Stephen J. Caldeira is President & CEO of the International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing the franchising industry.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., IFA works to protect, enhance and promote the U.S. franchise industry, which consists of 825,000 U.S. franchise businesses that create nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic activity annually. IFA members include franchise companies operating across 300 business lines, including foodservice, hospitality, lodging, real estate, automotive, business and consumer services. IFA also represents individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in law, marketing and business development.
As President & CEO, Mr. Caldeira works with the IFA board to set the direction for the organization’s strategic priorities: government relations and public policy, including the association’s political action committee, media relations, public relations, professional development programs and research initiatives. He represents the association and acts as its primary spokesperson and liaison to government, news media, members, prospective members, business and professional organizations, educational institutions and the public, both domestically and internationally.
Mr. Caldeira has 30 years of government relations, political, communications, fundraising and professional development experience. Before joining IFA in June 2010, Mr. Caldeira served as the Executive Vice President of Global Communications & Chief Public Affairs Officer for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., the $8 billion parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. In that capacity, Mr. Caldeira oversaw worldwide communications for all internal and external audiences including employees, franchisees and media, as well as government relations, corporate social responsibility, multicultural initiatives, community relations, industry relations and customer relations.
His corporate experience also includes serving as Vice President of Industry Relations for PepsiCo, Inc., where he was responsible for developing and sustaining PepsiCo’s presence and visibility across all business channels for the $65 billion parent corporation of Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods. While at PepsiCo, Mr. Caldeira helped co-found The Elliot Leadership Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development and advancement of executives in the $632 billion foodservice industry, where he subsequently served as President & CEO.
Mr. Caldeira has also served as a Managing Director in the U.S. Public Affairs Practice for Burson-Marsteller in New York City where he developed and implemented communications and public policy strategies for several Fortune 100 Companies and not-for-profit associations.
His trade association experience includes serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in Chicago, Illinois where he oversaw programs to develop, promote and provide educational and training solutions for the foodservice industry. Prior to the foundation, Mr. Caldeira served as Senior Vice President of Communications & Marketing for the National Restaurant Association in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Caldeira’s political and government affairs experience includes serving as political director to Ronald S. Lauder (R-NY)—former Ambassador to Austria, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and NATO Policy, and Chairman of Estee Lauder International—in his bid for Mayor of New York City in 1989. Earlier positions included Senior Manager of Political Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Northeast Region) and Political Director for former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato’s (R-NY) successful 1986 re-election campaign. Mr. Caldeira also served as a Legislative Assistant to former Congressman Greg Carman (R-NY) on Capitol Hill.
He has extensive fundraising experience, most recently chairing the tenth consecutive year of The Emeril Lagasse Golf Classic to benefit Johnson & Wales University, which has raised $4.5 million for the celebrity chef’s endowed scholarship fund. Mr. Caldeira also served as the Tournament Chairman for The Richard E. Marriott Save American Free Enterprise (SAFE) Invitational (2007-2010) that raised $1.5 million to benefit the National Restaurant Association’s legislative and regulatory initiatives.
Mr. Caldeira has served on numerous boards and advisory councils, including the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), and the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF). He presently serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Association Committee of 100” and is also a member of the Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee; the Board of Directors of the U.S. Travel Association where he serves as a member of the TravelPAC Advisory Board, the Board of Directors for the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC); is the IFA Delegate to the World Franchise Council (WFC), where he is Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee; is a member of the 2013 Restaurant Leadership Conference Advisory Council; is a member of the Society of Fellows at the Culinary Institute of America; is a member of the National Committee of Advisors for the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy at California State University—Monterey Bay; is a member of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., and is also on the Board of Directors of the HealthStore Foundation, the parent company of the CFWShops franchise system in Kenya.
Mr. Caldeira earned a BA in political science from Providence College and in 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration & Foodservice Management from Johnson & Wales University, where he currently serves as a Member of the Corporation. Mr. Caldeira lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife Jane and two children, Madeleine and Alexander.