CEO Breakfast and Team Building

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CEO Breakfast and Team Building

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Last week in Kokomo CEO was the most eventful by far. My peers and I shared many secrets with each other and ate breakfast with the CEO board members. On our first home base day we practiced public speaking. The objective to think quickly and outside the box quickly became obvious. Each student received two random words and gave a presentation over them. This activity helped me tremendously with my public speaking struggles, and it acclimated me to the CEO environment. The entire week went by extremely fast; however, Labor Day weekend made it seem so much longer. 

At Inventrek on Tuesday morning, my peers and I ate breakfast with the CEO board members. Morgan Young, the class facilitator, introduced the board members and their involvement within the community. Brad Priday, Andy Baker, and Bob Hingst were among the few who met with us previously to speak on their business knowledge and background. I talked to Liz Kerns, manager of the Chamber of Commerce, about her career and how I can succeed in the business world. She lived in many different cities holding many chamber oriented jobs while balancing a large family. Our conversation taught me to stay focused on my goals and to make time for the things I value most. 

The team building exercise on Wednesday focused on emotions and diversity. Everyone in my class comes from a different background, and we make up a great team. Morgan asked us to focus on the question “What in your past has shaped you to become who you are now?” Many people focused on being left out of groups or sports. The emotional connection in the room felt overwhelming, and relaxation set in quickly. Some rubbed their hands in anticipation and leaned forward in their chairs. The activity frustrated some of my peers, but it built a bond between us. 

At the end of the week, we visited a business in Windall, about 25 minutes away from Kokomo. B.E.S Inc. is a company that distributes concession stand food and machines to many facilities around Indiana. Vance Voorhis, the owner, relies on word-of-mouth to gain attraction to his business. His goal is to maintain relationships with customers while successfully reaching a margin. The busiest time of the year for him is a six week period in the fall. He makes 50% of his yearly profit in about a month. This is extremely unique along with his limited internet presence. 

The breakfast with CEO board members improved my networking skills tremendously. I connected with a few members of the community and clarified numerous possibilities after college. To connect with others, my peers and I stepped outside of our comfort zones. We did the exact same thing at team building. It became a unique experience that I will never forget. The CEO program is much more independent than high school. It makes life seem much more real than it ever has been.

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