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2016 IFA Convention brings near-record crowd to San Antonio.

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The 2016 IFA Annual Convention featured a number of speakers, sessions, educational opportunities, awards, a leadership change at the head of the association, a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the VetFran program and a number of other networking events. The convention drew more than 3,400 attendees to San Antonio from Feb. 20-23. In addition to this article, there are more images and videos online of the event. View more photos on IFA's Facebook page (facebook.com/IFA. DC) and Twitter feed (twitter.com/franchising411), and watch the State of the Association video on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=da2dpFjS87A&feature=youtu.be). It's not too early to make plans for #IFA2017, scheduled to take place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, 2017. We'll see you there!

Leadership

MULTI-BRAND FRANCHISEE AZIZ HASHIM BECOMES IFA CHAIR

Aziz Hashim, managing partner of NRD Capital Management based in Atlanta, Ga., took the gavel from Melanie Bergeron, CFE, chairwoman of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK International, to become the 2016 Chair of the IFA Board of Directors during #IFA2016. As a long-standing IFA member, advocate and mentor to the franchise industry at large, Hashim has held many leadership positions in the association throughout his career. Fie has served on the board since 2011, taking on a variety of other roles, including serving on the Franchisee Forum and chairing the Strategic Planning Committee and the Convention Committee. Joining Hashim in the IFA leadership for 2016 are: Vice Chair Shelly Sun, CFE, co-founder and CEO of BrightStar Care; Treasurer Liam Brown, Marriott International vice president of Lodging Development Select Service and Extended Stay Brands; and Secretary David Barr, chairman of PMTD Restaurants. In addition, 11 new franchise professionals have joined the board for 2016:

* John Draper, CEO, Viridian Group

* Ed Conklin, Senor Director and Chief of Staff, Global Government and Public Affairs, McDonald's

* Tariq Farid, Founder and CEO, Edible Arrangements International

* Sherri Fishman, President & Co-Founder, Fishman PR

* Mike Hickey, EVP & President of Global Institutional for Ecolab, Inc.

* Roy Jackson, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Industry Affairs, Coca-Cola North America, Foodservice and On Premise Division

* David McKinnon, Senior Advisor at the Dwyer Group

* John Rotche, CEO, TITLE Boxing International

* Charles Stempler, AlphaGraphics multiunit franchisee.

* Jeffrey Tews, BrightStar Care and Mr. Handyman multi-unit franchisee,

* Simone Wu, SVP, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & External Affairs, Choice Hotels International

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CRESANTI: RAISE OUR COLLECTIVE VOICES

During the Opening General Session, IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE, noted the importance of telling "the real story" of franchising as the government continues to press forward with redefining joint employer and other anti-franchising legislation. "We are never going to be able to match the hundreds of millions of dollars that our opponents have to spend, but we can match them with our voices and our actions," he said. "We need to raise our collective voices!"

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Keynote Speakers

Four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal (Ret.), former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan, and former leader of the Joint Special Operations Command, delivered the keynote during the Opening General Session at #IFA2016. His speech followed presentations from U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras- Sweet, IFA Chair Melanie Bergeron, CFE, chairwoman of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK International, Gordon B. Logan, IFA VetFran Committee Chair and founder/CEO of Sport Clips Haircuts, and IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti. "What's the most important thing in your organization? People," McChrystal said. "Two-thirds of job growth is coming from the small business community," added Contreras-Sweet. Other presentations throughout the convention included Mark Lindsay, consultant with the Livingston Group, and Sheryl Connelly, manager of Global Trends and Futuring for Ford Motor Company, who ended out the convention at the Closing General Session. Connelly helped attendees prepare for the unknown, providing expertise and strategies necessary for effectively anticipating change.

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Franchising gives back

More than 60 IFA member volunteers and staff gathered at the Warrior and Family Support Center (WFSC), part of the Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio for the annual Franchising Gives Back Volunteer Activity. The WFSC provides coordinated services to patients, next-of-kin and extended family members with a primary focus on Wounded Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Warriors. Franchising Gives Back volunteers helped to maintain the surrounding grounds of the facility. VetFran Program Manager George Eldridge said the project had a "direct, positive impact on today's military members and their families. It was a way to say thank you to those families that continue to make a great sacrifice every day for our nation.

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FOUNDATION

FOUNDATION GRADUATES LARGEST CFE CLASS EVER

During #IFA2016 in San Antonio, 167 franchise executives achieved a CFE designation from the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives (ICFE). The largest class of graduates ever includes IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE. Gail Johnson, CFE, ICFE Chair and founder of Rainbow Station, urged other IFA members to sign-up, stating that "not only does the CFE program support continued professional development and adherence to the highest standards in franchising, it is also a wonderful way to form valuable relationships." More than 2,000 executives are currently participating in the CFE program. At the closing session, Mindi Larson, director of Franchise Relations for MODE, received the Irl Marshall CFE Scholarship award, which is presented annually to up-and-coming franchise executives. Learn more about becoming a CFE by visiting franchise.org/cfe-home.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS COMPETE IN 'FRAN-SHARK' EVENT

The NextGen in Franchising Global Competition took center stage during #lFA2016 with the first-ever "Fran-Shark" event. Jai Hobbs of Paleo Cafe (Australia), Katleen Jeanty of Madan Belfwi Fruit Mixes (Haiti) and Carmelo Marsala of Spray-Net (Canada) pitched their businesses to a panel of Fran-Shark judges and 3,000 convention attendees, who then voted to select the top winner. Marsala took first place, which included a $10,000 cash prize, and Jeanty and Hobbs each received a $5,000 prize. The judges also awarded a $5,000 prize to Victor Mhango, for a social enterprise franchise, Ziweto Agrovet Shops (Malawi). View a list of all NextGen winners and find out more at nextgenfranchising.org.

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DOC COHEN RECEIVES FOUNDATION'S HIGHEST HONOR

During the IFA Convention, the Foundation presented its William Rosenberg Foundation Leadership Award to Lawrence "Doc" Cohen, CFE, president of Doc & Associates, for his years of industry service as IFA's Treasurer and Chairman, and Foundation Chairman. During acceptance remarks, Cohen encouraged IFA members to "dream big" with him and make donations to support many foundation programs, including NextGen in Franchising, VetFran, DiversityFran, Franchising Gives Back, and critical industry research. Cohen announced that the Board of Trustees has adopted a new name for the foundation--the Franchise Education and Research Foundation--with plans to launch a new website and awareness-building campaign in the spring.

FOUNDATION ENGAGES PWC TO PREPARE ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

The Franchise Education and Research Foundation announced during the IFA Annual Convention that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) will prepare the Economic Impact of Franchised Businesses, Vol. IV, based on recently released 2012 Economic Census data and other sources. Available later this year, the study will combine Census figures with other data to show the total (direct, indirect, and induced) economic impact of franchised businesses, including information on the growth of franchise businesses between 2007 and 2012, with breakdowns by industry categories, states and congressional districts.

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FOUNDATION DONORS BRING COLLEGE STUDENTS TO CONVENTION

Foundation donors provided scholarships for college students to participate in the NextGen Franchising Accelerator program during #IFA2016 and continue their studies after the convention. This year's scholarship winners are: The Doc Cohen Scholarship--Samuel Flendren, Arizona State University; The DECA/Don DeBolt Scholarship--Jocelyn Galicia, Wichita State University; The Choice Flotels Scholarship--Alesia Pickney, Flampton University, and Megan M. Miller, Florida State University; The Bainum Fund Scholarship--Breanna Davies, SUNY Broome Community College and Samantha Duignan, Johnson & Wales University; The Marriott Foundation Scholarship--Rory Agosto, Kaua'i Community College, Andrew J. McCotte, Western Michigan University, and Morgan Riddick, Hampton University.

Awards & Honors

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Mike and Marian Hitch, founders and owners of Little Caesars Pizza, were named to the IFA Hall of Fame, the association's highest honor. The Hall of Fame Award is the oldest and most prestigious award conferred by the IFA and is presented to an IFA member who exemplifies the best of franchising and has made significant contributions to the advancement of franchising and the franchising community Chris Ilitich (right), president and CEO of Itlitch Holdings, accepts the award on behalf of his parents during #IFA2016.

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The 2015 IFA Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award winner is Rick Davidson, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate. With more than 25 years of experience in the real estate industry, Davidson has always aimed to help people of all backgrounds be successful in real estate either as independent sales professionals or as home buyers or sellers, particularly veterans and persons from multicultural communities.

Sun Holdings President and CEO Guillermo Perales received the 2015 IFA Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Sun Holdings is a multi-unit franchisee of Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Krispy Kreme, Arby's, Golden Corral, Cici's Pizza, and T-Mobile. Perales is the eighth largest franchisee, as well as the largest Hispanic franchisee, in the U.S. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is given to a visionary who is willing to take risks and who possesses the management skills necessary to create a successful franchising business enterprise. See more about Guillermo Perales on page 13.

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IFA presented Therese Thilgen, co-founder and president of Franchise Update Media Group, with the 2015 Bonny LeVine Award. Throughout her career, Thilgen has focused on expanding business and leadership opportunities for women within the franchising community. Thilgen strives to provide female franchisees with strong mentors and other networking and professional resources to help them develop their leadership skills.

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IFA awarded its second annual Franchise Action Network "FAN of the Year" Award to Mara Fortin of Northing Bundt Cakes in San Diego, Calif. Fortin has worked vigorously to protect, promote and enhance the franchise industry through IFA's grassroots advocacy program over the last year. In September 2015, Fortin testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce to express her concerns with the redefinition of joint employer, and led a press conference comprised of small business owners that spoke to members of Congress on Capitol Hill about the issues facing their business during the Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

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The IFA Women's Franchise Committee presented the Crystal Compass Award to Amy Cheng, partner at Cheng Cohen, on Saturday during #IFA2016. The annual award is given to an individual within the franchise community who epitomizes the ideals of leadership. Cheng is an active participant with the IFA Legal Symposium, serving as Task Force Chair for 2015-2016 and Vice Chair for 2013-2014. Under Cheng's leadership, the 2015 Legal Symposium received an overall conference evaluation score of 97.4 percent, up from 92.9 percent the previous year, with a score over 94 percent in each of the five categories evaluated, which has not been achieved since 2010.

Philip Zeidman, senior partner at DLA Piper and IFA general counsel, is the first recipient of the IFA Dennis Wieczorek Free Enterprise Award. The award recognizes a person or organization that has contributed extensively to advancing franchising and the free enterprise system. When it comes to the evolution of franchising, from the post-World War II boom to the present time, no one has written, lectured, and counseled more on the subject than Philip Zeidman. During this time, Zeidman has served as general counsel to IFA and special counsel to the Japan Franchise Association.

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Sessions

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MINI SUPER SESSIONS AMONG CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS

During the Mini Super Sessions, attendees learned from three of the industry's most dynamic speakers and franchising experts. Former NBA athlete Walter Bond (shown here) spoke about how to build teams and franchise harmony within a system. Mike Wien, franchising academic advisor and adjunct professor of marketing at Georgia State University's School of Hospitality, and founder of the Specific Edge Institute, offered tips on developing messages relevant to various market segments. Dr. Jan Ferri-Reed, president of KEYGroup, discussed the how-to, insightful perspectives and practical tools to lead a multi-generational talent pool.

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Networking

Visitors to #IFA2016 walked through the exhibit hall (1), which featured 356 booths, to solidify partnerships and look for franchise opportunities. This year's IFA Convention featured a new format for networking, with the Franchise Bash (2 and 3) and the Franchise Buzz (4). Both events offered live entertainment and a number of other special features. Other networking events included the Prayer Breakfast (5) and the popular Business Solution Roundtables (6).

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Title Annotation:International Franchise Association
Comment:2016 IFA Convention brings near-record crowd to San Antonio.(International Franchise Association)
Publication:Franchising World
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Apr 1, 2016
Words:2168
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