Looking ahead 2002. (Chairman's Column).
I suppose I'm not unlike any other chairman blessed with the opportunity and honor to lead an organization--you never feel as if you accomplished everything you set out to do. And that's fine. If we did somehow manage to complete our "to-do" list, I would suspect we had set our sights too low and lacked ambition. I hope we never run out of things to do, and I hope there's never enough time to do them.
Nonetheless, the IFA can look back on this past year with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Among some of the more noteworthy achievements are the launch of an ombudsman program and significant progress toward enhanced self-regulation, including a revised code of ethics and a streamlined enforcement mechanism. I hope we appreciate the dedicated efforts of the people within the franchise industry who worked hard to make these accomplishments a reality.
Today the world of franchising is faced with unprecedented challenges and opportunities. The events of the past year illustrated our resilience and tested our resolve as an industry and as a people. Clearly, much remains to be accomplished. I hope we can continue to work in a spirit of cooperation to address the issues facing our industry and to create one forum, worldwide, where the diverse elements of business format franchising can enjoy a safe, honest and fair hearing for their thoughts, ideas and concerns.
Looking ahead, I will leave the chairman's position in excellent care with Steve Siegel of Watermark Donuts. Steve is a Dunkin' Donuts franchisee whose leadership is an historic milestone that illustrates the inclusive nature of the IFA. In order for the IFA to continue its mission of serving as the worldwide voice of franchising, we must continue to focus on creating a shared sense of vision and values within the franchise community. I hope everyone extends to Steve the same outstanding support I enjoyed as chairman.
In February, the franchising community will come together in Orlando for the IFA's 42nd annual convention: "Fulfilling the Dream." The convention task force has developed a program that focuses on what is important to you in today's franchise marketplace. I hope you will join us as we continue to realize the dream of Bill Rosenberg and 19 other business owners who created the IFA as a means to improve the operating climate for franchise companies.
Wherever the road leads us personally and professionally over the coming months, I hope that all of us will periodically take time to ask ourselves, "What am I doing to make a positive difference in the world?" Now, more than ever, the world needs wise men and women who seek truth and choose to lead lives of significance. Like wise people through the ages, we have been given an opportunity to look into the future and to control our destiny; we have been given an opportunity to choose good over evil.
Finally, let us never forget the lessons learned on September 11. I hope we remember to honor the sanctity of family and the importance of friendship in life and in business. I hope the year ahead will bring many blessings your way and a deeper appreciation for God's abundant gifts.
James H. Amos Jr., CFE President and CEO Mail Boxes Etc.