(Posted February 16, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Know the perfect location for a local Dunkin' Donuts? Or a Wendy's, Cold Stone Creamery, Chili's or Kinko's? Learn how to recognize and implement an opportunity to become part of a franchise in a panel discussion featuring a national franchise consultant and three area franchisees at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science.

The panel will feature Joan Painter, a 1977 Juniata graduate and owner of Franchise Ventures LLC, a consulting firm that offers personal services to new and startup franchise operators. She offers such services as concept evaluation, strategic planning, recruitment, branding and coaching and mentoring.

The panel will be moderated by John Hille, vice president for marketing and advancement at Juniata. In addition, three area entrepreneurs will participate in the panel. John Eastman, a Huntingdon resident, owns three area McDonald's franchises. Don Schultz recently opened a Sears store in Huntingdon featuring appliances, hardware and lawn and garden equipment. Paul Schouppe, a Stroudsburg, Pa. resident, owns and operates two Computer Renaissance (a computer reseller) stores in Stroudsburg, Pa.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public.

Those interested in global and national economics can also attend a lecture by New York Times economic correspondent Edmund Andrews at 5 p.m., Feb. 24 in Alumni Hall in Brumbaugh Academic Center. Andrews has been covering the current economic and banking crisis from the Times' Washington, D.C. bureau, and is currently writing about the ongoing economic and fiscal policies of the Obama administration.

Joan Painter started her business career in food service and restaurant and hotel management. She began her franchise-based business experience with Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream by managing and operating company-owned stores. She also assessed and evaluated all franchise services for the company before franchisees joined the company. In addition, she helped company franchisees with licensing, recruitment, field consulting, legal services and other services.

She is a Certified Franchise Executive and is a member of the American Bar Association's Forum on Franchising. She also is a member of the International Franchise Association.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.