Tony Simmons

Contrary to popular belief, there is free lunch, though it’s targeted at those who are hungry to learn how to start their own businesses. Florida State University Panama City’s Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship is hosting free “Lunch and Learn” sessions this fall for the public to pick the brains of area business leaders while enjoying a light bite.

The sessions take the format of a casual conversation over a meal and are designed for those who may have an idea about starting a business or who long to own their own company. There is no charge for admission, and lunch is provided. Sessions will be in the Holley Center Lecture Hall at FSU PC, 4750 Collegiate Drive in Panama City, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 4, and Nov. 15.

  • On Oct. 4, meet Karen Smith, founder of Beachy Beach Real Estate, whose mantra is “The only people we have to get even with are those who helped us!” She has fostered job creation, volunteerism and innovative initiatives that uplift local families. Passionate about recovery, she shares her story of triumph over addiction.
  • On Nov. 15, meet James Dever, Ph.D. and senior lecturer at both the Dr. Persis E. Rockwood School of Marketing and the Department of Management at the FSU College of Business. A Fulbright committee member, his areas of expertise are marketing solutions, strategic management and entrepreneurship.

For details, or to pre-register for a session, contact Brian Baber, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship at FSU, at or (850) 770-2218.