Explore Global Growth at the International Franchise Expo


The 2014 International Franchise Expo attracted 3,956 international visitors from 96 countries. Expectations of even bigger international numbers in 2015 give U.S. franchisors the chance to explore global growth without crossing a border.  The IFA sponsored Expo takes place June 18th to 20th, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City.

A key reason that nearly one in five attendees at this year’s Expo will be international is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP).  As an IBP certified event, the commercial sections of U.S. Embassies and Consulates recruit pre-screened international buyers to attend the Expo and meet with U.S exhibitors.  The International Buyer Program produced 38 investor delegations to the International Franchise Expo in 2014 alone.

International franchising now also means franchisors entering the US.  As franchisors from outside the U.S. grow in scale and sophistication, many target the largest franchise economy in the world for expansion, seeking to follow the footsteps of IFA members like, InterContinental Hotels, Kumon, BoConcept, Tim Horton’s, Cartridge World, Yogen Fruz and Pollo Campero.  The 2015 International Franchise Expo will include 53 international franchisor exhibitors from 20 countries, including pavilions from the Brazil, Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Educational programs related to international franchising enhance the value of participating.  Many of these educational sessions are for CFE credit.  Internationally oriented Seminars and Symposia at this year’s Expo include:

  • Master Franchising – Why do Some Succeed and Others Struggle
  • The Use of Master Franchising, Domestically and Internationally
  • Global Franchise Expansion:  Strategies for Lucrative & Planned Growth
  • An Overview of Key U.S. Trends and Regulatory Issues for International Franchisors
  • Strategies for Franchising into the U.S. Market
  • Navigating the US Marketplace
  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program – Tool for Franchise Network Expansion

To learn more and participate visit: http://www.ifeinfo.com/


IFA Leaders Support the Growth of Franchising in Pakistan


Aziz Hashim, Phil Zeidman and Aslam Khan prepare to broadcast from the U.S. State Department

On March 2nd, IFA in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Commerce presented a video webinar on franchising for the business community in Pakistan to support economic development.

Aziz Hashim, Managing Partner, NRD Capital and IFA Vice Chair opened the webinar and introduced to listeners to franchising.  Phil Zeidman, Senior Partner, DLA Piper and IFA General Counsel followed by sharing an overview of franchise law.  Aslam Khan, CEO of Falcon Holdings related his journey from employee in the American Club in Islamabad to success as a franchisee in the U.S.

The U.S. Government worked with chambers of commerce and other business groups in Pakistan to promote the webinar and hosted groups in Karachi and Islamabad to watch the webinar live.  The webinar will be used on an ongoing basis for franchise education in Pakistan.  It will also serve as a recruiting tool for a Pakistan Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) program delegation that will visit New York during the June 2015 International Franchise Expo.

Watch the webinar below.

Leaders in Franchising

Now that the successful IFA Annual Convention is concluded, it’s a good time to pause and consider how great this industry is thanks to its many talented, dedicated and innovator leaders.  We heard them preside over educational sessions during the convention and read about them in issues of Franchising World magazine.  But what do we know about them before their prominent franchise careers?

Let’s look at just three.  Besides the impressive summary below of IFA’s 2015 Chairwoman Melanie Bergeron, CFE, did you know she had a career in pharmaceutical sales and in college she was a magician’s assistant?  Or did you know that IFA 2014 Chairman Steve Joyce (president and chairman of Choice Hotels International, Inc.) worked in restaurants from the time he was 12?   Or did you know that IFA Pres. and CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, began his career on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent?

The reasons behind the power of franchising are as numerous as its best and brightest franchisees, franchisors and suppliers!

Check out the #IFA2015 recap video!

IFA Chairman’s Snapshot — Melanie Bergeron, CFE

Current Posts/Achievements  

Chairwoman, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK/INTERNATIONAL, Inc., which has 298 domestic and 24 international locations.

Joined the family business in 1989 when she was awarded the first TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchise in Atlanta.

Joined the home office in Lansing, Mich. in the 1990s.

Named TWO MEN AND A TRUCK president in 1994.

Became chief operating officer in 2002.

Assumed role of CEO in 2007.

Named chairwoman in 2009.

 Previous Posts

Career in pharmaceutical sales.

IFA Involvement

Member, IFA board of directors since 2008, holding such posts as Vice Chairwoman (2014), Treasurer (2013), Secretary (2012).

Chairwoman, Convention Committee (2014)

First Vice Chairwoman, Educational Foundation Executive Committee (2013-2014) and member since 2008; First Vice Chairwoman Educational Foundation Board of Trustees (2014).

Secretary, ICFE Board of Governors (2006-2011) and member since 2001.

Member, Franchisor Forum Advisory Board since 2006.

Member, FranPAC Advisory Committee since 2004.

Member, International Committee and International Interest Group since 2014.

Community/Business Organizations  

Member, Young Presidents Association.

Member, Central Michigan University Dean’s Business Advisory Council.


Winner, 2009 IFA Bonny LeVine Award


Bachelor’s Degree, Marketing and Business Administration, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Mich.




Excellence Celebrated During IFA Annual Convention

The IFA Annual Convention celebrated numerous individuals for their outstanding and inspiring achievements.  Let’s look at them by the numbers:

 Four Major Awards

  • Steve Siegel, managing partner of Brookside Consulting, was inducted into the IFA Hall of Fame for his extraordinary contributions to franchising and to the franchise community.
  • Aslam Khan, CEO of Falcon Holdings and multi-unit franchisee of such brands as Church’s Chicken, Long John Silver’s and A&W, was named IFA Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • Yoshino Nakajima, chief development officer of Home Instead Senior Care, was honored as the recipient of IFA’s Bonny LeVine Award.
  • Rafael Alvarez, president, CEO and founder of ATAX Franchise, Inc., earned the IFA Ronald E. Harrison Award for accomplishments in diversity and inclusion.

 Two New Entries

  • The 50 winners of the first Young Entrepreneurs In Franchising Global Contest that was conducted as part of the first NextGen in Franchising Summit.
  • Catherine Monson, CFE, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, became the first annual FAN of the Year Award recipient for her tireless efforts to protect, promote and enhance the franchise industry through IFA’s grassroots advocacy program, the Franchise Action Network in 2014.

Highest Number of Recipients

That would be the more than 160 franchise executives and professionals who achieved Certified Franchise Executives™ program designation.

A Singular Crystal Experience

Mary Ann O’Connell, CFE, FranWise founder, earned the Crystal Compass for outstanding leadership from IFA’s Women’s Franchise Committee.

Sounds like the more than 3,800 IFA convention-goers who attended and had the opportunity to connect, innovate and evolve also had good reason to celebrate!




Senate HELP Committee Examines “Ambush” Election Rule

Yesterday the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) held a hearing titled “Ambushed: How the NLRB’s New Election Rule Harms Employers & Employees,” to discuss a controversial new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule to speed up union representation elections. In December the NLRB reissued a previously invalidated rule that dramatically decreased the amount of time employers and employees have to prepare for a union representation election. Many in the business community argue that the accelerated election schedule would prevent business owners from developing a complete response to a union proposal and compromise both workers’ privacy and ability to make an informed decision.

HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) strongly condemned the reissued rule. “I refer to this as the ‘ambush election rule,’ because it forces a union election before an employer has a chance to figure out what is going on” Alexander said in his opening statement. “Even worse, it jeopardizes employees’ privacy by requiring employers to turn over personal information including email addresses, phone numbers, shift hours and locations to union organizers. Today more than 95 percent of union elections occur within 56 days of the petition-filing. But under this new rule, elections could take place in as few as 11 days.”

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) echoed the Chairman’s concerns, adding “I would tell you that this rule is radical, it is ridiculous, and it is oppressive and it applies to all employers no matter how many employees you have… If there’s any sense of an ambush, as an employer trying to create jobs, help families, this rule stands front and center to that point.”

Earlier this year, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) filed a lawsuit to prevent the NLRB from implementing this new rule, which becomes effective on April 14. IFA sits on the management committee of CDW. A decision on the case is expected this spring.

Achieved video of the hearing, along with the witnesses’ testimony, can be found here.

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