Dear CEO Community,
I really can’t believe we are already to the end of the year for the Richland County CEO class of 2019. CEO has been an incredible opportunity for me, and I have learned so much this year. I’m incredibly grateful that we had the opportunity to hear from so many business professionals and go on business tours because it gave me a new perspective of all of the opportunities in Richland County. My favorite guest speaker was Leon Stallard because he gave us great advice that helped me throughout the year. He told us to always have an attitude of gratitude, how to be organized, and set goals. My favorite tour was of Trust Bank. I really enjoyed this tour because I learned so much more about a business I thought I knew well. Some of the biggest lessons I can take into the next stages of my life were from the book Things You Wish You Knew Yesterday. The chapter that has impacted me the most was titled “Life Ain’t No Laser Beam” because it emphasizes that life isn’t a straight line and every experience moves you closer to where you are supposed to be. The Micro Business, Class Business, and Individual Business have taught me so much. All three have taught me how to sell. We sold advertising spots for our jackets and lanyards, tickets and sponsorships for “Live After Five”, and our products for our individual businesses. At the beginning of the year, I would consider selling a weakness and something that scared me. Now I can see how much better I have gotten. Looking back on my year, I have been so blessed by all of those who have helped me succeed. There are so many I would like to thank for their support this year. Our investors and board have been incredibly supportive and helpful all year. I would also like to especially thank my mentor, Deb Mitchell, for everything she has done for me this year and everything I have learned from her. Our facilitator, Sheri Gray, has been our biggest supporter all year and has even told me the difficult things I don’t want to hear but need to be told. I hope the class of 2020 realizes how amazing Sheri is, and how much she cares for her CEO students. The advice I would give the class of 2020 is to appreciate everyone that is there to help you. There are so many people involved with this program and their goal is to see the students succeed. This year has gone by fast, and I will greatly miss CEO, especially Sheri and my classmates, but I am excited for the next chapter of my life that I feel CEO has prepared me for.
Sincerely,
Abigail Nealis, Class of 2019

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