Being the CEO of a company is not the typical life of an 18 year old. While Michael Solliday has the customary responsibilities of every high school student he has the added pressure of running a School-based Enterprise (SBE). As CEO of Wolverine Enterprises, Michael oversees the accounting, sales, marketing and logistics of the six SBEs that fall under the Wolverine Enterprises umbrella. To many, that may sound like an extra burden and added stress, but not to Michael. Seeing responsibility as an opportunity, Michael seamlessly incorporates his duties as CEO into his everyday life, his schoolwork and extracurriculars.
One of Wolverine Enterprises’ latest ventures included the design and manufacture of an item for Rising 30, a group that coincidentally, welcomed Michael Solliday as a member this year Michael oversaw the order process and the production of Rising 30 hats, which were included in a mailing full of Indiana-made goodies and logo wear that was sent to all Rising 30 honorees.
The Conexus Indiana Rising 30 program annually recognizes and elevates 30 individuals in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries who have gone above and beyond in their field. At 18 years old, Michael is among the youngest individuals to be named to a Rising 30 class, an honor where he was quick to deflect the praise to someone else.
“It’s just an honor to be a part of it,” says Solliday. “A huge thank you goes to Miss Thomas because if it weren’t for her, I would not have been nominated. So, I’m thankful for her and thankful for being able to be in the position that I was in this year. I just feel very honored.”
Michael’s days as Wolverine Enterprises’ CEO are coming to a natural conclusion as he graduates and moves on to college. Michael is attending the University of Southern Indiana this fall, majoring in computer science. With this enormous life change on the horizon, he does credit his experiences with Wolverine Enterprises with preparing him to succeed in college and beyond.
“I know specifically when the online store had tech problems and working on overall problem-solving – that will help in the field that I’m going into a lot…also on the communication side, the leadership experience, all of that will help [me].”
Prior to being honored at the Rising 30 event last week, Michael was the center of a “retirement party,” where his school and fellow Wolverine Enterprises students celebrated the company’s recent success, and watched as he handed over the responsibilities of CEO to a now-rising senior he had mentored.
The Wolverine Enterprises hats were not the only items Rising 30 honorees received from SBEs Turning Point Coffee Company, an SBE in Ligonier, Ind., provided the coffee pods that were included in each Rising 30 box. Turning Point Coffee is part of the Turning Point Educational Center, a not-for-profit school providing mentorship, support, education and other services for at-risk high school students.
You can learn more about SBEs here; and be sure to read more about Michael Solliday and his fellow Rising 30 honorees on our Rising 30 page.