“Franchising is back!”

That’s what IFA Chairman of the Board Kenneth Walker, chairman and CEO of Driven Brands said to attendees of IFA’s 51st Annual Convention at the Opening General Session & Luncheon Monday afternoon.

After Walker’s opening comments, Lawrence “Doc” Cohen, a franchising legend and “everyone’s favorite cookie man” who has been a lively and well-loved member of the industry for years became the first franchisee to receive the Hall of Fame Award.

Doc, as he’s known by all, president of DOC & Associates and a Great American Cookies Franchisee, joined the ranks of franchise legends such as Ray Kroc, Colonel Sanders and Dave Thomas.

“This may be one of the toughest talks I’ve given,” said Doc as he teared up and prepared to accept the award, “but if the speaker of the house can cry then what the hell.”

He made it through the speech and concluded by saying “I had help from lots of people who were willing to be bridge builders” and thanking those folks and expressing his gratitude.

Posted by Brooke Howell, IFA SmartBrief editor