Central Penn College - Entrepreneur Speaker Series Starts Off Strong

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June 12, 2019 Entrepreneur Speaker Series Starts Off Strong

Students had the opportunity to learn first-hand about business ownership from three successful entrepreneurs at yesterday’s workshop, “The American Dream – I am an Entrepreneur.” This event kicked off the Entrepreneur Speaker Series, which features monthly events from now until the fall.

Doug Fisher, Joyce Libby and Daniel Mowery (pictured, left to right) were the three panelists who shared their wisdom and experiences about starting, running and even selling their own businesses.

The Initial Motivation

“What got me to launch… was to solve a problem,” said Mowery, who is the CEO/owner of Midway Bowl in Carlisle.

“For me, it was driven by a passion to really serve clients,” said Libby, who started her own financial planning business after working in the financial services industry for more than a decade. She currently serves as a vice president for Hazlett, Burt & Watson, Inc., a full-service investment firm with offices in three states.

“I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to try, so I did,” said Fisher, the interim chair of the college’s Business department. In the 1990s, he founded Advanced Technology Automation, a technology solutions company, and sold it four years later. Since then, he has served as an executive with a number of area firms. Currently, he has his own consulting firm, where he helps young entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Failure, the Great Teacher

Mowery was the owner of several businesses that crashed and burned. At 19, he started a dorm delivery business called “Easy Freshman.” “This was before Amazon became big, and looking back on it, I probably should have changed the name, but it was fun, and I had fun,” he said.

“You have to have a willingness to fail to succeed,” said Fisher. “You’re gonna get dirty. You’re gonna get knocked down. That’s entrepreneurship.”

“Being an entrepreneur, you have to have grit,” said Libby. “I graduated high school with a degree in cosmetology, and now I do financial advising,” she added.

Audience Participation

Moderator Samantha Bise worked from a list of prepared questions––following up with a few of her own––during the first hour of the workshop. While answering the questions, the three panelists shared their trials and tribulations… the pitfalls and successes… the joys and the stresses of being entrepreneurs and business owners.

In the final half hour, the discussion was open to audience questions. Robert McHugh, a junior studying Business Administration, asked the first question about how can businesses build a loyal customer base.

Libby said it’s about “networking and getting to know people,” Mowery responded with “being able to brand your company.”

There were about 50 people––students, faculty, staff and community members––on-site at the theatre, with several more online via Blackboard.

Kudos to everyone involved––Ben Lipschutz, Doug Fisher, Sam Bise, Janet Bixler and the theatre team, and the Center for Teaching Excellence––for putting together such a worthwhile event. Special thanks to our guest panelists, Joyce Libby and Daniel Lowery!

The Entrepreneur Speaker Series continues next month with Juliet Jones, who is the CEO and founder of VIP Fortune 500 Consulting. The event will occur on Tuesday, July 16, 5:30–7 p.m. in ATEC 200/202.

Student Reporter Dylan Kleintop contributed to this article.