Local residents looking for tips on starting and running their own business have a new free resource at their disposal, courtesy of Jacksonville University: a team of the brightest entrepreneurial minds in the region.
In a unique new course this fall for seniors majoring in entrepreneurism, members of the public can sit in at no charge on a series of lectures given by successful local businesspeople.
“This series is a backstage pass to networking opportunities, a small-class environment and to discovering new career paths,” said course creator Dr. Don Capener, who joined JU as Dean of the Davis College of Business in July. “It is critical to learn from others who have succeeded and failed, and it is so much more valuable than covering material in the best entrepreneurial textbooks.”
The course, ENT481, will bring established local business leaders into the classroom, where they will offer real-world knowledge, discuss their career journeys and provide guidance to JU students and local residents interested in owning their own business.
Speakers include Carole Poindexter, president of Baker Distribution; Jim Dalton, chief executive of The Dalton Agency; Ed Burr, president and chief executive of GreenPointe Holdings Inc.; and Harry Frisch, chief executive of Beaver Street Fisheries, among others.
The course is part of Capener’s strategy to adapt the JU program to meet the needs and interests of today’s business leaders, both students and community participants.
Capener, an Emmy Award-winning advertising professional who led international campaigns and ran an advertising agency before starting his academic career, saw a gap in what could be learned in case studies versus what students could glean from interacting with people who had started and run successful businesses.
He modeled the course after a similar one he offered during his tenure at Monmouth College in Illinois.
“I tried the classic ‘case study’ approach, and it didn’t work well,” Capener said.
Burr will speak to the group Oct. 2 about his varied career in real estate. In addition to his post at GreenPointe Holdings, he has founded two other well-known local real estate ventures: LandMar Group LLC and Hampton Golf & Lifestyle Management.
“I believe a holistic approach to learning business will help in many ways,” he said. “I can’t imagine anyone who would not benefit from this curriculum.”
Capener likened the real-world approach to learning to a favorite quote from hockey great Wayne Gretsky, who suggested skating to where the puck is going to be, rather than where it is now.
“This course is about skating to where the puck will be five or 10 years from now,” he said.
The Sept. 11-Nov. 27 public portion of the course will be from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 270 at the DCOB. About 25 seats will be available for non-students to attend each week.
Lecture series schedule:
Except where noted, all lectures are from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 270 at Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business. About 25 seats will be available for non-students to attend each week. To register for the lectures, e-mail Shannon Gornoski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (904) 256-7679. Registration closes 48 hours prior to each class. For more information on the Davis College of Business, visit www.ju.edu.
Sept. 4 – Jim Farah, The Farah Law Firm (Note special time: 3 p.m.)
Sept. 11 – Guest Speakers: Liz Grenameyer, president, Catering by Liz; and Carole Poindexter, president, Baker Distributing
Sept. 18 – Guest Speaker: Jim Flynn, Retired Union Carbide executive
Sept. 25 – Guest Speaker: Matt Kane, Principal, Greenshades Software
Oct. 2 – Guest Speaker: Ed Burr, President & CEO, GreenPointe Holdings
Oct. 9 – Guest Speaker: Tommy Grimes, The Grimes Cos.
Oct. 16 – Guest Speaker: Ron Autrey, CEO, Miller Electric Co.
Oct. 23 – Class Presentations, no speaker
Oct. 30 – Guest Speakers: Jim Dalton, The Dalton Agency; and Richard Weaver, Caduceus Consulting
Nov. 6 – Guest Speaker: Harry Frisch, founder, Beaver Street Fisheries
Nov. 13 – Guest Speaker: Suzie Lemen, President, Dynamic Corporate Solutions
Nov. 20 – Class Summary, no speakers
Nov. 27 – Guest Speaker: TBA