Diverse entrepreneurs

Lynchburg College Entrepreneurs’ Organization presents the first “Discovering Diversity in Local Businesses” discussion panel from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 30 in Schewel Hall, room 232. The discussion is in conjunction with LC’s 2009-10 Year of Alliances and Diversity. A networking reception will begin at 7 p.m. with the panel to follow at 7:30 p.m.

The panel will feature Thomas Johnson of Thomas A. Johnson Furniture Co. and James River Furnishings; Lucy Cook of Magnolia Foods; Luis Gonzalez of Easter Island; and Anika Pettiford of Janelle Beauty.

After studying woodworking in Italy for four years, Thomas Johnson left his home country of Ghana and moved to Lynchburg in 1993 with little more than $20 in his pocket. He recently purchased a new manufacturing facility and opened a new showroom for his custom-made furniture.

Lucy Cook founded Magnolia Foods gourmet deli, specialty food, and wine shop.  Magnolia Foods was voted as Lynchburg’s best deli in 2009 in Lynchburg Living magazine.

Luis Gonzalez and his wife separately fled Chile in 1973 after the democratic government was toppled by a military coup. Gonzalez and his family eventually settled in Lynchburg, where he opened Easter Island in 1987 hoping to provide locals with a taste of South America

Anika Pettiford left her job as an executive at IBM to start her own beauty products company in 2006.  Tapping into the growing health-conscious market, Janelle Beauty’s cosmetic and hair care lines use only natural ingredients.

For more information, contact Reese Thompson at .