Gillette, Wyoming, February 7, Andy Fitzgerald, the CEO of Campbell County Memorial Hospital, served as part of a panel of CEOs and local industry leaders to share their experiences and insights into the business world with the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). The roundtable discussion, which was held on Wednesday night at the Gillette College Tech Center, served as a forum for the seven students from YEA! to talk one-on-one and ask questions to local CEOs about how they got their start in business.
Susan Jerke, YEA! Instructor, who moderated the event, asked the students to formulate a question to present to the panel. Along with Fitzgerald the panel was comprised of John Pettyjohn, Safety and Human Resources for S&S Builders, LLC, Toni Bell, Vice President/Treasurer for Above The Line CPAs and Julie Simon, CEO for the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to outlining their individual stories, each member of the panel provided a valuable piece of advice for the students about the business world.
One of the topics discussed was technology, how entrepreneurs utilize new technology and how they turn it into profit. Bell described how her business had been moving forward with a paperless system, by scanning documents for a database of their clients. Additionally, she said her business has seen a decrease in paper and ink costs, as well saving on storage space. Simon described the use of social media sites as marketing tools, which helps to attract new members and creates value for existing members.
The panel also provided their views on what motivated them to become industry leaders and CEOs in the community. Pettyjohn stated he always wanted to be his own boss and searched to find an employer who would help him flourish in a leadership position. Fitzgerald agreed and added how important it was to research a company, its management and its reputation thoroughly before joining a company. The defining theme for the evening full of advice and encouragement, was best stated by Pettyjohn who stressed when managing other people and striving to become an effective leader, the example you set is of utmost importance, “It starts with you.”
The next event for the YEA students will on March 20, 2014 for the Investor Panel, where they will be seeking out community leaders to become investors in their business ventures.
About the Young Entrepreneurs Academy
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!Ô, is a groundbreaking educational program that takes students in grades six through twelve through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity and much more! By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation. Students learn to make a job--not just take a job! YEA!’sÔ direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. In 2008, YEA!Ô “spun-off” from the University of Rochester, where it was formed in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, to create its own not-for-profit corporation, YEA! Inc., which is currently launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country to provide comprehensive, exciting entrepreneurship education, leadership development and innovation training to youth between the ages of 11 and 18 years old in the United States thereby making the program available to students at a variety of geographical regions, and providing them with skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit www.yeausa.org