Women in Charge: FSU PC hosts Busy Bee’s Elizabeth Waring, Patti Smith of Go! Magazine

Jan Waddy

Elizabeth Waring, President of Johnson & Johnson Inc.

Regional and local entrepreneurs will discuss pathways to American entrepreneurship during a Women's Entrepreneurship Week event 12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, in the Florida State University Panama City Holley Lecture Hall. 

“Women in Charge: Affinity, Innovation, & Action” panelists include Elizabeth Waring, president of Johnson & Johnson Inc. that operates its Busy Bee conglomerate; Patti Smith, copywriter and publisher of Go! Magazine; and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) representatives Taye Larry and Brea Webb.

“Women’s Entrepreneurship Week is a global movement, and we are proud to bring this event back to FSU Panama City showcasing women who are so accomplished in their fields,” said business instructor Wendy Ritz, organizer of the local event. “This event will help local women develop their business ideas and learn from the pros on the best ways to become successful entrepreneurs.”

Waring stated, “Some employees have been with us for forty years and that is unheard of in our industry. We keep employees because of advancement opportunities, and we take care of them and their families. We connect with our employees on a deeper level.”

Women’s Entrepreneurship Week (WEW), a global event that was started by Montclair State University eight years ago, previously was hosted by FSU PC in 2019.

The Oct. 20 event is free and open to the public. Patches on the Go food truck also will be on site with food available for purchase from its regular menu of award-winning wings, appetizers, burgers and sandwiches.
For more information about the WEW event, email writz@fsu.edu or call (850) 770-2214.


Elizabeth Waring - As a third-generation convenient store owner/operator, Waring graduated from FSU with a marketing degree before joining the family business as the Director of Marketing and Area Supervisor for the Southeast region of Johnson & Johnson Inc. After her brother, Jay, passed away in 2015, Waring became the new president and CEO. She has taken on this task with a tenacity and vision that has led to the rebranding of Johnson & Johnson, Inc into Busy Bee. The Busy Bee conglomerate consists of 17 convenience stores, multiple franchise entities including Tesla charging centers, and a private brand gift retail center, in addition to the J & J Fuel Delivery business segment. Most recently, Waring added an eCommerce site that offers Busy Bee’s gourmet foods and gifts expanding brand awareness and reach through multichannel marketing. 

Patti Smith, a copywriter and publisher of Go! Magazine, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in markets of all sizes throughout the United States. In 2007, she shifted her career to full-time ministry writing. Her greatest desire is to share stories that will help readers get to know God in a deep and personal way. She believes her gift of writing came from Him, therefore, she will use it to serve Him. She shares faith testimonies and serves business owners as a content writer for their marketing materials.

Taye Larry, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of West Florida in 2013, began his career in corporate sales at UPS and is pursuing an MBA at UWF with an emphasis in data analytics. 

Brea Webb graduated from FSU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in merchandising and product development and gained experience in marketing, public relations and advertising at Rowland Publishing Inc. in Pensacola and Visit Panama City Beach.