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For immediate release
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000

WASHINGTON,  Feb. 17—Four entrepreneurs aiming for success in business-format franchising will today receive the Irl Marshall Certified Franchise Executive Scholarship award during the International Franchise Association’s 49th annual convention in San Diego. 

Julie M. Batycki is director of development and operations for Educational Outfitters in Chattanooga.  She is responsible for evaluating prospective franchisees, creating and implementing proactive sales efforts, conducting market research and development and preparing competitive analysis reports and strategic growth plans.  She is currently pursuing CFE designation, which is earned through completing a comprehensive program of studies offered by the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives, the academic branch of IFA’s Educational Foundation.

Mary Ann Dawedeit is retail operations manager of Wild Bird Centers of America in Glen Echo, Md.  Her franchise development experience at Wild Bird Centers and other franchises includes opening franchise stores, providing weekly support to new franchise retails stores, enhancing vendor relations and negotiating a $1.2 million transaction of product purchases.  Dawedeit has been involved in retail since 1978 and has worked as a clothing buyer with Georgetown Cotton, office manager of University of Uniformed Health Services, community outreach and marketing manager of the Clothing Recycling Company, and office manager of Bethesda Cares.  She has completed courses at Montgomery College in real estate, management and marketing, work force development and information technology.

Christopher C. Loudermilk joined The Dwyer Group in 2007 as director of military development, a newly-created position to help establish the group’s brands as a choice for military veterans and to focus on IFA’s VetFran program, which helps veterans transition into franchising with financial incentives offered by member participating companies.  During his tenure with the company, Loudermilk created the Program for Assisting Veteran Entrepreneurship or P.A.V.E., which provides veteran entrepreneurship assistance.  His work experience includes positions in the sales, mentoring, advertising, marketing and food-services industries.  He is a recent graduate of Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing.

Brian L. Vogt, who recently joined The Decor Group as vice president of franchise development, has served more than 20 years with Perma-Glaze, Inc.  During his career at Perma-Glaze, Vogt was a franchisee and later developed training programs for the brand. He designed and implemented the Discovery Day program and brought all chemical blending in-house to enhance profit and quality control. During his tenure at the franchise, he served as director of training and technical support and vice president of research, development and manufacturing.  He is a certified professional behavioral analyst, values analyst and TriMetrix and attributes analyst.  He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

The CFE scholarship program was created to encourage and support outstanding candidates who are enrolled in the CFE professional development program.  It was established in 2000 by a grant from the late Irl Marshall, a former chairman and CEO of Duraclean International.  Marshall was an honorary member of the board of trustees of the IFA Educational Foundation until his death in 2007.


About the International Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 11,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at

Editor’s Note:  To request a JPG of Julie M. Batycki, Mary Ann Dawedeit, Christopher C. Loudermilk or Brian L. Vogt, contact the IFA Media Relations Department at 202-628-8000.