As cooler fall temperatures rolled in to the nation's capital, so too did just over 500 members of the franchising community Sept. 15-16 to participate in the international franchise association's annual congressional fly-in hosted at the JW Marriott hotel. supported by founding sponsor ADP small business services, franchise appreciation day: IFA's public affairs conference, convened just around the corner from the white house in conjunction with IFA's fall leadership and board of director meetings.
The attendees got down to business immediately during roundtable discussions with experienced lobbyists who shared important tips about conducting effective meetings with members of Congress. IFA Chairman Steve Greenbaum, CFE, welcomed the crowd, then the IFA Government Relations staff provided an informational political update and briefing on the key issues facing the industry, including union organizing efforts and federal tax policy. ADP Small Business Services' Vice Pres. of Business Development John Gregory also addressed the audience providing his insight on successful work force management.
The rigors of Day One were rewarded with some fun and relaxation during a reception sponsored by Dunkin' Brands. Capping off the evening was a leadership dinner where top-performing franchisees from nearly 50 different franchise systems were honored as Franchisees of the Year. The awards, sponsored by ADP Small Business Services and provided by Awardcraft, were presented to the winners by Franchisee Forum Chairman John Francis, Chairman Greenbaum and ADP Vice Pres. of Strategic Alliances James J. Neve.
Day Two kicked off with a state delegation breakfast, sponsored by Valpak, where attendees prepared for their meetings with their representatives on Capitol Hill. Three companies were honored for their support of Franchise Appreciation Day: UPS won the MVP Award for overall support of IFA; FOCUS Brands won the All Star Award for bringing the most system attendees; and The Little Gym International won the Silver Slugger Award for the most system attendees participating in the FranPAC dinner.
To aid in last-minute preparations for Capitol Hill visits were U.S. Reps. Melissa L. Bean (D-Ill.) and Michael J. Rogers (R-Mich.) whose advice resonated among the franchising community representatives. Also of significance was a ceremony honoring U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.) as the IFA Legislator of the Year in recognition of her efforts to support franchise-friendly legislation.
But the excitement was just beginning. Keynote speaker CNN political strategist Paul Begala highlighted the road to the upcoming presidential election with an animated analysis of the candidates and what it will take to become this country's next commander in chief. Then the delegations of franchisees, franchisors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill fully prepared with talking points and sporting large buttons which read "21 M JOBS" in recognition of the jobs made possible by franchising. The delegates took part in more than 200 appointments with members of Congress and staff and their camaraderie helped them add volume to the "Voice of Franchising" throughout the marbled halls of Congress and deliver messages about the economic importance of franchising.
After trekking the winding halls of the colossal congressional offices and navigating the grid of streets and buildings on the Capitol grounds, attendees finished off the evening with a congressional reception in the storied House Ways and Means Committee Room where they were joined by nearly a dozen members of Congress for some social interaction.
The association's political action committee, FranPAC, gained more than $30,000 in contributions which will benefit franchise-friendly political candidates in their election efforts. A FranPAC dinner at contemporary hot-spot Central Michel Richard satisfied the hungry palates of 100 attendees and raised $22,000, while a wine auction generated $10,000. Winners of the auction included Kay Marie Ainsley, CFE, Michael H. Seid and Associates; Jack Earle, Earle Enterprises dba McDonald's; and John Hayes, Home Vestors of America.
With the commanding presence of the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, proximity of the White House and views of the Washington Monument, the event generated much excitement among FAD participants throughout the duration of the two days. The audible buzz around town about the intense presidential election also made the experience even more memorable.
Next year's event, scheduled Sept. 1415, will be an equally important opportunity to connect with Congress. Visit Franchise.org for more details.
New Members Elected to IFA Board
The IFA Board of Directors, during its fall meeting held in conjunction with Franchise Appreciation Day, elected six new members who will begin terms of service in 2009. They include Marriott International Executive Vice President of Lodging and Development Liam Brown, Dunkin' Brands Chief Global Communications and Public Affairs Officer Steve Caldeira, Candy Bouquet International Owner-Founder Margaret McEntire, United Financial Services President and CEO Rocco Fiorentino, CFE, PostNet of Minnesota and Wisconsin Owner John Francis, and Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator Keith Singletary.
FRANCHISE APPRECIATION DAY PARTICIPANTS
King Aiken, FOCUS Brands Inc.
Kay Marie Ainsley, CFE, Michael H. Seid & Associates
Bage Anderson, E.H. Anderson Public Relations
Bill Anderson, CFE, UPS Store of Philadelphia, Pa.
Ken Avery, Aire Serv of Groat Peaks, Colo.
Cynthia Aycock, CFE, Two Men And A Truck International, Inc.
Tom Baber, Money Mailer of Union County
Martin Bahner CertaPro Painters of Doylestown, Pa.
Stefan Bailey, BKSH & Associates
Brian Balconi, Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.
Gary Bales, FOCUS Brands Inc.
Michael Bamrick, CFE, Jack In The Box, Inc.
Jim Barnes, Schlotzsky's of Fayetteville, Ark.
Misty Barnes, Schlotzsky's of Fayetteville, Ark.
Bradley Barnett. CFE, Valpak
Ken Bartell, ServiceMaster Building Service
Susan Bartell, ServiceMaster of Redmond, Ore.
Fred Bartliff, Express Employment Professionals
Bob Beall, Mr. Rooter of Pittsburg
Michelle Bearden, Link Staffing Services
Deitra Benton, Cinnabon of Charlotte, N.C.
Stanford P. Berenbeum, CFE, American Leak Detection, Inc.
Ron Berger, Figaro's Italian Pizza, Inc.
Melanie Bergeron, CFE, Two Men And A Truck International, Inc.
Warren C. Bickers, Driven Brands, Inc.
Mike Bidwell, CFE, The Dwyer Group
Nancy Bigley, CFE, Dunkin'Brands, Inc.
Robert Bingham, The Little Gym International, Inc.
Christina Binkowski, Figaro's Pizza of Chino Hills, Calif.
Dave Binkowski, Figaro's Pizza of Chino Hills, Calif.
Susan K Bishop, CFE, Rainbow Station, Inc.
Tony Bith, Little Caesar's of Chula Vista, Calif.
Sean Blickle, The UPS Store
Bruce V. Bloom, CFE, Boston Market
Kurt Boatright, ReSource, Inc.
Norm Bogner, CFE, 4Refuel Inc.
Robert Bollinger, Re-Bath of Linthicum Heights, Md.
Wendy Bollinger, Re-Bath of Linthicum Heights, Md.
Jim Booth, Cohort Keepers
Joe Bourdow, CFE, Valpak
Steve Bowers, ADP, Inc.
Stephen Boyd, Tedeshi Food Shop of Plymouth, Mass.
Donna Lake Bozarth, The Little Gyms of Dallas & Plano, Texas
Joel Bozarth, The Little Gyms of Dallas & Plano, Texas
Stephen M. Brigandi, Jack In The Box, Inc.
Mary Beth Brody, CFE, Faegre & Densen LLP
Bryan Brown, Meineke of Louisville, Ky.
Christopher M Brown, Quagliano & Seeger, P.C.
Jim Bung, INTERIORS by Decorating Den
Robin Bulmer, Two Men And A Track of Tucson
Jack Burris, FranchiseWorks LLC
Karen Bushes, FOCUS Brands Inc.
Jeffrey Mark Byers, Xpressdocs
Michelle Bythewood, FOCUS Brands Inc.
David L. Cahn, Franchise & Business Law Group
Stephen J. Caldeira, Dunkin'Brands, Inc.
Cory Calvin, Valpak
Brice Campbell, The Dwyer Group
Guy Campbell, Moe's Southwest Grill of Tampa
Joe Cappadona, Meineke of Quincy, Mass.
Michael Carlet, Driven Brands, Inc.
Paul Carothers, Yum! Brands, Inc.
Diane J. Carter, CFE, Express Employment Professionals
Joe Caruso, Kiddie Academy International, Inc.
Michael Casey, Survey Advantage
Michelle A. Cavaliere, Carrel of East Islip, N.Y.
Robert R. Chapa, Sign-A-Rama of Grand Blanc, Mich.
Cary Chastain, Moe's Southwest Grill of Charleston, S.C.
Brad Chasteen, Moe's Southwest Grill...