In August 2012, Renee (Scheiter) Higgins ’97 took her career in a completely different direction. Until then, Renee had worked in higher education, most recently as the dean of transfer education at Spoon River College in Macomb, Ill. She pursued advanced degrees to further her experience in the field; after graduating from C-SC with her degree in business administration, she earned her Master of Education from the University of Illinois, and an A.B.D. doctorate in Higher Administration Leadership and Management from Capella University. But in August, Renee and her husband, Curtis, fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning and operating a local business by purchasing Bailey’s Coffee, Fudge and Fine Gift Shop in Quincy, Ill. “After 14 years in higher education administration, the change was welcomed. Yet it has been an enormous career shift!” says Renee.
Renee attributes the initial desire of owning a business to the experiences she received at Culver-Stockton. Along with being a member of Chi Omega, she also belonged to the student group SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise). “Being a member of SIFE, I was able to run the first student-operated business at Culver-Stockton. The business was called Time-Out and it was a sandwich shop located downtown,” remembers Renee. “I worked with Professor Giuliana to create the business plan, cash flow statements, hire employees and run the business. That was such a great opportunity and started a spark that has stayed with me for 15 years. I always tell others that C-SC is a great start to your future.”
Owning and operating a small business takes hard work, acumen and dedication-- qualities Renee has proven to possess. In 2011, Renee was named as one of the “Top 20 Under 40” in Adams County by the Quincy Herald-Whig. Considering the successes Renee has had so far, her goals for the future are simple. “We just want to continue to run a great, locally-owned business and some day, turn that business over to our boys,” says Renee. Renee and her husband have two boys, Grant and Gavin.