Students in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter at Hillsboro High School learned from local entrepreneurs after school on Tuesday, April 30.
Members had a question-and-answer session with child care expert and HCCDC founder Sheri Reynolds, Red Rooster Inn revitalizer Kendra Wright, high school senior and CEO entrepreneur Logan Altenberger, Atlas 46 CEO Brian Carver and his assistant Laura Marshall, and Montgomery County Growth Initiative leader Bob Buda.
According to Hillsboro FCCLA sponsor Thersa Coleman, members of the group had asked to speak with experts in starting businesses.
Reynolds, who began in child care in 1976, grew her business until filling a need in the community through HCCDC. Altenberger started Alpha Candles as his CEO project, and Wright, a Raymond native who worked in banking in San Francisco, said she and her husband were "looking for a building to rehab just for fun" before embarking on the Red Rooster project. When completed, it will not only be a hotel, but have apartments, a banquet hall and brewery.
"I feel your community is on the verge of exploding," Atlas 46 CEO Carver said. He told students that his company sells products all over the world and could have located manufacturing anywhere, but selected Hillsboro because of its history and connection to Abraham Lincoln, and its re-energized downtown area.
"We're looking to put 300 to 500 jobs in downtown Hillsboro and restore some old buildings," Carver told the students, "to help Hillsboro become the epicenter of premium American-made brands. My job now is to help recruit some of my CEO and business-owner friends in St. Louis to take a look at this community."