they have found difficult to understand. Team members would later share their appreciation for having their viewpoints heard without feeling intimidated.

A special thank you to Rachelle McDowell, Principal for NHS and CEO board member, for hosting the combined meeting at the Nokomis High School. The meeting consisted of discussion related to recruitment and the inherent challenges of a program that is highly valued but not in the mainstream of daily school activities. Suggestions for getting the word out included present team members speaking to the junior classes through a variety of mediums; from presenting to juniors in their present classes, to setting up a table with information about CEO during lunch, to making short commercials to share through social media outlets. The team members shared how last year’s team members' stories as well as participating in the shadow tours helped them decide to apply. CEO isn't possible without the collaborative efforts of our community businesses and school districts...and a young, entrepreneurial spirit!

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The manner in which the CEO program is funded is critical to its success and sustainability. All funds raised are used exclusively for the Montgomery CEO program. To participate, a 3-year $1000 per year commitment is required. Business Partner Investors commitments of time and energy are also critical to the program's success. Contributions may be tax deductible, as our organization is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

When we are not touring local businesses, we need a place to host the class. During that time, the 13 CEO students and their Facilitator would meet at your site where they would also have guest speakers and guests from the community attend. Hosting requires a facility with internet access and adequately accommodates up to 18 people.

We are looking for people to share real-life stories about the concepts of running a business, from strategic thinking, product development to marketing, and cash flow management. Also, sharing your personal successes and failures are what recent classes have enjoyed the most.

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