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IFA board forges path to meet challenges, leverage opportunities: board agrees to intensify promotion of industry benefits to U.S. economy; FAN grassroots advocates pass 7,000 mark.

The IFA Board of Directors, the Franchisee Forum and the Supplier Forum gathered in Traverse City, Mich. June 15-17 for the 2015 Summer Board of Directors meeting. Chair Melanie Bergeron, CFE, chairwoman of the board, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, Intl., welcomed the attendees to Traverse City, a favorite spot near her home in Lansing. Nestled next to the Grand Traverse Bay, vineyards and forests, Traverse City provided a perfect setting for the board to address the many important issues facing the franchise industry.

Bergeron and IFA Vice Chair Aziz Hashim, managing partner of NRD Capital, set the stage by urging the board and staff to consider how IFA can be more proactive in promoting the positive aspects of franchising to the public, lawmakers, employees of franchise businesses and the media.

The board considered the attacks against the franchise model by the Service Employees International Union in its attempts at the local, state and federal levels to define franchisors and franchisee joint employers. The union's ultimate objective is to make it easier for the SEIU to organize employees at franchise businesses. IFA's Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy, Robert Cresanti, outlined the issues that are impacting the model and how IFA is addressing them, including actions by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, discriminatory minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act, comprehensive tax reform, immigration reform and a host of franchise relationship bills at the state level, including California and Maine.

IFA Senior Vice President of Media Relations & Public Affairs, Matt Haller, reported that the association's grassroots advocacy program, Franchise Action Network, which launched in July 2014, now has more than 7,000 participants who are working to fight back against those attempting to break the model and serve as advocates for bills and regulations that are pro-business and pro-franchising. The message of the new campaign tells the story that locally owned franchises are America's hidden small businesses behind the many familiar logos and trusted brands which seek to increase opportunity--not just for themselves--but also for their communities.

The new campaign includes advertising, educational events and grassroots advocacy that focuses on supporting pro-franchising policies in the states and at the federal level in Washington. To learn more visit www.franchiseactionnetwork.com.

"Franchising continues to grow, create jobs and career opportunities for millions of Americans," said Bergeron. "Entrepreneurs from across the country remain drawn to the franchise business model. We are building on that success by expanding our Franchise Action Network and bringing a strong, positive and pro-franchising message directly to policymakers. Franchise business owners are on the front lines of the economy and have valuable perspective to share."

IFA Mission:

Protect, enhance and promote franchising

IFA Vision:

The preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for franchising worldwide

IFA Strategic Priorities:

* Government relations and public policy

* Media and public relations

* Education and professional development

FORMER IFA FRANCHISEE FORUM CHAIRMAN BLOGS ABOUT ANNUAL MEETING

By John Francis

As a former chairman of the IFA Franchisee Forum, I had the privilege of attending last month's IFA Summer Board and Forum Meetings at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City, Michigan. While I was only there for a portion of the four-day event, my attendance allowed me to catch up with colleagues, meet some new people and stay current with some of the great things the IFA is involved in.

I've been involved with the IFA for a long time and have played a role in helping the organization further its mission of protecting, enhancing and promoting franchising. And while I'm proud to have done my part, I'm even more excited to see what they are doing today. With excellent leadership in place, and having grown in every way, the IFA is moving to a higher level by adding tremendous value and more engagement opportunities for everyone in the franchise industry.

To help achieve their goals, the IFA held a wine auction during the meeting, which raised over $200,000 to donate to the IFA's Political Action Committee, "FranPAC." These funds are critical to the IFA's legislative work in Washington, D.C., which is becoming increasingly important as minimum wage regulations and issues related to the National Relations Labor Board threaten our industry. The involvement in Washington D.C. is a big deal; by showing up and representing the franchising community, the IFA pushes back against issues that could potentially hurt franchisees.

(Read the full blog at http://johnwfrancis.com/the-2015-ifa-summer-board-meeting/)

Alisa Harrison is senior vice president, communications and marketing, and chief of staff to the president and CEO for the International Franchise Association. Find her at fransocial.franchise.org.
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Title Annotation:LEADERSHIP
Comment:IFA board forges path to meet challenges, leverage opportunities: board agrees to intensify promotion of industry benefits to U.S. economy; FAN grassroots advocates pass 7,000 mark.(LEADERSHIP)
Author:Harrison, Alisa
Publication:Franchising World
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Aug 1, 2015
Words:769
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