Suppliers continue as a key component of the franchise community. Suppliers make up the proverbial third leg of the stool along with franchisors and franchisees. Just as it would be without franchisors or franchisees, if there were no suppliers, franchising could not be the success story that it has been over the last 50-plus years.
One key to the success of franchising as a business model are committed quality suppliers. No better way for suppliers to show their commitment than by becoming and maintaining their membership in the International Franchise Association.
And no better way for franchisors and franchisees to promote IFA, their trade association, than by seeking out and using IFA's supplier members when in need of any of the services provided by the supplier community.
And no better way for suppliers who are members to get their names known by the franchisor and franchisee members of IFA than by becoming not just members of IFA, but active members.
I should know. I have the honor this year to serve as the Chair of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board. This honor was provided to me after more than 20 years of active IFA membership, which not only served IFA and the supplier community, but candidly, my own self-interests in promoting me and my law firm as qualified suppliers of legal services to the franchisors looking to do business in Canada, where I am based. But this does not have to just be my story. It can be yours too.
The Supplier Forum Advisory Board serves to represent all suppliers within IFA and help further the association's mission to protect, enhance and promote franchising. The Advisory Board consists of 21 supplier members and is led by a five-person executive committee.
Members of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board serve fixed terms of up to six years, and so we add at least a few new suppliers every year as the terms are staggered. And for those who shine, there is the opportunity to serve on the Executive Committee of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board, made up of the Chair and two Vice Chairs, who are joined by the immediate past chair in the forming the full executive committee.
We even seek to ensure there are enough active members by nominating each year up to three alternate members of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board, who are permitted to attend all meetings and participate in board activities, filling a permanent or active seat if one becomes available in the middle of a year. The following year, the alternate...