Growing Entrepreneurs - Nurturing Success

The students were a bit disappointed when they did more research and realized another organization was planning a zombie run in Coles County a few weeks before their event. They decided to go back and explore other business ideas. They also enjoyed interesting tours at the Oakland Noodle Company and Wells Fargo Advisors.

Please consider volunteering as a mentor  for one of the ClassE students. We would like to get the list finalized next week, so please contact me at if you are interested. I will be happy to give you more information on the program.

Wednesday, Sept 30th - 7:45 - 9:15 am at the Lifespan Ctr. - All are invited to meet the students and hear their business pitch.

ClassE Schedule - 8-9:30 am
Location: Lifespan Ctr. (unless noted below)
11021 E. Cty. Rd. 800 N. Charleston (Loxa Road just NE of the hospital)

Monday, 9/21 - Business Canvas  Start-up System 

Tuesday 9/22- Inyart Tire & Auto Tour
with John Inyart
1300 Charleston Ave., Mattoon

Wednesday 9/23 - Group Business Work

Thurs. 9/24 - Jack and Bill's Tour
with Steve Hardin
1628 Broadway, Mattoon

Fri 9/25- Vintage Cottage Beauty In-class Visit
with Terri Temples

Beth Gillespie from the Mattoon YMCA stopped by on Monday and discussed how she coordinates the Girls on the Run 5k race. She was a valuable resource as the group explored a zombie run as their group business.
Todd and Kim Ethington have recently purchased Oakland Noodle Company from his father. He discussed the changes and challenges in the business.
They are introducing wheat and lasagna noodles to their product line. The bird flu has really affected their egg prices which was an unexpected challenge for their first year.
Gary Swearingin of Wells Fargo Advisors shared his career journey from college to present. The students heard valuable life lessons along the way.
One of those lessons was saving 15% of your earnings as early as possible and letting that grow over the years for retirement.

Class Investors 

(Click on the name to go to their website.)

Advanced Digital Solutions 

SEED Center at Eastern Illinois University

City of Charleston

City of Mattoon

Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Commercial Electric

Curry Construction

Dau Consulting

Diepholz Auto Group

Ealy's Real Estate Appraisals

Eastern Illinois Properties

First Federal Savings & Loan Association

First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust

First Neighbor Bank

Flesor's Candy Kitchen

General Electric

Gilbert, Metzger & Madigan LLP

Jerome C. Groniger

Howell Paving, Inc.

Innovative Staff Solutions

Inyart Tire and Auto

Lake Land College

Lifetime Eye Care

Lorenz Supply Company

Marketing by Jones, LLC

McDonald's of Coles County 

Mid-Illinois Concrete, Inc.

Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC

Reed's Fly-On Farming


Rural King Supply

Sarah Bush Lincoln 

Health System

Scholes Trucking, Inc.

Eli & Ann Sidwell

Slumberland Furniture

The Sparks Foundation

Unique Home Properties

United Graphics, Inc.

Upchurch Group, Inc.

Vantage Outsourcing

Veolia Environmental Services

Wells Fargo Advisors

West & Company, LLC

Wireless Mikes 

Other Financial Contributors
Coles County Council on Aging Lifespan Center
Class Hosts




Due to the increased enrollment, the class will meet at the Coles County Council on Aging LifeSpan Center for the entire year. We will still be touring businesses 2-3 days per week. Thank you LifeSpan for this great partnership.


Coles County Council on Aging Lifespan Center