Union County Technology Solutions Joins Other Local Businesses, Leaders To Fund High School Entrepreneurship Program



Union County Technology Solutions—a local IT services and consulting company—has joined dozens of local businesses and community leaders to fund the Union County CEO Program.  This new program, which follows a model that has shown remarkable success around the state, is designed both to develop and to retain local business talent and innovators.

Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities or CEO for short is a program that began in Effingham County as a three-year pilot to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in high school students.  Based on the success of CEO in Effingham County, the program has since expanded to other counties.  After a presentation held last spring, Rollie Hawk—owner and lead consultant of Union County Technology Solutions—saw enormous value in the CEO Program’s overall philosophy.

“I was immediately sold on the concept,” said Hawk.  “Allowing students to earn high school credit for spending time learning from local business leaders while developing their own real-life businesses is exactly the kind of experience we need to provide for our young people.  We don’t really teach entrepreneurship in high school and then we turn around and wonder why we have a dwindling economic base.  When we focus more on regurgitation than problem solving, creative thinking and leadership, we end up where we are.”

In the months since, Hawk has served on the Union County CEO advisory board and has volunteered to be one of the business leaders who will work with students once the program begins in Union County.  Now that Union County has officially been accepted into the CEO program, Hawk has signed the first of three $1000 checks that Union County Technology Solutions has pledged to fund the program’s first three years.

“I would have loved to have an opportunity like this growing up,” added Hawk.  “This program recognizes that there are a lot of gifted people out there who are round pegs that we try to hammer into square holes.  Some of us are just born to be round pegs that are never going to fit in as well as the square pegs.  But you know what?  It’s usually those round pegs that end up changing the world.  Those are the real job creators.”

Additional information is available from:

Other $500+ donors:

  • William & Evelyn Bailey, Southern Real Estate
  • Charlotte Clover, Country Financial
  • Bill Ecker, State Farm Insurance
  • Jim Farris, Union County Hospital
  • Randy Lambin, Lamdin Farms
  • Jan York, Skyline View Cabins
  • Beck Simonds, E.T. Simonds
  • Paul Renzaglia, Alto Vineyards
  • Debbie Stroehlien, Cobden Civic Industrial Foundation
  • Alan Eddington, Union County Economic Development Corporation
  • Craig Lindvahl, Effingham CEO
  • Glenda Boone, US Bank
  • Josh Joiner, Capaha Bank
  • Charlotte Clover, Union County Women in Business
  • John Nimmo, Southern Real Estate
  • Collin Cain, Grassy Lake Club
  • Al Kamp, City of Anna
  • Bill Davis, Davis Farms
  • Nina Lofton, Anna-Jonesboro National Bank
  • Lyn Crabtree, Master’s Choice
  • Rusty Flamm, Rusty’s Home Center
  • Nick & Jerry Schaefer
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