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Rea Callender, CEO of Nevada County Fairgrounds, addresses
local youth and provides business advice

 “Life is a series of choices, and every decision you make now will impact your future,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “Your greatest potential is now – so choose wisely.”

Last night, Callender addressed more than 20 FFA and 4H students from Bear River, Nevada Union and Placer high schools, and served as the third speaker in the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s ongoing Speaker Series.

The series, hosted by the Fairgrounds Foundation and sponsored by Sandy Ballou and California Outdoor Properties, brings business education – through access to business leaders and real-life leadership experiences – to local high school students.

Rea has an entrepreneurial and philanthropic background with corporate, start-up and non-profit experience. He has served as CEO and Founder of several businesses – including Schoolpop, Inc., an online loyalty marketing company and fundraising tool for K-12 schools which raised $250 million since 1999 for schools nationwide.

Rea, who spent part of his youth in Nevada County and participated in the Junior Livestock Auction at the Nevada County Fair in his youth, talked about the impact his participation in agriculture had in his path as an entrepreneur.

As Rea encouraged students to follow their passions, he outlined a series of steps to follow, including “making good choices, doing research before making decisions, setting goals and writing them down, working hard, planning with intention, travelling when given the opportunity, getting a mentor, and maintaining connections.”

Quoting from his favorite book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, Rea ended the evening with four key points – “be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best.”

The Fairgrounds Foundation’s speaker series, which began in October, features six speakers and will run through April.  Students have an opportunity to hear about the speaker’s career path, how they achieved their goals, insight regarding their area of expertise, and plenty of opportunities for questions. Upcoming speakers include Fiona Ma, California State Assembly; and John Paye, former NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers.

About the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation: The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation’s mission is to support and improve the community’s Fairgrounds, and to support youth in agriculture. For more information about the Fairgrounds Foundation, or to become a member, visit NevadaCountyFair.com/foundation/.


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