STERLING – Nearly 200 chamber members recently gathered at Days Inn in Rock Falls for the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner and meeting.
The event was organized by the chamber and the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities Class, which is affiliated with the Whiteside Area Career Center.
Twenty-three students from 12 area high schools make up the CEO class. The group hosted and participated in the program.
The high school juniors and seniors whot comprise the CEO class selected an All American theme for the evening.
They also visited the chamber last fall and have started writing a column in the chamber’s monthly newsletter.
“The chamber is excited to include the CEO Class in our annual dinner.
“These students are learning about our area businesses and what better way to integrate them into the business community. Not only was an All American menu picked to accompany the theme, the students focused on the top 20 things they have learned so far this year.
“Lee Hartman, CEO instructor; Norm Deets, adviser; and the students have all been a joy to work with and we’re excited for what businesses they will develop in the second semester of their class,” Jerry Binder of Sterling Public Schools said.
During the dinner, the chamber also honored retiring board members Sam Card of DeJonge Tax and Accounting and Andy Neal of Wal-Mart Super Center.
New directors joining the board are Mike Loos of Edward Jones; Sheila Martinez of US Bank; and Rick Turnroth of Turnroth Sign Co.
Mary White of Community State Bank was re-elected to another 3-year term.
Members also honored Tim Determan of Pinney Printing, outgoing president, and welcomed Binder as the new president. This year’s board of directors are: Binder; Brian Hawkins of Hawkins-Cassens Insurance; Karen Voss of Hospice of the Rock River Valley; Jon Byar of Midland States Bank; Determan; Jim Cesarek of RE/MAX Sauk Valley; Loos; Sheila Martinez; Tony Miller of Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson; Heath Olson of Wal-Mart Distribution Center 7024; Eric Shaffer of Sterling Federal Bank; Dr. Paul Steinke of CGHAFC Medical Center; Pam Topper of Freedom Bank; Turnroth; and White.