ALTAMONT — For a guy who grew up on the family farm south of Altamont and pumped gas at his dad's filling station, Jerry Berg has done quite well for himself.
Berg shared some keys to success at the fall Community Celebration of Excellence breakfast sponsored by the Effingham County Vision 2020 community development organization. Wednesday's breakfast was held at the new Carriage House Events Center on the south end of Altamont.
Berg, who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his family, has made a career out of helping health care facilities maintain financial stability after earning a bachelor's degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a MBA at Cornell University. He is also a certified public accountant.
"I'm overwhelmed, to say the least," Berg said. "I'm thrilled to have an opportunity to speak."
Berg said he has never forgotten where he came from.
"This community has helped make me who I am," he said. "Who we are impacts how we see the world and how others see us."
Berg said he learned many valuable lessons about life from growing up in Altamont.
"I had daily interaction with people in a business setting," he said. "I learned that you have to be serious about what you are doing."
Berg said growing up where he did also gave him opportunities he might not have had in an urban or suburban area.
"Growing up in a small town also encourages participation," he said.
Berg told the group of more than 300 people about his job as a health care finance specialist.
"What is it I do? I work with hospitals and talk to them about debt capacity and evaluate their financial projections," he said.