The Academy is a program put together by the Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce. It is a ten week program, aimed at helping to
enhance the skills and knowledge of local business leaders and
This year’s students and their employers were Sarah Helm, Abraham
Lincoln Memorial Hospital; Lisa Dever, Castle Manor; Stephanie
Fulkerson, Deron Powell Insurance; Douglas Adams, Jake Clifford,
Theresa Cline, Leah Kratzer and Paul Rebholz, Eaton Corporation;
Jennifer Kirby, Heartland Community College; Bridgett Thomas,
Lincoln College; Sarah Wallick, Logan County Tourism; Christopher
Herzog and Kayla Wilson, State Bank of Lincoln; Larry Crawford, Open
Arms Christian Fellowship; and Nicole Cox of the Chamber. Of the 15
graduates, all were in attendance with the exception of Jake
Education about effective leadership and the Logan County
The curriculum for the program included college level instruction
offered by Dr. Don Green of Lincoln Christian University. He offered
instruction on the topics of 'Leadership for All Situations,'
'Communications and Effective Meetings,' 'Strategic Planning,' and
In addition, classes were held under the heading of 'Connecting with
the Community.' Special guest speakers were brought in for those
sessions and they covered a wide variety of topics.
Local historian Paul Beaver offered a talk on the history of Lincoln
and Logan County.
Students were also briefed on the economic profile of Logan County.
Andi Hake gave information about the merge of the Logan County
Tourism Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street Lincoln.
Dave Irwin of the State Bank of Lincoln discussed farm management.
Discussions on city and county government were led by Teresa Moore
representing the Logan County Clerk’s Office; Vicki Dugan, Logan
County Treasurer; Marry Kelley, Logan County Circuit Clerk; and
Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder.
Angela Stoltzenburg of The Healthy Communities Partnership and
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital addressed healthcare in Logan
County; while David Alexander of Coldwell Banker Cornerstone talked
about local housing.
Jim Youngquist of Lincoln Daily News offered instruction and
discussion on working with the media and communications. Chris
Quialan of Sprint and Mark DeKeersgieter of CIRBN discussed social
Todd Miasch and Jennifer Hammer of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce
addressed civic leadership.
Under the heading of education, presentations were made by a wide
variety of speakers. Jean Anderson of the Regional Office of
Education addressed the class. Also presenting were Jennifer Feaman
of Heartland Community College, Stephanie Umphrey of Lincoln
Christian University, and Rick Samuels of Lincoln College.
Richard Sumrall of the Lincoln Public Library, and April Doolin
representing the Land of Lincoln CEO program were also among the
presenters under the education heading.
Keith Snyder addressed the topics of school boards and running for
Guest speakers representing the agricultural industry in Logan
County included Steve Irwin for Irwin Dairy, and Keith Birnbaum of
In addition to classroom work, students also took industry tours to
Heritage Packaging, Ardagh Glass, and Eaton Corporation.
Groups help three non-profit organizations
In addition to their classroom and field studies, the students were
divided into three groups with each group required to do a class
project that would assist one local non-profit organization in Logan
Each group was required to work directly with their organization,
including spending six hours of volunteer work in the organization.
They were to examine the organization and prepare an executive
overview. They were also expected to create and develop a marketing
plan complete with promotional materials. On Friday, each group was
asked to give their presentation complete with samples of their
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Logan County Food Pantry
Group one consisted of students Christopher Herzog, Bridgett Thomas,
Lisa Dever, Leah Kratzer and Theresa Cline. The group chose to work
with the Logan County Food Pantry. On Friday morning, they presented
a brief program on what they learned about the food pantry and what
they did to help further the success of that program in Logan
Each member of the group presented a few words on what they had
observed and done for the Logan County Food Pantry. They had been
surprised to learn that the need for food in Logan County has grown
significantly in the last few years. In Logan County, the Food
Insecurity Rate is close to the state average of just over 14
percent. According to the group approximately Logan County is at
13.4 percent. In 2012, the food pantry served just over 1,700
people. This year, that average has raised to become right at 1,900
people, with the figure still growing.
The group also learned that the Logan County Food Pantry is a ‘Free
Choice” pantry in that those receiving goods can choose what they
want. The group was also surprised to learn that to qualify for
food, a family of four needs to have a gross income of less than
$3,975 per month. They said they were surprised to find the figure
was this high.
For their promotion/marketing project, the group created a new
tri-fold pamphlet and a new logo.
Humane Society of Logan County
Group two worked with the Humane Society of Logan County. The team
consisted of Kayla Wilson, Jennifer Kirby, Doug Adams, Jake Clifford
and Sarah Wallick.
The group did SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats) analysis on the agency’s social media pages and website.
Some of the advice they offered on the HSLC Facebook page was to
incorporate more pictures. The group shared that on Facebook,
readers are 13 times more likely to interact with a post that
includes a photo.
In looking at the HSLC website, the team identified the good points
of the website, and also pointed out areas that were hard to
navigate and perhaps confusing for the viewer. They offered advice
on improving the site.
The group also developed a new marketing plan that included stock
press releases and promotional handouts. The handouts or posters
included full-color photos of animals with snappy quotes such as
“I’ve never understood why my human won’t leave the house without
her leash. I think she’s afraid of getting lost. But it’s OK, I kind
of like showing her around.”
Oasis Senior Center
The final group consisted of Larry Crawford, Sarah Helm,
Nicole Cox, Stephanie Fulkerson and Paul Rebholz. Their choice of
non-profit organization was the Oasis Senior Center
The group learned that while there are over 6,000 senior citizens in
Logan County, only 1,000 are members of the Oasis. They talked about
how the number of seniors in Logan County will continue to grow.
They learned that the Oasis does not currently have a website, but
they wanted one developed. The team took on that project, and there
is now a website in place the Oasis can launch whenever it is ready.
The team also said they were committed to continuing their work with
the Oasis to get the website online, if the organization wants their
In addition, the team designed some new pamphlets for the Oasis.
At the end of the presentation, certificates were handed out to each
graduate by Lynn Laughlin and Dr. Don Green of Lincoln Christian