November 14, 2018

PBA Honors Three Local Business Leaders on Free Enterprise Day

PBA News

American Free Enterprise Day has been an event at Palm Beach Atlantic since 1984 and honors individuals whose hard work and achievement exemplify the best of the American free enterprise system.

Joseph Anderton is executive vice president and one of the founding partners of Bass Underwriters, Inc. headquartered in South Florida. Bass Underwriters is an MGA, a managing general agent that offers specialty products including commercial and personal insurance lines. The company is driven by relationships, not statistics. Agents are the company’s priority, and “How can we serve you?” is the company’s attitude.

Anderton grew up in Oil City, Pennsylvania, the seventh of eight siblings. He moved to South Florida after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He has been a board member and swim coach with South Florida HEAT [Home Educators Athletic Team]. The organization works with homeschooling families to grow tomorrow’s servant-leaders through learning and applying life lessons from the competitive interscholastic athletic arena.

Anderton and his wife, Amy, serve on the Parents Council for Palm Beach Atlantic University. They live in Sea Ranch Lakes, Florida, and have five children, including PBA students Windsor Anderton and Ainsley Elizabeth Anderton Monda. They are members of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

John Crossman is the president and chief executive officer of the Crossman & Company, one of the Southeast’s largest retail leasing, management and investment sales firms, with over 28 million square feet of properties in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. The firm recently expanded into Virginia and Mississippi. 

He serves on numerous community, higher education and industry boards and has been recognized with many awards including Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association, the Personal Empowerment Award by The Central Florida Urban League, the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year Award by The African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, and Orlando Business Journal’s 2018 CEO of the Year. Crossman is an active speaker and writer on a national scale, and he has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Shopping Centers Today, Shopping Center Business and CBS News Radio.

Prior to joining Crossman & Company, he was a principal at Trammell Crow Company, where he led their Retail Council, which worked to advance the nationwide retail strategy. In his 25-plus year career, he has done over $1 billion in transactions. Together with his brother, Scott, they have built Crossman & Company into one of the industries most respected and thriving commercial real estate firms. He recently authored a book, “Career Killers, Career Builders,” based on his popular lecture series.

Damien Simmons is the owner/manager of Atlantis Pharmacy. He started his pharmacy career as a teenager, sweeping the floors at the local newly started Publix pharmacy. At the time, pharmacy for Publix was in its infancy. Simmons learned the pharmacy business under the guidance of both Publix district supervisor and pharmacy manager. Simmons’ passion for the patients and for pharmacy was the catalyst that fueled his ambition to become a pharmacist and make pharmacy his life-long career.

Simmons attended Nova Southeastern College of Pharmacy, where he led his fellow students as president of the class. Upon graduating with a doctorate degree in Pharmacy, he became pharmacy manager of the Publix store where he had worked since he was a teenager. Simmons recently branched out on a business endeavor with the opening of Atlantis Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy located next to JFK Hospital. 

In addition, Simmons is a preceptor for the Gregory School of Pharmacy students and community resident. He also conducts customized presentations to local nursing homes, schools and doctor’s offices. Within the last few years, Simmons was appointed to the position of vice president of the Palm Beach County Pharmacy Association.


Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in West Palm Beach, Orlando and online. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service.

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