Franchising Boot Camp: Day One Recap




Friday, April 26th – The air on campus was lively and celebratory as NFLPE welcomed 30 players and spouses to the first NFL Franchising Boot Camp in scenic Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Ross School of Business. Named for Miami Dolphins owner and real estate magnate, Stephen M. Ross (a University of Michigan alum), the Ross School is also home to Professor Francine Lafontaine – one of the foremost academic authorities on the franchising business model.

After arriving from all over the country to attend the program, players and as another PE first -NFL spouses - settled into the evening and gathered into the sleek and architecturally stunning business school to learn about things to come over the weekend from Melanie Barnett, Chief Executive Education Officer and Professor Lafontaine, who painstakingly crafted the program along with the renowned International Franchise Association (IFA). During introductory remarks from the NFL, players were encouraged to take risks and network heavily during the event; soaking up as much knowledge as possible.

The evening took hold when Owner and Founder of the 29th NFL Franchise, the Carolina Panthers – Jerry Richardson walked into the audience to share his sage wisdom and amazing story of rising from an NFL player following his 1959 World Championship with the Baltimore Colts (with just $5,000 in winnings) to the rarefied ranks of NFL Owner.  Mr. Richardson parlayed his initial prize money into an empire of hundreds of Hardee’s franchises, which would eventually become a holding company he named Spartan. That very company would also make history as thefirst South Carolina company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange…a tactic he used to inspire and invigorate his employees about the importance of their jobs and value of self.

Mr. Richardson, displaying true Southern humility and generosity, took time for questions, photo ops, built relationships and inspired the very players and spouses he holds dear before returning to his own team and owner responsibilities during the hectic 2013 Draft Week. The Panthers’ Owner left attendees in utter awe of his legacy of honorably weaving business and athleticstogether along with his own unwavering ethos and high-value of “treating people with respect, running your own business, continuously inspiring your employees daily and choosing the right spouse/partner.”

Franchising has been a hot trending topic in the pro sports business news section recently with landmark franchise purchases from Peyton Manning (Papa John’s), Troy Aikman (Dunkin’ Donuts) and other pro athletes.  The NFL created the program to meet growing player interest in the world of franchising – and from a duty (as with all professional development events) to provide education on the space and give players the best tools and resources possible to succeed. As with all other aspects of entrepreneurship – franchising is by no means a guarantee in the business world – but PE felt that Gridiron greats were up to the challenge; given their intelligence, drive and systematic ability to follow complex playbooks to gain the wins. Read more

IFA Continues Immigration Reform Listening Tour with Business Leaders in Arizona

CIR AZ roundtable photo

Franchise industry leaders held a roundtable discussion on the topic of franchising’s role in the economy and the impact the recently introduced immigration reform bill could have on franchise businesses today at the Westin Kierland Hotel & Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., in conjunction with the Restaurant Leadership Conference, a gathering of 1,700 restaurant industry participants.

IFA Pres. & CEO Steve Caldeira opened the roundtable by reacting to the recently introduced immigration reform bill by saying, “the Senate Gang of Eight bill includes many of the priorities of the IFA’s goals for immigration reform, including a mandatory e-verify system and a new W-visa program that allows employers to access foreign workers for lesser-skilled jobs, but only after Americans have had the opportunity to fill those jobs first.”

“We see the pendulum swinging on this issue in the direction of having more positions available than we can fill with workers right now, even with a still relatively high rate of unemployment,” said Don Fox, President of Firehouse Subs.

It isn’t just restaurants that are facing difficulties finding workers to fill the forecasted demand for growth in their franchise businesses. Peter Tourian, the founder and CEO of SYNERGY home care, part of the growing non-medical in-home care industry, said immigration reform can help fuel the necessary demand for workers in his growing enterprise. “With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 everyday, the demand for non-skilled care in our industry will continue to grow as this industry grows in the coming years.”

One of the priorities of IFA’s immigration agenda is the inclusion of a federal e-verify system that protects employers who may unknowingly hire illegal employees as a result of worker fraud. Several of the roundtable participants shared their concerns with the current e-verify program, which is mandatory in Arizona and would be mandatory nationwide as part of the Gang of Eight bill.

“There must be safeguards in e-verify to ensure that companies like mine who do the right thing by hiring legal workers are not held liable due to shortfalls in the system,” said Scott Novis, founder and CEO of GameTruck Licensing.

Aslam Khan, the largest franchisee of Church’s Chicken, implemented e-verify at his restaurants last year. “We want to do the right thing and hire legal workers, but as a result we lost many of our best workers who came back as undocumented.”


The event was part of IFA’s integrated advocacy campaign taking place across the country to ensure the franchise industry’s voice is heard in the immigration reform debate. Participants in the Arizona roundtable included Don Fox, CEO, Firehouse Subs, Aslam Khan, CEO, Falcon Holdings (Church’s Chicken, Jack in the Box, Long John Silver, A&W and Schlotzsky’s franchisee), Scott Novis, CEO, GameTruck Licensing, Eddie Goitia, CFO, Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery, Steve Chavez, Senior VP of Franchise Operations, Native New Yorker Franchising and Peter Tourian, CEO, SYNERGY HomeCare.

App for FranSocial Now Available




Now you can have FranSocial with you anytime via the MemberCentric App.  MemberCentric is available for Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Kindle Fire. Users of other mobile devices can access the app through their mobile browser. MemberCentric allows you to find and connect with other members; receive the latest professional news; and view IFA events all from your smartphone or mobile device. MemberCentric is pre-populated with all of your contact information to save you set-up time.


Features include:

  • Discussions/Community- Collaborate with other members and get answers to your questions. All of the groups that you are subscribed to on FranSocial are available via MemberCentric.
  • People- Get quick access to your fellow IFA members. Search the directory by first name, last name or company.
  • Inbox- Access FranSocial messages
  • Events- View upcoming IFA seminars, conferences and committee meetings.
  • Announcements- View IFA announcements.
  • News- View the IFA’s latest industry news and Franchising411 feed.

Follow these directions to install MemberCentric

  1. Visit your device’s application store and search for the app named “MemberCentric” by Results Direct. 
    1. iTunes Store
    2. Google Play
    3. Amazon 
  2. Once downloaded, launch the application and search for “IFA FranSocial”. 
  3. Login using your FranSocial username (your email address) and password. You will remain logged into the app unless you specifically log out. You must be a member of IFA in order to use “MemberCentric.” 

21 Current and Former NFL Players Kick Off Franchising Boot Camp

A new NFL Franchising Boot Camp has attracted 21 NFL players to tackle all aspects of franchising during an April 26-29 session at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, Mich. NFL Player Engagement worked with the Ross School of Business and consulted with the International Franchise Association to design the program.

The 21 NFL players — 12 former players and nine active players, including 2013 Pro Bowlers Jahri Evans (New Orleans) and Russell Okung (Seattle) — will participate and hear from franchisees, franchisors, professors, former players and IFA executives about leveraging the resources and business practices related to franchise business ownership.  Carolina Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson, who spent more than three decades as a restaurant franchisee, will open the program as the keynote speaker.  Angelo Crowell, Don Davey, Tyoka Jackson and Jamal Lewis, former NFL players with franchise ownership experience, will share their viewpoints during panel discussions.

Continue reading

Veterans: Register for VetFran’s Focus on Franchising at McDonald’s Hamburger University

VetFran at Hamburger U

On May 10th VetFran is staging a daylong program for 150 veterans at McDonald’s Hamburger University outside Chicago.  The free program is designed to enable veterans to assess franchising and its opportunities and will cover the fundamentals of franchising, legal issues, and franchise finance.  Speakers will include industry leaders and Board members of the International Franchise Association

Please click here to register.

Download the Flyer

Featured speakers:

John Kujawa, (Coast Guard veteran) Vice President, Global Franchising, McDonald’s
Steve Caldeira, President and CEO, International Franchise Association
Marc Heuermann, (Illinois Air National Guard veteran), RadioShack franchisee
Richard J. Morey, General Counsel, International Franchise Association, Partner, DLA Piper
Michael Seid, (US Army veteran) CEO, MSA Worldwide and co-author of Franchising for Dummies (Wiley, 2006)
Mary Kennedy Thompson (USMC veteran), President, Mr. Rooter, former franchisee
Joe Lindenmayer (USMC veteran), President & COO, TSS Photography, IFA VetFran Chairman
Rich Bradshaw (USAF, USNR veteran), Senior Vice President of SBA Lending, TD Bank


10:00 Welcoming remarks and brief introduction to franchising (John Kujawa, Steve Caldeira)
10:15 – 10:30 A Veteran’s perspective (Marc Heuermann, RadioShack)
10:30 – 11:45 Franchise Finance 101 (Richard Bradshaw, SVP, SBA Lending, TD Bank)
11:45 to 12:15 Lunch
12:15- 2:30 Franchising 101 (Michael Seid, MSA Worldwide, Richard J. Morey, Partner DLA Piper)
2:30 – 3:30 VetFran and veterans in franchising (Joe Lindenmayer, President & CEO, TSS Photography, Mary Kennedy Thompson, President, Mr. Rooter)
3:30 Q&A
4:00 Adjourn

Veteran attendees will be able to join IFA as subscribers and get free admission to the International Franchise Expo.

To learn more pleas visit:



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