Dear CEO Community,

It’s hard to believe that this school year is coming to an end. It definitely isn’t ending the way any of us expected, but I truly believe that the Richland County CEO Class of 2020 made the best of a less than ideal situation. I want to start by thanking all those that have supported my peers and I in the Richland County CEO Program. To our investors, thank you for your support. Without you, the CEO program simply wouldn’t exist. It is obvious that you believe in us and in the CEO program. Thank you for investing in the future of Richland County. To the members of the board, thank you for guiding us in our endeavors. Without your help and guidance, we would not have been as successful. To our amazing mentors, thank you for giving us your time and expertise. I greatly appreciate the individual support that my mentor, Leon Stallard, has given me. I looked forward to our weekly Saturday breakfast together at Hovey’s. Leon has helped shape me into a better man. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model and I will always cherish our friendship. Without an incredible facilitator, the Richland County CEO Program would not be what it is today. Sheri Gray deserves an endless amount of appreciation from all of us. She has poured herself into this program. Sheri was our biggest supporter all year long. She was in our corner the entire time pushing us to be better versions of ourselves. At times she had to tell us things we didn’t want to hear about our work and ourselves, but she did it out of love and support. Sheri, thank you for everything. We also owe Amy Murphy a huge thank you for sharing her work space with us. She made a positive impact on each of us. I’m incredibly grateful that we had the opportunity to go on so many great business tours and to hear from business professionals throughout Richland County. My favorite business tour was MAC Plastics. Everyone was so nice and knowledgeable. I honestly had no idea what actually went on inside and I was very surprised. The amount of technology that is used is amazing. My favorite guest speaker was Mike David. He was overflowing with knowledge and enthusiasm. Mike didn’t just share his business knowledge, but also his life experiences. Every time he spoke to us, his smile would always light up the room. Throughout the year we read from Craig Lindvahl’s book “Things You Wish You Knew Yesterday”, each week. The entire book consisted of chapters that helped us realize different skills or life lessons we can use in our own lives. My favorite chapter was “Nobody Cares about Your Storm” because it gave me a new perspective on life. It showed that in real life, people want results. If you promise someone something, then you always need to follow through on that promise. Craig Lindvahl stated, “Excuse me, but describing the effort is not the same as accomplishing the task!” My greatest takeaway from the program is the connections that I made. Not only did I learn how to make a business connection. Most importantly, I learned how to maintain those connections. My favorite memory from the program was the night our class business was a reality. When the Harlem Wizards came to town, all of the hard work was worth it. Everyone loved the event! If I could leave the Class of 2021 with one piece of advice, I would tell them to enjoy the ride! It’s not going to be easy. At times, it’s not going to be fun. But, if you give it your all, rely on your classmates and listen to your mentors, you will end your year a better individual ready to take your next leap. To the class of 2020, thank you for your friendship and best of luck in your next chapter.

Sincerely,
Jace Greenwood
CEO Class of 2020


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