Ten-gallon hats, cowboy boots and PowerPoint presentations: IFA Leadership not only changes attire, but entire Jackson Hole, Wyo. summer business meeting format.


Fearlessly, the Man in the White Stetson strode in to face the unruly crowd gathered in the shadow of the Grand Teton mountains lifting majestically more than 13,000 feet into the pristine western sky. He'd come to "The Hole" with full authority to lay down the law.

Pushing his way to the front, the enforcer gripped in his right hand a cold, black symbol of authority. They knew he meant business and would brook no challenge.

Slowly, he turned and faced the audience. A few murmurs arose, but as he raised his right hand, index finger a-twitching, the mob fell silent.

At that moment, International Franchise Association Chairman Mike Isakson flipped the switch of the wireless microphone to "On." called the Fourth Annual FranPAC Wine Auction to order and in a tone that garnered their unwavering attention, told the audience to be quiet, be seated and be active in raising their numbered bidding paddles in support of the association's political action committee.

When the dust had settled, the mob gathered up its premium bottles of fine wine and the FranPAC strongbox, now under the watchful eye of The Stetson, held promises for more than $28,000, putting the committee well on track to reach its goal of $400,000 for the 2007-2008 election cycle.

New Way of Doing Business

But the annual IFA Summer Board of Directors' meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo. was more than cowboy hats and cabernet. Wrangling a crowd of more than 120 board members and spouses, guest speakers and program presenters takes a firm hand, especially when there's a world-famous river seething with cutthroat trout just a fly-cast away, not to mention Old Faithful putting on its hourly show, an aerial tram to the mountain tops and countless quaint shops, stores and noted restaurants nearby.

White-hatted Chairman Isakson, trading in his microphone for a heavy gavel, was up to the task. The IFA summer session has adopted a completely new format, designed to engage the franchising community leaders in more strategically-oriented discussions through the use of more intensive, yet less formal breakout sessions.

Four key areas of discussion were presented during the sessions. First, attendees were advised by APCO Worldwide. a global communication consultancy, of the results of survey information that is expected to form the basis of a major public-awareness campaign that IFA is soon to launch. Next. board leaders Nikki Sells. CFE. (Express Personnel Services) and Scott Haner. CFE, (YUM! Brands)...

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