IFA launches 50th anniversary promotion with new logo design.Then a small group of entrepreneurs gathered in Chicago in 1959 to discuss their concerns about the future of franchising, their world was changing at a breakneck pace. The United States and the Soviet Union were going toe-to-toe in a Cold War that would continue for decades. The Race for Space was two years old. John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon met for the first televised political debate. The world's population was half the size of today's 6 billion figure. A postage stamp cost four cents. The Super Bowl was six years away and Bill Gates was getting ready to start the first grade.
"But these business visionaries were facing serious challenges right at the doorsteps of their own operations. They could foresee great challenges ahead for their own livelihoods, franchised systems which were being threatened by an atmosphere of fear spawned by a handful of unscrupulous deal makers. They had no doubt that the heavy hand of big government would come crashing down on their enterprises if they did nothing to rein in the wheeler-dealers.
"Throwing down the gauntlet, one of the business owners, Dunkin' Donuts founder Bill Rosenberg slapped a $100 bill on the meeting table and issued a challenge: "What we need is an association!' They all agreed. Wallets were opened, pledges were made and from that meager beginning, the International Franchise Association sprang to life with a goal that would ultimately broaden to its current mission: "to enhance and safeguard the business environment for franchisees and franchisors worldwide."
From The History of the International Franchise Association
These words were written in January 2000 by then-International Franchise Association Chairwoman JoAnne Shaw, CFE, president of The Coffee Beanery Ltd., in the prologue of the history published in conjunction with the association's 40th anniversary. These words tell the story of how IFA was founded and they are appropriate today as the organization gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
This historic mark provides an important opportunity to recognize the many contributions the association has made to the growth and development of the franchising industry, and to continue raising the awareness of franchising among policy elites.
To develop a marketing and promotion proposal, a task force of IFA members representing several committees was formed. The group is led by Lawn Doctor Vice Pres. of Marketing and Franchise Development Scott Frith, CFE, and chairman of IFA's Marketing and Public Relations Committee. Other committee members include Henry Wurst, Inc. Central Region Sales Dir. Stephanie Colgan, Sarah Adult Day Services Vice Pres. of Franchise Development Lori Shaffron, St. Jacques Franchise Brand Marketing Managing Partner Philip St. Jacques, and Back Yard Burgers Chairman Reid Zeising.
Other representatives include Tasti D-Lite Chairman and CEO James H. Amos Jr., CFE, (Past Chairman's Council), FranNet Pres. and COO Jania Bailey, CFE, (Membership Committee), Dunkin' Brands Senior Dir. of Operations/Core and Growth Market Nancy Bigley, CFE, (Information Technology Committee), Jani-King International Pres. Jerry L. Crawford, CFE, (IFA Educational Foundation), PostNet of Minn. and Wis. Area Franchisee John W. Francis (Franchisee Forum), Cinnabon Pres. Geoff Hill, CFE, (Convention Committee), and Hot Dish Advertising Pres. Dawn Kane (Supplier Forum).
Centering around the themes of 50 years of excellence, 50 years of education, 50 years of relationship building and 50 years of advocacy, IFA will promote the anniversary with special coverage in Franchising World, through its advocacy efforts including the public awareness campaign, celebrations during the 50th annual convention in February and other special programs and events. All activities will feature a new mark designed to coincide with the new IFA logo, which was launched in 2008. The mark, designed by Hot Dish Advertising, will be used in all IFA program and promotional materials beginning this month and continuing through 2011.
To help IFA celebrate its 50th anniversary, readers are urged to share remembrances of key moments in IFA history and thoughts on the next 50 years to the e-mail address: IFA50th@franchise.org.
Alisa Harrison is vice president of communications and marketing for the International Franchise Association. She can be reached at email@example.com.