IFA2017: THE BIGGEST FRANCHISE EVENT OF THE YEAR

Pre-registration ends January 13!

IFA's Convention—specifically designed by a committee of IFA members for franchisors of all sizes, single and multi-unit franchisees and our supplier partners— is the premiere forum to build relationships and foster new ideas for growth. IFA's Convention features top-flight speakers willing to share their best practices, war stories and learnings throughout the four days we’ll be in Las Vegas. Filled with 50+ educational sessions, interactive roundtables, in-depth summits and game-changing mini-super sessions, #IFA2017 will give you the latest trends, news and inside tips in the areas of franchise relations, management and leadership, marketing financing, multi-unit growth, international growth, franchise development, social media and more! This is the largest event in franchising…one you cannot afford to miss! We’ll see you in Las Vegas. Please click here to view a PDF of the brochure or click here for a link to a video showing exactly what’s in store for you at #IFA2017.

At #IFA2017, we have much to offer you and your business. We encourage you to take the time to sit down and look through all available sessions and events in our online brochure and the on-site show guide so you can plan a conference that works best for you. IFA has created a suggested attendee roadmap (especially for those of you new to IFA’s Convention experience) to aide in your planning so you are sure to include all of the must-attend events and educational sessions - Check out the roadmap here!

 

It has been brought to the attention of the IFA that our attendees have been contacted by several companies offering to sell our attendee list, including names, email addresses, phone numbers and company names. IFA has not and will not sell, rent or otherwise provide its attendee list to anyone. Therefore you should be extremely suspicious of any companies who “claim” to have our attendee lists and we would strongly recommend against purchasing such lists.

We make every attempt to protect the IFA Convention from these sorts of companies and will continue to alert you if new issues arise. If you are ever in question as to the validity of someone calling or contacting you please contact us at events@franchise.org to confirm validity of the company. 

WHAT YOU’LL EXPERIENCE

  • Network with over 4,000 of your peers
  • Nearly 50 educational sessions
  • Access to 300+ supporting companies

SPONSORS

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Check out our world-class featured speakers!

Tim Ferriss

New York Times Best-Selling Author of The 4-Hour Workweek (Opening General Session Speaker)


Marcus Buckingham

Four-Time New York Times Best-Selling Author and Leading Business Consultant (Wednesday General Session Speaker)


Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon

Anytime Fitness Co-Founders (Tuesday Super Session Speakers)


Stephen M.R. Covey

Author of the New York Times Best-Selling Speed of Trust (Mini-Super Session Speaker)


Eric Chester

Founder & CEO, Reviving Work Ethic, Inc (Mini-Super Session Speaker)


Shep Hyken

Shepard Presentations, LLC (Mini-Super Session Speaker)


SCHEDULE

8:00 am – 10:00 amICFE Registration Desk

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Concurrent ICFE Special Sessions

Separate registration and fee applies. Click here for more info.

IFA Fran-Guard™: IFA’s Franchise Sales Management and Compliance Program
300 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

IFA FRAN-GUARD™ is IFA’s Franchise Sales Management and Compliance program. Through this program, we demonstrate the business case for compliance and how a culture of compliance will help you and your staff build a vibrant company while assisting you to protect your system and avoid costly mistakes. This session is especially designed for senior executives to show how you can take proactive steps to reduce risks, manage growth, and build a stronger, healthier, franchise system. Moderator: Cynthia Gartman, CFE, CSA, NCG, Tx, Publisher, Seniors Blue Book Franchising

Panelists: Rick Morey, CFE, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); Ann Hurwitz, CFE, Partner, Baker & McKenzie

Profit Mastery: Financial Boot Camp Part I – Improving Network Unit Profitability and Performance
If you are registering for this special session, we strongly encourage you to consider completing the profit mastery experience by registering for Profit Mastery: Charting a Course for the Future, which will be presented on Sunday, January 29th. 200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

Imagine leaving a one day session with a complete set of practical, yet sophisticated, financial tools guaranteed to improve your network’s profitability and cash flow. On January 28th, that’s exactly what you’ll get when Steve LeFever and his colleague Rod Bristol present their extremely popular IFA session, Profit Mastery: Financial Boot Camp. This case-study driven program provides unique tools and a process you’ll be able to implement immediately in your network. The extended volatile economy served to highlight the importance of Unit Profitability and Cash Flow as never before. This Profit Mastery program delivers key financial concepts and tools attendees can apply immediately in their own business – or in those of their franchisees. This is not ivory tower stuff; it’s hands on finance that every owner and manager should know. Profit Mastery turns standard financial statements into powerful financial intelligence, and you will find that the Financial Report Card – combined with the unique Financial Performance Road Map – to be unusually effective in pinpointing and quantifying the dollar impact of improved efficiency. Furthermore, the intriguing Cup Theory will point the way to use Break Even Analysis to manage the revenue/cost relationship – and prove to be an invaluable strategic tool in managing costs and, ultimately, profitability. An added feature to the program this year will be an in-depth afternoon section on how to drive these Profit Mastery tools throughout an entire network, including implementation strategies, communication tools and franchisee motivation processes that are consistently proven to have a dramatic impact on individual unit and network financial performance. You won’t want to miss it! Clearly, improved performance translates directly into increased value – the end game. This program should be the financial foundation for every franchisor and franchisee. As always, the presentation will be supported by Steve and Rod’s unparalleled style incorporating information (60%), motivation (20%), and humor (20%). The day will fly by and you’ll leave with the tools and a clear road map to drive unit profitability in your network.

Presenters: Steve LeFever, MBA, CFE, Chairman & Founder, Profit Mastery; Rod Bristol, CFE, Vice President, Profit Mastery

Leading With Excellence in Franchising
200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

This special CFE course is designed for C-level executives in franchising and limited to 40 participants. The focus will be on leadership in a franchise environment through a dynamic and engaging series of sessions that will educate, engage and stimulate participants. The sessions will cover:

  • Strategic Planning – The Unique Aspects in a Franchise Environment
  • Cultivating Talent & Organizational Structure – Two Key Ingredients for Success
  • Executing with Excellence – Flawless Operations for Dynamic Global Markets
  • Brand Performance and Growth – Elevating Your Brand to Facilitate Growth

Participants will be provided with current research relevant to leadership in franchising, peer development through case study analysis and strategic thinking with executive roundtable discussions. This is a unique opportunity to evaluate your organization and its leadership position in franchising in an intensive peer-learning environment. Space is limited and you must be a senior manager in a franchise organization to register.

Presenters: Michael Isakson, CFE, IFA Past Chairman, Partner, Insight Execution; Dr. Ben Litalien, CFE, Director, Georgetown University Franchise Management Certificate Program, Principal, FranchiseWell, LLC

Guest Speakers: Catherine Monson, CFE, CEO, FASTSIGNS International; Tabbassum Mumtaz, President & Owner, Apex Restaurant Management, Inc.

Leading Through Powerful 21st Century Communications
200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

Systematic and effective methods must be in place for leaders to communicate in a way that motivates their staff, franchisees, and employees to want to change, be energized and take action. Whether it is a system wide change in policy, a re-direct of strategy or a new and controversial marketing program, the skills to shift knowledge, behavior and attitudes are a requirement for any leader in todays competitive, social and easily distracted world. In this session, be prepared to embrace the paradigm of “Connect”; to your message, yourself and your audience. This is the secret sauce to consistently create buy in and move people to action.

As a result of this work session you will be able to:

  1. Understand and execute on the paradigm of “Connect”
  2. Shift knowledge, skills and attitudes in-person and virtually successfully
  3. Develop powerful messages methodically and consistently
  4. Use visuals that support the message, not overwhelm the message
  5. Master the six elements of delivery for a great first and ongoing impression
  6. Use nervousness to your advantage
Presenters: Suzette Blakemore, CFE, Managing Director, FranklinCovey; Kory Kogon, Global Productivity Practice Leader, FranklinCovey

Principles Of Franchising
200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

This one-day course will provide an introduction to some of the key problems faced by management of franchisors, along with the “principles” used to help solve those problems. Using a hypothetical franchisor, and a series of unique and entertaining skits, the course will take you through the life cycle of a franchisor – from the early stage to the mature years. Along the way, you will learn from high-level presenters about the problems that real-life franchisors actually encounter. Theproblems presented will be the tough ones that often arise when selling franchises, qualifying prospects, managing the advertising fund, changing the system, approving and disapproving transfers, terminating for default, dealing with a franchisee association, and facing a threatened lawsuit. Come learn – through the trials and tribulations of this franchisor -- how it can go terribly wrong! And -- from the presenters and your fellow attendees -- how to do it right! Share your experiences, and help us navigate through a series of all-too-real franchise dilemmas. If you have not yet encountered these knotty situations, you certainly will in the future!

Presenters: Kathryn Boe Morgan, CFE, IFA-FERF Special Advisor; Bret Lowell, CFE, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); Joe Bourdow, CFE, Senior Advisor, Valpak; Barry Heller, CFE, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); Mark Liston, CFE, President, Glass Doctor

Understanding and Managing Potential Joint Liability on Franchise Operations
200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

The NLRB’s General Counsel’s proposed changes to the joint employer standard have potentially sweeping implications for all involved in franchising. Additional areas of potential joint liability will be discussed including vicarious liability, supply chain liability, and cyber liability. This interactive session will update participants on what is occurring with these important issues, identify potential issues with the proposed employment standards, and provide participants with tools to mitigate exposure from joint liability.

Presenters: Ritchie Taylor, CFE, Shareholder, Manning, Fulton and Skinner, P.A.; Bob McDevitt, CFE, Senior Vice President, Franchising, Golden Corral Buffet & Grill; Lee Barnes, President, Family Fare, LLC

11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Franchising Gives Back

To kick off the 57th IFA Annual Convention at Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, the Franchise Education & Research Foundation in collaboration with Roark Capital Group, will host the Franchising Gives Back volunteer event. Additional details of this event and the planned volunteer activity will be made available soon. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks! Click here for more information on Franchising Gives Back.

If you are interested in participating as a volunteer, please complete this registration form, and return it via email to Gionne Jones at gjones@franchise.org or fax it to her attention at (202) 628-0812.

11:30 am – 1:30 pmICFE Special Sessions Lunch

1:30 pm – 4:30 pmNextGen Session Orientation (Part 1) – for winners & advisors

5:30 pm – 6:30 pmNextGen Reception (by invitation only)

7:00 am – 7:30 pmRegistration

7:30 am – 9:00 amFinance Committee

8:00 am – 10:00 amDiversity Institute Advisory Board

8:00 am – 10:00 amLegal Legislative Committee

8:00 am – 10:00 amMarketing & Technology Committee

8:00 am – 10:00 amMembership Committee

8:00 am – 10:00 am VetFran Committee

8:30 am – 10:30 am Women’s Franchise Committee

9:00 am – 10:00 amBoard of Directors Orientation

9:00 am – 12:00 noonNextGen Session Orientation (Part 2) – for winners & advisors

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Concurrent ICFE Special Sessions

Separate registration and fee applies. Click here for more info.

IFA Fran-Guard™: IFA’s Franchise Sales Management and Compliance Program
300 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

IFA FRAN-GUARD™ is IFA’s Franchise Sales Management and Compliance program. Through this program, we demonstrate the business case for compliance and how a culture of compliance will help you and your staff build a vibrant company while assisting you to protect your system and avoid costly mistakes. This session is especially designed for senior executives to show how you can take proactive steps to reduce risks, manage growth, and build a stronger, healthier, franchise system. Moderator: Cynthia Gartman, CFE, CSA, NCG, Tx, Publisher, Seniors Blue Book Franchising

Panelists: Rick Morey, CFE, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); Ann Hurwitz, CFE, Partner, Baker & McKenzie

Profit Mastery: Charting a Course for the Future Part II
200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS (It is not mandatory to take Part I Profit Mastery: Financial Boot Camp in order to register for this Part II session, but taking both is extremely powerful.)

Great news! This program focuses on identifying and managing the key cash flow drivers in a company, with a practical, plain-English application of two powerful tools: cash flow analysis and financial gap analysis (balance sheet management). Wearing a “how-to” advisory hat, we will introduce you to a step-by-step process to build a profit plan and cash budget and underscore how you can squeeze as much cash as possible from the balance sheet.

Using our familiar case-study approach, we’ll show you how to develop a realistic cash flow projection and really understand the impact of seasonal patterns. Additionally, we’ll focus in depth on the difference between “profits” and “cash flow” – explaining in plain English the biggest myth in business finance: “If we have profits, why don’t we have any money?” Next, we’ll unlock the balance sheet secrets to long-term cash flow using a unique tool we call “Financial Gap” – absolutely the best and most powerful tool to come out of the financial industry in 20+ years.

We’ll identify the only four sources available to capitalize and fund growth and you’ll see clearly see why most business owners underestimate the need for capital. This will be the most strategic tool to take back to your franchisees. We’ll finish up with two invaluable shorter segments: (1) how to put together a winning plan for the bank and (2) how to utilize the Profit Mastery tools to develop a culture of accountability and performance among your franchisees. It’s not enough for you to understand and use these tools; your franchisees are the ones that stand to benefit the most. Help them become better business owners!

Finally, we’ll accomplish all the above utilizing our famous recipe of 60% information, 20% motivation and 20% humor. The day will fly by and you’ll have powerful, practical tools to drive enhanced unit profitability and cash flow in your network.

Presenters: Steve LeFever, MBA, CFE, Chairman & Founder, Profit Mastery; Rod Bristol, CFE, Vice President, Profit Mastery

FranTogether
200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

FranTogether shows franchisors and franchisees how to build resilient, sustainable businesses through effective collaboration. You will learn from some of franchising’s leading lights and get access to the latest evidencebased research on how to establish healthy franchise relationships. You will also engage in meaningful discussions and breakout groups focusing on “best in class” practices for creating profitable partnerships with strong unit level economics. FranTogether is about franchise leadership. While embracing the importance of solid operations, marketing and technology, it also goes beyond these into the field of franchising psychology, culture and the drivers of franchisee satisfaction.

Key Course Takeaways:

  1. How to build high levels of trust and commitment (essential ingredients) in the franchise relationship.
  2. How to address differences of opinion creatively when (not if) these arise, and move from conflict to collaboration.
  3. Tools and processes for improving communication at the personal and organizational level.
  4. How to address the stress of innovation and change so franchisees remain profitable and franchise networks remain relevant to their customers.
  5. How to constructively address real world challenges that play out in franchise systems every day.
  6. Leave inspired with improved skills and confidence to apply your learning and “move the needle” in creating positive franchise relationships.

Presenters: Brian Schnell, CFE, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP; Dina Dwyer-Owens, CFE, Co-Chair, The Dwyer Group; Greg Nathan, CFE, Founder, Franchise Relationships Institute; Tamra Kennedy Franchisee Owner- Taco John’s,Twin City TJ’s, Inc.; Steve Hockett, President, Great Clips, Inc.

Create a Culture of Extraordinary Productivity
200 CFE EDUCATION CREDITS

21st-century knowledge workers and leaders are paid to think, plan, communicate, and execute with excellence. Franchise executives know this better than most. And, trying to do these vitally important things and grow revenue is even more difficult in the midst of overwhelming demands, distractions, crises, and more. It can be hard work to represent the brand effectively, develop leads, build long-term winning strategies, foster key relationships, and improve systems. In this session, be prepared to learn the measurable processes to consistently make high value decisions; focus attention in the midst of unprecedented distractions; and create the energy required to execute with excellence. As a result of this work session, you will be able to:

  1. Act on the important rather than react to the urgent
    • Learn to consistently “Pause, Clarify and Decide” to increase your Return on the Moment (ROM)
  2. Go for extraordinary results on the things that matter most.
    • Create a framework of what success looks like in your current most important roles in life today.
  3. Deliberately allocate your attention to priorities and activities that move the needle to success
    • Regain control of your work and life through a cadence of planning and execution.
  4. Control your technology
    • Optimizing gadgets and technology platforms like Microsoft Outlook and Google.
  5. Nourish your “fire” rather than become burned out
    • Benefit from the latest in brain science to consistently recharge your mental and physical energy.

Presenters: Suzette Blakemore, CFE, Managing Director, FranklinCovey; Kory Kogon, Global Productivity Practice Leader, FranklinCovey

10:00 am – 12:00 noon Franchise Relations Committee

10:00 am – 12:00 noon Franchising in the Social Sector Task Force

10:00 am – 12:00 noon IFA Executive Committee 

11:30 am – 1:30 pmICFE Special Sessions Lunch

11:30 am – 5:45 pm

Annual Leadership Conference

Separate registration fee of $100 applies.

Ignite and Inspire: Unleashing Potential in Others

What does it mean to ignite employees and franchisees? Is modeling behavior really a leadership strategy? What drivers are essential to unleashing potential in others?

Susan Beth, CFE, Principal at NRD Capital, has wrestled with each of these questions. From her modest beginnings in a family-owned car-wash, rising to the helm as Chief Operating Officer, then finding herself at a fork in the road, she has constantly pushed herself to seek her own potential. Attendees will have the opportunity to create their Personal Guiding Principles using Susan’s eight foundational areas for inspiration.

Join over three hundred franchise colleagues at our Annual Leadership Conference where Susan, as the keynote speaker, will have attendees pondering their passion, discerning their decision making, and furthering their faith in servant leadership. You will find yourself enveloped in a conference designed to transform your management style for personal fulfillment.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Opening Luncheon featuring the presentation of the Crystal Compass
12:30 pm - 12:45 pm
Break
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Keynote Address
Guest Speaker: Susan Beth, CFE, Principal, NRD Capital

1:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Break
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

"Brass Tacks" Council
Join us as three senior-level franchise executives take the stage to share their insights, tools and best practices in leadership and business development. Our panelists will engage in a group discussion about their leadership journeys, impacts made, and mentorships formed along the way. Attendees will have the opportunity to ignite our Brass Tacks panelists, with questions sure to spark everyone’s leadership stride.
Moderator: Marisa Faunce, Partner, Plave Koch PLC
Speakers: Tamra Kennedy, Owner, Twin City TJ's Inc. (Taco John's Franchisee); Shane Evans, Co-Founder, President and COO, Elevated Brands; Joe Lindenmayer, CFE, Vice President, California Closet Company, Inc.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Roundtable Discussions
Attendees will bring new found inspiration to the Roundtable Discussion, where a real-world case study of an actual franchise system (the system in question will remain a mystery under the end of the event!). A tried-and-true favorite collaboration experience, your team will consider leadership strategies, decision-tree techniques, and find yourselves unleashing the potential in each other – and yourselves – to solve the business issues at hand.

4:00 pm - 4:10 pm
Closing Remarks
4:15 pm - 5:45 pm
Networking Reception
5:45 pm
Conference Adjourns

12:00 noon – 5:00 pmIFA Board of Directors’ Meeting

1:00 pm – 4:30 pmNextGen Session Orientation (Part 2, cont.) – for winners & advisors

3:00 pm – 4:00 pmSupplier Forum Orientation

4:30 pm – 5:30 pmNew Member Orientation

5:00 pm – 6:15 pm Past Chairmen’s Council

5:30 pm – 6:30 pmNew Member & First-Time Attendee Reception

6:30 pm – 8:00 pmThe Buzz 

7:00 am – 7:00 pmRegistration

7:00 am – 7:30 amSupplier Forum Executive Committee

7:30 am – 9:00 am Supplier Forum Advisory Board & Membership Meeting

7:15 am – 8:45 am Prayer Breakfast

9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Summits

26th Annual Elements of Successful Franchising

This summit will address:

  • What are the trends franchisors will be facing?
  • Who are the largest franchisees and new types of franchisees, and what are the implications for franchisors?
  • Private equity makes its mark on franchising: what are the consequences for franchisors?
  • The election: what are the regulatory consequences for franchising?
  • What does the pressure to “go international” mean for you?
  • Continuing challenges facing franchisors and franchisees.

Speakers: Richard Greenstein, CFE, Partner and Chairman, Franchise & Distribution Practice, DLA Piper LLP (US); Richard Morey, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US); Shelly Sun, CFE, CEO and Co-Founder, BrightStar Franchising, LLC; Tom Kaiser, Reporter, Franchise Times

Digital Marketing & Technology Summit
Developed by the Marketing and Technology Committee

The Digital Marketing & Technology Summit will address the latest trends in digital marketing and the tools that franchise companies need in today’s ever changing marketing and technology landscape. You will learn from leading experts and your peers about what is working in franchise marketing campaigns and what isn’t. The most pressing issues of the day in both the marketing and technology fields will be addressed during an eye-opening keynote presentation followed by nearly 40 solution-driven roundtables where you can learn more tools-of-the-trade in an intimate setting. If you are a marketing or technology professional, you won’t want to miss this popular summit.

Keynote Presentation: 7 Future Trends That Will Change Your Business

Franchise marketing and technology professionals need to know what will be, not just what is now. So fasten your jetpacks and get ready for an exhilarating look forward to the most spectacular and useful technology, business and consumer-driven trends that are just around the bend. Packed with great examples of where business and contemporary culture are headed, this fun and educational presentation takes a one-of-a-kind look at the profound changes that are dramatically re-shaping how we all work and consume. Global trends expert Daniel Levine offers a sneak peek into decoding trends, answering disruptive questions, and strategies for foreseeable and unpredictable futures. Here's your introduction to our changing world, along with the tech and marketing pro-tips that will keep you from falling behind.

Speaker: Daniel Levine, Global Trends Expert

Financial Summit

Strategically Accelerating the Growth of Your Franchise
Growth is the name of the game in franchising, and financing is an essential component. Capital comes in many shapes and sizes, with a sometimes dizzying array of options to consider. But truly accelerating growth requires moving beyond a one-unit-at-a-time mindset and thinking longer-term about the big picture.

This session will discuss the pros and cons of various financing options as it relates to growth and share best practices on how to strategically leverage capital to support the growth targets of both franchisors and franchisees.  

Areas of discussion will include:

  • How to create a franchisee financing program that aligns with your growth plans.
  • How to make your brand more attractive to lenders.
  • Different models for franchisor lending and creative ways to support your franchisees.
  • How franchisees can plan ahead to maximize their liquidity and open more units faster.

A diverse panel will be on hand to share their expertise, and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in roundtables that expand on the session content.

Panel Moderator: Denise Thomas, CEO, ApplePie Capital
Panel Speakers: Ken Switzer, Vice President and Treasurer, Marco's Pizza; Renuka Salinger, Vice President, Development, Camp Bow Wow; Randy Jones, Partner and Chairman, Franchise & Distribution Practice, Funding Solutions; Josh Jansen, Vice President, Business Development, ApplePie Capital; John Haley, Multi-Unit Franchisee, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shops

Roundtable/Workshop Host: Edith Wiseman, President, FRANdata

Franchise Development/Sales Summit

Not Your Grandma’s Development Strategy Anymore! The Next Generation of Development Strategies Revealed
Imagine how much farther ahead in your quest for franchise growth you would/could be if you employed a Mastermind Group of Franchisors that share some of the same challenges that you do. This year, our Sales Summit will divide into two groups; Emerging Franchisors and Medium/Large Brand Franchise Systems with the sole purpose of providing relevant and specific ideas that you can implement in your franchise system.

We have specifically recruited franchise panel members that have successfully “been there, done that” when it comes to designing a strategic and specific Development Strategy. 

Session Moderator: Lori Kiser-Block, CFE, Managing Partner, The Decide Group

Session 1
Mature and/or Medium/Larger Brands (100+ Units)
Industry experts say that less than 5% of franchise systems have more than 100 units. It’s time to meet a few of the 5% crowd. These brands know that success in development depends upon employing a plethora of elements in order to find and develop qualified prospects into profitable franchisees. Our panel of industry executives will share their next generation strategies and tactics that will help you figure out:

  • Lead generation and sales strategies.
  • Metrics and tools.
  • Insourcing vs. outsourcing.
  • Sales compensation.
  • What information to share/publish to incent franchisees.

Speakers: Thomas Scott, CEO, Brand Journalist; Pete Lindsey, CFE, Vice President, Franchise Development, Sport Clips, Inc.; Christina Chambers, Vice President, Franchise Development, Huddle House, Inc.; Tim Courtney, CFE, Vice President, Franchise & Network Development, Dream Vacations / CruiseOne

Session 2
Small/Emerging Brands (0 to 100 Units)
If I knew then what I know now – that’s what our group of experts will share in this one–of-a-kind breakout session developed especially for young and emerging brands.  Come prepared to challenge what you think you know and learn secrets to finding and developing qualified prospects, and how to nurture them into becoming profitable franchisees.  Do you have the right budget? Or one at all? Our panel of industry executives will share their next generation strategies and tactics and discuss:

  • Lead generation and sales strategies.
  • Are we reaching the right target prospects?
  • The Sales Process - why this is the most important step!
  • Validation.
  • Metrics and Tools that are delivering an ROI in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world.

Speakers: Neal Courtney, President, Cookie Cutter Haircuts for Kids; Raj Bhatt, Chief Branding Officer and Founder, Woops! Franchise LLC; Michael Misetic, Managing Partner, Franchise Elevator PR; Thomas Scott, CEO, Brand Journalist

Franchise Relations Summit
Developed by the Franchise Relations Committee and Franchisee Forum

Improving Franchise Communications and Group Meetings

Part 1: A panel discussion, to include franchisees and senior franchisor executives, will discuss the following:

  • Effective communication strategies that strengthen franchise relations.
  • How to align your brand and your culture.
  • How to ensure group meetings are engaging and constructive.
  • What type of communication franchisees want from their franchisor.

Moderator: Steve Rafsky, Chairman and CEO, Padgett Business Services
Speakers: Greg Nathan, CFE, Founder, Franchise Relationships Institute; Charlie Chase, President and CEO, FirstService Brands; Russ Umphenour, FOCUS Brands; Jo Kirchner, CEO, Primrose School Franchising Company; Bill Spae, CFE, President and CEO, Vasari LLC; Mara Fortin, Owner, Nothing Bundt Cakes, San Diego, CA; Mariana Huberman, CFE, Owner, The UPS Store of Washington, DC

Part 2: Topic Discussion Groups: Interactive small group discussions on hot topics relating to franchise communications, where all participants will be able to contribute their experience and learn from each other.

Discussion group topics:

  • How to get franchisees to attend meetings and conventions.
  • How to actively involve franchisees in contributing to meetings and conventions.
  • How to ensure franchisees are not bombard with information, so they read what they are sent.
  • How to keep online franchisee forums and portals useful and constructive.
  • How to ensure FAC meetings are conducted effectively and add value to the network.
  • How to use task forces and project teams to get franchisee input on important initiatives.
  • How to ensure online or phone coaching calls with franchisees are useful.
  • How to ensure field visits are efficient and useful.
  • How to successfully facilitate remote small group meetings - online or by phone.
  • How to provide useful and engaging leadership updates.
  • How to ensure franchisees feel informed about issues impacting on them and their business.
  • How to effectively communicate change so you get franchisee commitment.
  • How to consult with franchisees on important strategic issues so everyone feels heard.
  • How to communicate with franchisees so they feel safe to share financial or personal information.
  • How to run engaging and useful regional or patch meetings.
  • How to create an engaging and useful national convention program.
  • How to ensure large meetings that address controversial issues, remain constructive.
  • How to get the most value from franchisee satisfaction surveys.
  • How to ensure the Franchise Support Office is responsive to franchisee requests.
  • How to give feedback without making others defensive.
  • How to receive feedback without getting defensive.
  • How to rebuild trust and commitment after a dispute or strained franchise relations.
  • Common communication mistakes.

International Summit – Track 1
Developed by the International Committee

Part 1:  How Do Franchisors Pick Countries, and How Should They Prioritize Target Countries?

The first part of this summit will discuss:

  • Understanding your brand’s international potential.
  • Market analysis
  • Ranking markets

Moderator: Anthony Padulo, CFE, Executive Vice President, International Franchise Development, BrightStar Franchising, LLC
Speakers: Larry Oberly, CFE, Vice President, Global Development, RE/MAX; Edward Levitt, CFE, Partner, Dickinson Wright LLP; Enrique Kaufer, Vice President and General Manager, International Stores, General Nutrition Centers

Part 2: Which Method of International Expansion is Right for You?

Overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the most common methods of international expansion through franchising.

  • Why is master franchising the most common method?
  • Development models and their strengths and weaknesses.

Moderator: Larry Weinberg, CFE, Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Speakers: Mark Siebert, CEO, iFranchise Group; Greg Delks, Vice President, Franchise Development, Firehouse Subs; Karen Satterlee, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Hilton Worldwide

International Summit – Track 2
Developed by the International Committee

Part 1: International Training & Support
The first part of this summit will discuss:

  • Positioning your franchisees for success
  • Differences between international and domestic training and support
  • Local vs. remote support
  • Best practices

Moderator: Mark Jameson, Executive Vice President, Franchise Support and Development, FASTSIGNS International
Speakers: Matt "Red" Boswell, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Expense Reduction Analysts, Inc.; Alex Oswiecinski, Vice President, International Development & Operations, Which Wich Franchising, Inc.; Brian Spindel, CFE, President and COO, PostNet International Franchise Corp.

Part 2: Mastering Master Franchising: Avoiding the Pitfalls and Creating Successful International Master Franchises
As many as 85% of US franchisors have used master franchising as their chief vehicle for international franchising, yet, some surveys suggest that a substantial number of master franchisees fail to meet their development and profit goals. Other surveys show that successful master franchisees often are clamoring for new franchise brands. This session will identify the five critical problems with master franchising that master franchisees identify, and explain how to address these issues at the start of an international master franchise relationship. We also will discuss how to prepare to deal with typical problems which arise when master franchise relationships encounter operational problems and disputes.

Moderator: Carl Zwisler, Principal, Gray Plant Mooty
Speakers: Larry Kruguer, President, International, Wingstop Restaurants; Srinivas Kumar, CEO, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc.; Carsten Pedersen, President, BoConcept USA, Inc.

Joint Employer Issues Summit

Panel 1: The JE Problem, and what Franchise Businesses Are Doing About It – Come learn how expanded joint employer liability – a once obscure labor law standard that has become a fundamental attack on franchising – is changing operations and decision-making for leading franchise brands, and how franchise businesses are fighting back against the policy in Washington, DC and in state capitals around the country.

Moderator: Michael Layman, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, International Franchise Association
Speaker: Michael Lotito, Shareholder and Co-Chair, Littler's Workplace Policy Institute, Littler Mendelson; Ciara Stockeland, Founder and CEO, MODE

Panel 2: International Perspectives: How Joint Employer is Lurking Abroad, and What the Future May Hold for the U.S. – Laws in other countries frequently end up modeling legislation here in the U.S., and franchise businesses are facing unprecedented joint employment liability in several countries around the globe. In this session, attendees will find out how joint employer is evolving in Australia, Brazil, Canada and beyond, and learn how U.S. regulators may eventually apply similar joint employment doctrines to American businesses.

Moderator: Philip Zeidman, Senior Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US)
Speakers: Lorraine McLachlan, President and CEO, Canadian Franchise Association; Stephen Giles, Director – Industry Policy and Government Relations, Franchise Council of Australia; Luiz Henrique Amaral, Partner, Dannemann Siemsen Bigler & Ipanema Moreira (Brazil)

Panel 3: What Franchise Brands Can Do to Mitigate Their Joint Employer Risk – This session will focus on how franchise businesses are coping with the uncertain business environment caused by joint employer, discussing questions such as: How do companies craft franchise agreements today? How should franchisors be communicating with franchisees without incurring joint employer liability? What operational and other practical changes can a franchise company make to protect themselves?

Moderator: Brian Schnell, CFE, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Speakers: Catherine Monson, CFE, CEO, FASTSIGNS International; Darrell Johnson, CFE, President and CEO, FRANdata; Michael Seid, CFE, Managing Partner, MSA Worldwide

Operations Summit

Session 1: Tips for Building a Successful Franchise Business Operation (for emerging brands)
Good franchisor operations are good for franchisees! New franchise business executives that have successfully launched and are achieving early results will share what they found to be critical to their success -- including creating a corporate vision, finding and cultivating the right talent, developing an effective system culture and onboarding process that sets up franchisees for success. The discussion will also address questions related to growth and knowing when to invest in expanding the franchise operations team. Anyone who is thinking of franchising their business or are in the early stages of operating their franchise will benefit from insights shared during this session.

Moderator: Julie McBride, Senior Consultant, Social Franchising, MSA Worldwide
Speakers: Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer, Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.; Michael Tapp, President, Interstate Battery Systems of America, Interstate Battery Franchising & Development, Inc.; Chris McCuiston, Co-Founder & CEO, Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC

Session 2: Tips for Evolving an Established Franchise Business Operation (for mature and/or medium to large brands)
The terms and structure of all franchise offerings, by necessity, are typically initially decided upon before the franchisor has any franchisees. As the franchise system grows and the franchisor gains the experience that can only come from operating the system, re-evaluating the franchise offering becomes important. This session will examine changes that are frequently considered, and methods used to introduce those changes to new and existing franchisees. Specific topics of discussion will include appropriateness of cost structure, extent to which the system is adding value to the franchisee and use of technology to increase efficiency of operations

Moderator: Kay Ainsley, CFE, Managing Director, MSA Worldwide
Speakers: Courtney Roberts, CFE, Vice President, Operations, REGIS Corporation; Mike Lester, Brand President, The Melting Pot, Front Burner Brands; Michael Brodarick, General Counsel, PuroClean, Inc.

9:00 am – 12:00 noon NextGen FranShark Round One

10:30 am – 12:00 noon

Game Changer Mini-Super Sessions

Create an Amazing Customer Service Experience: What You Need to Know. What Your Customers Want.
Presented by Shep Hyken, Shepard Presentations, LLC

Shep Hyken is back with another presentation focused on customer service and the customer experience. In this fast moving, content rich and entertaining presentation, Shep will share some of the latest stats, facts and trends in customer service and experience. Businesses are losing $62 billion per year through poor customer service; that’s up $20 billion since 2013, just three years ago! Translation: Customer service is more important than ever!

Some of the concepts in this presentation will include self-service customer service, social media customer care , quick response and putting employees first. You will walk away with specific tactics and tools that franchisors can use to create a better experience for their franchisees, and that franchisees can use to create a better experience for their customers.

Franchising at the Speed of Trust - Tools to Leverage and Operationalize the One Thing that Changes Everything
Presented by Stephen MR Covey – Author of the NY Times Best Selling “Speed of Trust”

A successful franchisor/franchisee relationship is based on the credibility of a system and a brand, and is characterized by a long-term relationship of high trust. This interactive and engaging presentation will highlight 3 “Big Ideas” on trust and franchising. It will reveal how low-trust, ‘counterfeit’ behavior can undermine performance and can be at the root of many organizational and franchise challenges. Attendees will also learn and understand the natural strengths that have allowed them to build high-trust relationships in the past, as well as specific, actionable areas they can focus on to move the needle on their ability to create and maintain trust.

Learn the core concepts around Stephen Covey’s 3 “Big Ideas”:

  1. Trust is a hard-edged, economic driver.
  2. Trust is the most effective form of currency in high-performing, high-value franchise relationships.
  3. Trust is a skill—this is something you can do something about, now.

ON FIRE AT ANY AGE: How to Ignite Passion and Fuel Performance throughout Your Multi-Generational Workforce
Presented by Eric Chester, Founder and CEO, Reviving Work Ethic, Inc.

Discover what thriving franchise brands and top leaders are doing to win the war on performance and service by leveraging the skills and abilities of this ever-evolving labor pool. Today’s workforce is diverse both in age, experience and background. While there are sometimes challenges to meshing millennials, seniors and those with diverse backgrounds, there are also opportunities for creating a cohesive team that works well together. Employee engagement researcher and bestselling author Eric Chester will reveal the tactics and strategies that leading-edge franchisees and franchisors have in place to find, keep, and develop top talent of all ages and backgrounds. He'll show how these brands are reinventing their operations to get employees to put aside their differences and work as hard as they would if they owned the brand.

11:30 am – 12:30 noon FranPAC VIP Reception

12:30 pm – 2:30 pmOpening General Session & Luncheon

2:45 pm – 4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions

@OurFranchiseCampaign – Telling the Real Story of Your Business for Success

General Track

The @OurFranchise campaign launched in 2015 to tell the stories of how local franchise business owners and their employees are supporting their communities, creating jobs and business ownership opportunities. The @OurFranchise campaign captures the real, positive impact of the franchise model as told by local owners in their own voice and speaks to the level of economic contribution franchise owners continue to have to the American economy. Learn more about how YOUR brand can get involved to change the narrative around franchising and tell your story more effectively to the media, elected officials and the public.

Moderator: Erica Farage, Senior Director, Political Affairs, Grassroots Advocacy, International Franchise Association
Speaker: Mark Steiner, Owner, FranNet of Southeastern Virginia; Erik Bostrom, Spa Owner and Colorado Regional Developer, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa; Martha O'Gorman, Chief Marketing Officer, Liberty Tax Service

Aligning Marketing, Staff Recruitment and Growth: Key HR Priorities for Franchises

General Track

Among the many priorities franchisors have, two stand out: growing market share and recruiting and keeping great people. In many instances, these two priorities go hand in hand. In this panel discussion, you will hear from two successful franchisors and an HR expert about their top marketing and HR challenges and how they tackle them. Attendees of this session will learn to:

  • Explore the link between marketing, recruitment, and business growth success
  • Create innovative approaches to overcome marketing challenges for new and established units alike
  • Introduce proven HR strategies to attract, retain, and develop great employees
  • Adopt best practices to leverage the franchisor / franchisee relationship in the process
  • Leverage effective marketing and HR strategies and successes to create a winning, dynamic culture

Moderator: Michael St. Jacques, Partner, St. Jacques Marketing
Speakers: Josh York, Founder & CEO, GYMGUYZ; Bob Lockett, Division Vice President, Human Resources, ADP LLC; Dawn Weiss, Owner, Markonnect and Chieg Marketing Officer, Amazing Lash Studio

Are Struggling Franchisees Jeopardizing Your Franchise System? What You Can Do to Help Them!

Franchise Relations Track

“Failure is not an option!” Struggling franchisees impact system growth and other franchisees. Get advice on how to help struggling franchisees turn things around. We’ll cover performance monitoring and preventative strategies, field support, owner engagement, intervention measures, financial assistance options and legal considerations, among many others. Your franchise system is only as strong as its weakest performers. Address the issues so your system is not at risk.

Moderator: Ralph Thiergart, Vice President, Franchise Services, Choice Hotels International
Speakers: Johnny Weber, Area Developer, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama & Florida Panhandle, Sport Clips, Inc.; Mike Rotondo, CEO, Tropical Smoothie Cafe; Matt Phillips, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, AdvantaClean

Best Practices for Starting or Reinventing a Franchisee Advisory Council
Developed by the Franchise Relations Committee
Franchise Relations Track

Panel discussion to include both franchisee and franchisor representatives from varying industries and sizes of organizations. Session topics are listed below and will include time for follow-up roundtable discussions:

  • Developing a clear understanding of the purpose of a Franchisee Advisory Council (FAC)
  • Sharing structure examples
  • Examples of how 2-3 brands use their FAC successfully to work on:
    • Franchisor concerns
    • Franchisee concerns
    • Joint pressures impacting the Brand
  • Best Practices for using the FAC as a flowing communication platform to the Franchisee base
  • Using FACs to help develop future initiatives to create brand alignment

Moderator: Jim Squire, CFE, Executive Vice President and CDO, Firestorm
Speakers: Thomas Flaherty, President and CEO, Agile Pursuits Franchising; Joe Hunt, Vice President of Franchise Relations, Zaxby's Franchising, LLC; Jeff Tews, Multi-Unit Franchisee, BrightStar Care of Madison, WI

Building an Effective Training Program for Your Franchise

Operations Track

Is your training program aligned with the business goals of your franchise system? Is it designed to drive business results? This program will help you evaluate those questions and cover:

  • How to build a solid training roadmap.
  • How to determine what to teach.
  • How to determine how to teach it and when to teach it.
  • How to measure effectiveness of training.

Moderator: Nancy Bigley, CFE, CEO, Bottle & Bottega
Speakers: Cordell Riley, CFE, President, Tortal Training; Steve Hockett, President, Great Clips, Inc.; Steve White, President and COO, PuroClean, Inc.

Building and Leveraging Positive Relationships with Brand Support Staff
Developed by the Franchisee Forum
Franchisee Track

This session will address:

  • Utilizing corporate staff as support for your business initiatives.
  • Creating relationships that can improve processing time on all interactions.
  • Seeking, finding and using corporate staff that offer skills and knowledge that fit what your business needs now.

Moderator: Tamra Kennedy, Owner, Twin City TJ’s Inc. (Franchisee—Taco John’s)
Speakers: Eric Stites, CFE, CEO, Franchise Business Review; Bob Ashley, Operations Manager, The Coffee Beanery, Ltd.; Tom Baber, Money Mailer and IHOP Franchisee

Franchise Resales Are Booming – Do You Have a Plan for Your Brand?

Franchise Development Track

Franchise resales are booming; the life cycle of brands, an aging population and appetite for inventory are driving franchise resales to unprecedented levels. Franchisors and franchisees need to understand the process. Franchisors should be part of the conversation about how their units are being presented, who’s doing the selling and any use of their intellectual property; franchisees need to understand valuation and the transfer process. Developing a franchise resale plan is critical to successful transfers. Learn everything you need to know about franchise resales in this educational session.

Moderator: Clarissa Bradstock, CEO, Any Test Franchising, Inc.
Speakers: Cassidy Ford, Franchise Development Manager, Huddle House, Inc.; Robin Gagnon, Chief Marketing Officer, We Sell Restaurants; Alyson Ekmark, Director of Franchise Administration, Zaxby's Franchising LLC

Franchisees: What Does the NLRB Mean to You?

Franchisee Track

By now we are all aware of joint employment and the restrictions it puts on franchisors, but what are your responsibilities as a franchisee and your requirements to (a) uphold the brand, (b) be a franchisee and (c) be an independent business? What can you do to avoid joint employment claims? This session will help you evaluate where those boundaries start and stop and what you can do as a franchisee to educate yourself and your teams.

Moderator: Mary Ann O’Connell, CFE, President, FranWise
Speakers: Saunda Kitchen, Owner, Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County, CA; Danessa Itaya, Vice President, Maid Right Franchising, LLC; Marisa Faunce, Partner, Plave Koch PLC

Franchisor C-Suite Forum: It’s What You Learn after You Know It All that Counts – Lessons Learned and Shared from Main Street America
(for franchisor c-level executives from all system sizes)
General Track

Being an Executive of a successful franchise system requires many talents and a great team! You could equate it with being an air traffic controller—you must have your eye and hand on the pulse of what is happening in every moment with respect to the vision of the direction you are leading your organization. In an exclusive and intimate session designed to provide information, strategies and dialogue around topics that are at the core of successful growing franchise systems, several franchisor c-level executives will spearhead discussions around the critical topics listed below and share real-life experiences, war stories and lessons learned. Once their own insights are shared, our executives will open up the conversation to audience interaction.

  • The changing dynamics of franchise development.
  • How to keep your franchisees enrolled in providing the best your system has to offer, whether they are new, not so new or mature.
  • Evolution of your brand - what to change, how to change and when to change.
  • What is in store for the future of your brand?

Discussion Leaders: Shane Evans, Co-Founder, President and COO, Elevated Brands; Rhoda Olsen, CEO, Great Clips, Inc.; Terry Powell, CFE, Founder, FranchiseEsource Brands; Tom Wood, CFE, President and CEO, Floor Coverings International; Heather Neary, President, Auntie Anne’s Inc.

Game Changing Emerging Brand Recruitment Strategies

Franchise Development Track

Many emerging brands have limited budgets and small back-office teams. Planning for growth and making sure that new franchisees are successfully on-boarded and validate is often the difference between success and failure. Come hear from successful franchisors who have “been there, done that” and learn how to best use your resources, whether to grow organically or through broker networks, discover marketing and PR strategies to generate leads and develop a sales process that you can build on.

Moderator: Lane Fisher, CFE, Partner, FisherZucker LLC
Speakers: Ashley Morris, CEO, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Inc.; Jonathan Barnett, President and CEO, Oxi Fresh Franchising Co.; Chris Dull, CFE, President and CEO, Global Franchise Group, LLC

How Do We Adjust Our Support Systems to Recognize the Needs of an Individual Franchisee vs. a Multi-Unit Franchisee?

Operations Track

The support systems for an individual franchisee should differ from those of a multi-unit franchisee. The challenge is determining, implementing and insuring these support systems will add value to your franchisees in their various stages of growth. Our panel will explore recommendations on how to determine what these support systems should be, how to implement them and continue to evolve them with the growth of your system.

Moderator: Bruce Bloom, CFE, Principal, Bloom & Associates, LLC
Speakers: Harvey Homsey, CFE, Vice President, Franchise Systems, Express Services, Inc.; Barry Miller, President, Sylvan Learning Center of Girard, OH; Mark Watt, Vice President, Operations, Toppers Pizza

Innovative Ideas that Break the Mold

General Track

Think differently! In this “out of the box” session, you will hear case studies from our panel of franchisors who have implemented new and innovative ideas within their systems that have proven to be successful. Our goal is to expose you to new thoughts and concepts that have been successfully implemented. Each panel member will explain their situation- what caused them to think differently, how they resolved their issue and how was it implemented successfully. Whether you are a seasoned franchise executive who thinks you’ve seen it all, or someone who is always looking for new and creative ideas to enhance your business model, this interactive session is ideal for you.

Moderator: Evan Hackel, CFE, President, Ingage Consulting
Speakers: Corey DeNicola, COO, Mainstream Fashions Franchising, Inc.; Geoff Goodman, President, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt; Luke Stanton, Vice President, Operations, ProTradeNet; Eric Bernstein, President, ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings

Labor Issues & Unit Economics: Learnings From Across Borders

Developed by the International Committee
General Track

Minimum wage levels are an increasingly hot issue around the world. Franchises have found ways to thrive in different and challenging labor environments. Learn the latest developments and how franchises have adapted to manage unit economics around the globe.

Moderator: Matthew Patinkin, Co-Owner Double P Corp, Auntie Anne's Franchisee, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Double P Corporation
Speakers: Bill Edwards, CFE, CEO, Edwards Global Services; Ned Lyerly, CFE, President-International, CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc.; Bruce Billson, Executive Chairman, Franchise Council of Australia

Marketing to Millennials – Yes, It’s Possible!

Marketing & Information Technology Track

Some marketers seem to view this generation as some unknown being that has been transported to Earth to reek havoc in our homes, workplaces and everywhere in between. While clearly they are far from aliens sent from another planet, they do have their unique differences from Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, among others. Like any generation, they respond to messaging that interests them and brands they can passionately get behind. It's so much more than a transaction to this incredibly influential audience. Join this session to learn from emerging and mature franchisor execs on how to connect with Millennials and not only drive sales, but build an everlasting brand connection.

Moderator: Lorne Fisher, CFE, CEO and Managing Partner, Fish Consulting
Speakers: Jennifer Saxton, Founder and CEO, Tot Squad; Galen Welsch, Founder, Jibu; Erin Scheel, Community Manager, College Pro Painters (US) Ltd.

Social Media: Today’s Secret Sauce for Telling Your Franchise Story

Marketing & Information Technology Track

Great brands rely on stories to define their brands. With the expansion of social media and consumers “24/7 mentality,” today’s brand journey must begin, build and extend onto social media. Whether you are looking to inspire, motivate or excite your customers and community, social media continues to play a key role. This session will include franchisors and franchisees who understand how to use this “secret sauce” effectively. We will also share how to use social media to tell the positive story of franchising because in today’s rapidly-moving market, we cannot simply raise awareness about our own brands, we need to seize the opportunity to educate consumers wherever and whenever we can about what franchising is and all the great contributions our businesses make. Come prepared to take away practical and tactical ideas from marketing and IT pros that will make a real difference for your business.

Moderator: Jack Monson, Director, Digital Strategy, Qiigo, Inc.
Speakers: Alice O’Donnell, Vice President, Marketing, Massage Heights; Brian Rank, EVP, Sales & Marketing, Housemasters; Ali Rausch, Marketing Director, Chicken Salad Chick

Steps and Cost to Build, Launch and Manage a Growing Franchise Brand

Operations Track

What is the expectation of investment to launch and build a successful franchise brand? Where do additional investment levels become important, and what resources should be considered? Attend this session and hear war stories, lessons learned and strategies for how and when to invest in building your franchise brand.

Moderator: Karen Spencer, CEO, fransystems
Speakers: Tim Suski, Owner, The Rush Studio; John Teza, CFE, CDO, Corner Bakery Cafe; Christina Russell, President, Camp Bow Wow

The Franchise Operations Challenge: Best Practices for Helping Your Franchisees to Significantly Improve Their Performance

A Supplier Forum Best Practices Workshop
Operations Track

This breakout session is for those in search of best practices related to improving their field support processes that result in improved unit economics and brand standards. Attendees will have the benefit of learning from three proven franchisor panelists representing emerging, mid-market and enterprise level systems. Attendees will walk away with the following knowledge:

  • Learn the most effective organizational support structures relative to a brands size and complexity.
  • Discover current operational technologies out there for ensuring that your field support and home office support teams are executing consistently and following-up to close the gaps between system standards and present case
  • How to effectively coach reluctant franchisees and ensure that open-ended issues are resolved in a timely fashion.
  • The role of data analytics and how franchisors are using the information as a lever to drive significant improvements in a franchisees business.

Moderator: Keith Gerson, CFE, President, Global Operations and COO, FranConnect
Speakers: Mary Thompson, CFE, COO, The Dwyer Group; Shawnon Bellah, COO, Nestle Toll House Café by Chip; Meg Rose, Vice President, Field Operations, Firehouse Subs; Thom Gilday, President and COO, BrightStar Franchising, LLC

The Role of Private Equity in Franchising: What You Need to Know

General Track

A panel of private equity experts will discuss current trends in the marketplace and share best practices for preparing for private equity financing, including strategies and tactics for maximizing your valuation in a transaction.

Moderator: Jay Duke, Partner, Franchise Industry, BDO USA, LLP
Speakers: Jeremy Holland, Principal, The Riverside Company; Mike Bidwell, CFE, CEO, The Dwyer Group; Ron Herbert, CFO, FASTSIGNS International; Clayton Harmon, Vice President, Roark Capital Group

4:30 pm – 5:30 pmCFE Graduates' Celebration

4:30 pm – 6:00 pmFranchisor Forum

4:30 pm – 6:30 pmInternational Committee 

4:30 pm – 8:00 pmChairman’s Reception with Exhibitors

8:00 pm – 9:30 pmInternational Reception

7:00 am – 6:00 pmRegistration

8:00 am – 10:00 am

Super Session w/ Continental Breakfast (breakfast available at 7:30 am)

Franchisor Spotlight:  Anytime Fitness // Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon

Hear from Anytime Fitness Co-Founders, Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon, about how they built the world’s largest and fastest growing co-ed fitness club franchise. Franchising since 2002, Anytime Fitness will have more than 3,500 franchised units and 36 company owned units in all 50 states and in 30 countries on five continents by January of 2017. For nine straight years, the brand has been averaging more than 300 new gyms per year and in 2015, Anytime Fitness achieved more than $1-Billion in system-wide annual revenue for the first time ever! What is the secret to their success? First learn how Mortensen (President) and Runyon (CEO) revolutionized the fitness industry by designing smaller, neighborhood clubs that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, featuring the things their now nearly 3-million members want most: convenience, affordability, quality equipment and surprisingly personable service in friendly, non-intimidating facilities. Why are more than 3,500 franchisees and members so passionate about the brand that they have tattooed the company’s “runningman logo”” on their bodies? What can you learn from the brand to prompt similar loyalty with your consumers? Find out about plans to evolve the company’s business model to meet the demands of the next generation of fitness consumers and hear how Anytime Fitness will positively impact its customers – even when they are not in the gym. Finally, discover how under Mortensen’s and Runyon’s leadership, the company has earned numerous industry accolades including being ranked by Entrepreneur as a #1 Global franchise, having Forbes name the brand one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” and a “Top Franchise For Your Buck” and being identified by CNN as one of the three “Biggest Players” in the fitness industry. How did they do it and what’s next? In an eye-opening and candid discussion, you’ll hear war stories, lessons learned and real-world strategies for building your brand, investing in people to yield amazing results (did we mention Anytime Fitness’ #1 stakeholder is their staff?), and positioning your company as not just any franchise business but an extraordinary franchise business.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Concurrent Sessions

Are Struggling Franchisees Jeopardizing Your Franchise System? What Can You Do to Help Them!

Franchise Relations Track

“Failure is not an option!” Struggling franchisees impact system growth and other franchisees. Get advice on how to help struggling franchisees turn things around. We’ll cover performance monitoring and preventative strategies, field support, owner engagement, intervention measures, financial assistance options and legal considerations, among many others. Your franchise system is only as strong as its weakest performers. Address the issues so your system is not at risk.

Moderator: Ralph Thiergart, Vice President, Franchise Services, Choice Hotels International
Speakers: Johnny Weber, Area Developer, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama & Florida Panhandle, Sport Clips Haircuts; Mike Rotondo, CEO, Tropical Smoothie Cafe; Matt Phillips, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, AdvantaClean

Franchising and Multiple Bottom Lines
Developed by the Social Sector in Franchising Task Force
General Track

An increasing number of franchises use the model to produce direct social benefit. Learn from:

  • Commercial franchisors that have donated units to non-profits.
  • Social franchisors using the franchise model towards humanitarian ends.
  • Commercial franchisors expanding in underserved communities.
  • Franchisors and franchisees innovating to make franchise ownership accessible to new populations.

Moderator: Peter Holt, CEO, The Joint Chiropractic
Speakers: Aslam Khan, CEO, Falcon Holdings, LLC; Tariq Farid, CFE, Founder and CEO, Edible Arrangements International, LLC; Colette Hittinger, Senior Manager, Franchise Operations & Development, Ben and Jerry’s; Victor Chambayika Mhango, Founder and Executive Chairman, Ziweto Enterprise

Game Changing Emerging Brand Recruitment Strategies

Franchise Development Track

Many emerging brands have limited budgets and small back-office teams. Planning for growth and making sure that new franchisees are successfully on-boarded and validate is often the difference between success and failure. Come hear from successful franchisors who have “been there, done that” and learn how to best use your resources, whether to grow organically or through broker networks, discover marketing and PR strategies to generate leads and develop a sales process that you can build on.

Moderator: Lane Fisher, CFE, Partner, FisherZucker LLC
Speakers: Ashley Morris, CEO, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Inc.; Jonathan Barnett, President and CEO, Oxi Fresh Franchising Co.; Chris Dull, CFE, President and CEO, Global Franchise Group, LLC

Hottest Trends in Video Marketing

Marketing & Information Technology Track

What do the most effective and most shared online, television and social video campaigns have in common? Join us for an exciting, informative and innovative look at how to conceive of and create compelling video content for your franchise. Learn techniques that ensure your videos will build an audience and tell a story. This interactive session will put you in the shoes of a creative director as you apply best practices and innovative thinking to develop your concept and pitch your brand or product.

Speakers: Helena Lehman, SVP, Leading Authorities, Inc.; James Loizou,Vice President, LAI Videos, Leading Authorities, Inc.

How Do We Adjust Our Support Systems to Recognize the Needs of an Individual Franchisee vs. A Multi-Unit Franchisee?

Operations Track

The support systems for an individual franchisee should differ from those of a multi-unit franchisee. The challenge is determining, implementing and insuring these support systems will add value to your franchisees in their various stages of growth. Our panel will explore recommendations on how to determine what these support systems should be, how to implement them and continue to evolve them with the growth of your system.

Moderator: Bruce Bloom, CFE, Principal, Bloom & Associates, LLC
Speakers: Harvey Homsey, CFE, Vice President, Franchise Systems, Express Services, Inc.; Barry Miller, President, Sylvan Learning Center of Girard, OH; Mark Watt, Vice President, Operations, Toppers Pizza

How is NLRB Affecting Training and Operations?

Operations Track
This session will discuss: 

  • Minimizing the risk of co-employment while still providing training and new store support.
  • Managing interaction of field personnel in assisting locations in on-going management of labor expenses while steering clear of co-employment.
  • Providing materials for franchisees for support they need while not crossing the co-employment/employer line for their hiring needs and processes.

Moderator: Michael Layman, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, International Franchise Association
Speakers: Amy Cheng, Partner, Cheng Cohen LLC; Rob Branca, President, Dunkin’ Donuts of Worcester, MA; Andrew Gibson, Vice President, Operations and Director, Marketing, Tide Dry Cleaners, Agile Pursuits Franchising Inc.

How Multi-Unit and Multi-Brand Franchisees Select New Brands (and the 5 Top Deal Killers)

Franchisee Track

More and more multi-unit franchisees want to grow their organizations through additional brands. A growing number of franchisors are seeking existing multi-unit franchisees to expand with their brands. Join this panel of multi-unit franchisee and franchisor movers and shakers who continue to grow. Multi-unit franchisees will share the key criteria to selecting a new brand and their top deal killers; franchisors will share their insights on what they look for in existing multi-unit franchisees to grow their brands, and what stops them from moving forward.

Moderator: Therese Thilgen, CEO and Co-Founder, Franchise Update Media
Speakers: Yaron Goldman, President Southern Deli, LLC; Jeff Sturgis, Chief Development Officer, McAlister's Corporation

How to Be Big with a Little Budget: Bridging the Gap Between a Startup and a Successful Franchise

Marketing & Information Technology Track

Growing a franchise takes capital--capital that is often limited, particularly in the beginning. How can smaller brands compete for market share with larger brands which have larger budgets? This session will explore ways to maximize every dollar in order to grow, claim market share AND stay in business. From guerilla marketing to creative lower cost work spaces, from reducing staff overhead to use of creative PR, from determining the essential systems for growth vs. the systems that can wait, this session will equip emerging brands with bankable strategies for success.

Moderator: Gail Johnson, CFE, Founder and Chairman, Rainbow Station, Inc.
Speakers: Vance Spilman, CEO, Rainbow Station, Inc.; David Chapman, Founder and CEO, 919 Marketing; Ben Litalien, CFE, Founder and Principal, FranchiseWell LLC

Innovative Ideas that Break the Mold

General Track

Think differently! In this “out of the box” session, you will hear case studies from our panel of franchisors who have implemented new and innovative ideas within their systems that have proven to be successful. Our goal is to expose you to new thoughts and concepts that have been successfully implemented. Each panel member will explain their situation- what caused them to think differently, how they resolved their issue and how was it implemented successfully. Whether you are a seasoned franchise executive who thinks you’ve seen it all, or someone who is always looking for new and creative ideas to enhance your business model, this interactive session is ideal for you.

Moderator: Evan Hackel, CFE, President, Ingage Consulting
Speakers: Corey DeNicola, COO, Mainstream Fashions Franchising, Inc.; Geoff Goodman, President, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt; Luke Stanton, Vice President, Operations, ProTradeNet; Eric Bernstein, President, ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings

International Franchising Focus: Europe and Latin America

Developed by the International Committee
International Track

Events are moving quickly in both Europe and Latin America, and international franchising is changing. Cuba is now opening up to American brands – which franchisors can thrive there, and how? How will Brexit affect franchisors operating in or entering Europe or the UK? This session will explore the impact of several current trends like these on both large and small franchise systems.

Moderator: Dave Humphrey, CEO, ECP-PF Holdings Group, Inc.
Speakers: Marcelo Cherto, President, Cherto Group; Mark Abell, Partner, Bird & Bird LLP; Martin Arauz, VP & General Counsel, Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Maximizing Enterprise Value: Strategies Franchisors Can Implement to Attract Higher Valuations in the Sales Process

A Supplier Forum Best Practices Workshop
General Track

This session will focus on 6-8 specific strategies that franchisors can implement to improve the overall health of the franchise system and improve enterprise value in advance of selling the system or bringing in an investor.

Moderator: Gaylen Knack, CFE, Principal, Gray Plant Mooty
Speakers: Ronald Feldman, CFE, Principal and Chief Brand Strategist, Siegel Financial Group; Russell Reynolds, CEO, Batteries Plus Bulbs; Meg Montague, Managing Director, The McLean Group, LLC; Aaron Chaitovsky, CFE, Partner, Chair, Franchise Service Division, Citrin Cooperman

New Markets Mini-Summit: Are You Poised to Ride the Latino Boom Wave into the Future?

Developed by the Diversity Institute Advisory Board
General Track

Unless you have been living under a rock or been in a coma for the last decade, you know the Latino population has exploded and continues to be the fastest growing demographic segment in the U.S. Are you ready to support and capitalize on the largely un-tapped market? This mini-summit will present a deep-dive into the profile, characteristics and growth trajectory of the Latino population for franchise development opportunities. Learn how a leading IFA member company’s efforts have positively impacted their top and bottom lines. Hear first-hand from successful Latino franchisees as they discuss challenges faced and opportunities along the way.

Moderator: Earsa Jackson, CFE, Partner, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Chair, Diversity Institute Board
Speakers: Richard Montanez, Director, Multicultural Sales & Marketing, PepsiCo Foodservice; Linda Alvarado, President, Palo Alto Inc.

Presenting Financial Performance Representations to Prospective Franchisees – Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Presentation and Complying with New Rules

Franchise Development Track

More than half of all franchise systems now provide information about sales and/or profits to prospective franchisees in Item 19 of their disclosure documents. However, the Item 19 information does not always meet prospects' needs to best evaluate the brand. Often the Item 19 fails to emphasize the strong points of the franchise system that will attract new franchisees to the system; a well-written Item 19 can do both, without exposing the system to liability. It can even encourage system compliance among existing franchisees by showing the financial rewards achieved by those who comply with the system. This panel will also discuss the new rules for Item 19 disclosures that are expected to take effect this spring and address how you can comply with the new rules while also emphasizing the strong points of your brand.

Moderator: David Beyer, CFE, Attorney, Quarles & Brady
Speakers: Charles Modell, CFE, Shareholder, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren; Joe Mathews, CFE, Founding Partner, Franchise Performance Group; David Buzza, CDO, AlphaGraphics, Inc.

Profit Management Workshop (for Franchisees)

Developed by the Franchisee Forum
Franchisee Track

How do franchisees maximize profitability in the face of regulatory changes, a reduced labor supply and rising cost of goods sold?

This workshop will discuss the following:

  • Usable information that highlights missed opportunities for profit
  • Data analytic tools/processes that will uncover potential savings
  • Universal best practices for developing a penny-wise mentality throughout your company

Speakers: Steven LeFever, CFE, Chairman, Profit Mastery; Charles Stempler, AlphaGraphics of Seattle, WA; Jeffrey Tews, Multi-Unit Franchisee, BrightStar Care of Madison, WI

Promoting Veteran-Owned Franchises

Developed by the VetFran Committee
General Track

Promoting veteran-owned businesses is at the center of VetFran and its partnership with the Coalition for Veteran Owned Businesses (CVOB). Through this partnership, veteran organizations and businesses come together to help promote to customers and other businesses the benefits of conducting business with a locally, veteran-owned business. In this session, speakers will discuss the advantages of being a veteran franchisee, and discuss the venues in which to promote your business.

Moderator: Gordon B. Logan, Founder and CEO, Sport Clips, Inc.
Speakers: Stephanie Brown, CEO and Founder, The Rosie Network; Misty R. Stutsman, Director, Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF); Ralph Yarusso, SVP, Franchise Development & Operations, Grease Monkey International, Inc.

Provide Your Prospects with an Amazing Candidate Experience

Franchise Development Track

How do you entertain as well as inform your franchise candidates to show them how great your brand is? Every contact you have with them -- your website, e-mail, phone calls and in-person meetings -- is an opportunity to convert prospects into the very best franchisees. After all, if the candidate process doesn't "Wow" them, why should they think the franchise ownership experience will?

Moderator: Ron Bender, CFE, Director, Franchise Development, Big Frog Franchise Group
Speakers: Clay Neff, Executive Director, Franchise Development, Automotive Technologies, Inc.; Roxanne Rapske, Franchise Consultant, FranNet of San Diego, CA; Robyn Brewington, Big Frog Custom T-Shirts of Las Vegas

The New Administration and What You Can Expect

General Track

Mark Lindsay has years of experience working in and with the White House starting with President Clinton through President Bush and President Obama. He will give you an insider’s look at how the executive branch functions and what to expect from the Trump Administration going forward. You will depart from the presentation with a firm grasp of how the franchising industry will be affect by the new administration and what to expect from the first 100 days.

Speaker: Honorable Mark Lindsay, Consultant, The Livingston Group, LLC

Unit-Level Economics (Driving Profitability by Measuring and Maximizing the Performance of Your Business)

Operations Track

Unit economics are the fundamental financial predictors of the viability of your business model that, used correctly, can increase cash flow and drive profitability. Measuring unit profitability is a strategic tool that smart franchisors and franchisees use to leverage the parts of their business having the most significant level of marginal investment. For consumer focused businesses, the best unit to measure may be the cost to obtain and serve a customer, and for businesses that sell physical products, the best unit to measure may be the cost to deliver that product. With an understanding of how to identify, measure and assess your unit economics as well as compare your performance to others in your competitive set, you will be better able to confidently make dramatic but positive shifts in your business and promote healthy competition by compensating employees who achieve business goals derived from measuring key performance metrics.

Moderator: Joyce Mazero, Partner, Co-Chair Global Supply Network Industry Team, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
Speakers: Sam Khoury, President, Next Stage Partners; William Hall, CFE, CEO, William G. Hall & Co.; Roland Dickey, CEO, Dickey's' Barbecue Restaurants Inc.

Your Business is My Business: The Case for Effective Standards Enforcement

Franchise Relations Track

Every franchise agreement emphasizes the importance of the franchisee’s compliance with standards. However, that does not mean that every franchisee in every chain is fully compliant. Are all standards created equal, or are some more important to enforce than others? Does enforcement of standards affect franchisor and franchisee profitability? How do successful franchisors monitor and enforce compliance with standards? Is poor standards compliance indicative of other problems with the franchisee or the system? The panel will look at these questions as well as effective enforcement tools.

Moderator: Robert Zisk, Principal, Gray Plant Mooty
Speakers: Jeffrey Karlin, Director and Legal Counsel, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.; Erin Martin, General Counsel, Little Caesars Enterprises, Inc.; Sean Falk, Owner, Great American Cookies/Pretzelmaker of Houston, TX

12:00 noon – 2:30 pm Networking Lunch with Exhibitors

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm Franchisee Forum

1:00 pm – 2:30 pmEducational Foundation Board of Trustees & Strategic Planning

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm International Delegations' Meeting

2:45 pm – 4:45 pmBusiness Solution Roundtables

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Reception with Exhibitors

8:00 pm – 10:30 pm The Bash

7:30 am – 12:00 noonRegistration

8:30 am – 10:00 amICFE Board Meeting

8:30 am – 10:15 am Continental Breakfast w/ Roundtables (breakfast available at 8:00 am)

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Closing General Session with Brunch

Find Your Edge: Win at Work  // Marcus Buckingham

Excellence happens all the time in an organization, but it can be tricky to harness this excellence and make it work for you. So often, when companies try to reproduce what their best performers do differently, the result is just another lifeless policy that ends up constraining people instead of freeing them to do their best work. The trick is to help people put innovative ideas into practice without stifling the personal strengths that give them their edge. Join Marcus Buckingham, four-time New York Times Best-Selling Author (including First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently) and leading business consultant, as he presents a customized best practice delivery system for both managers and employees. Using a simple, easy-to-remember scheme to identify each person’s unique combination of strengths, Buckingham will deliver tips and techniques on how to put your particular edge to use. Managers will get a tremendous amount of raw material to be better coaches based on the specific strengths of their team members. At the end of this speech, you will know how to move beyond the one-sizefits-all approach and find those practices that are best for you.

FRANSHARK

To inspire and re-energize convention-goers, we are pleased to feature the future of franchising at the closing general session by bringing back NextGen’s FRANSHARK. This culminates a year-long campaign and global competition in which hundreds of young entrepreneurs from across the U.S. and around the world will have submitted their franchise business plans for a chance to be among the top 20 winners at #IFA2017 and participate in the NextGen Accelerator Program. The three top NextGen winners, selected from earlier FRANSHARK rounds during the convention, will present their business plans and strategies to be voted on by convention attendees during the closing session. Hear how these young entrepreneurs turned key challenges in their business into winning opportunities!

1:00 pm Convention Officially Adjourns

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp (post-convention workshop offered by CFE)

While analyzing the attendance and the feedback from the 2016 convention, there was one statistic that jumped out at the Convention Committee - 55% of the brands attending the conference had less than 100 units open! In that spirit, the committee (in tandem with the CFE program) has created a special post-convention half-day boot camp to give critical information and share experiences with emerging brands.

During this three-hour bootcamp, you will meet executives who have walked in your shoes--founders of franchise companies willing to share the mistakes they made, what worked and what didn’t to get them to critical mass. You will see how typical brands grow through the emerging phase, what healthy growth is and how growing too fast can be detrimental to the long-term future of your brand. Featuring a combination of learnings from our presenters and problem-solving exercises led by some of the most successful franchisors in the industry, content will be interactive, interesting and fun. This bootcamp will be a roadmap for emerging franchisors to Recurring Revenue Self Sufficiency™, the day when your royalty revenue covers your overhead! Key areas of focus that will be discussed include:

  • Development strategies from pure organic growth through the broker network model and outsourced sales models.
  • What infrastructure is needed at specific milestones.
  • How to get financing at the emerging phase.
  • How Item 19 and transparency affect growth.

Franchisor C-Level Executive Mentors Include: Catherine Monson, CFE, CEO, FASTSIGNS International; Catherine Deano, CFE, Owner, Painting with a Twist; Renee Maloney, CFE, Co-Founder and CEO, Painting with a Twist; Ryan Zink, Co-Founder, Complete Nutrition; Scott Perry, CFE, CFO, Sport Clips, Inc.; Greg Esgar, CFO, BrightStar Franchising, LLC; Tariq Farid, CFE, Founder and CEO, Edible Arrangements International, LLC; Candace Couture, Director of Franchise Sales, Planet Fitness

 

Topping off this event is our incoming IFA Chairwoman and 2017 Convention Committee Chairwoman, Shelly Sun, who built her brand leveraging the IFA educational programming and asking questions of other franchisors to learn both what to do, but also what not to do during her critical start-up phase. Shelly will share her story and how she personally managed the BrightStar brand from inception through maturity.

This boot camp is complimentary to franchisors with 100 units or less, and attendees will receive complimentary CFE enrollment and guide book ($540 value), 400 Bonus CFE Credits to get you started on your quest to CFE designation and a copy of Shelly Sun’s book, "Grow Smart Risk Less". We will cap the attendance at this session to the first 150 franchisor with 100 units

(Open to franchisors with 100 units or less only. Additional sign-up required)

LOCATION
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
3950 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89119

We’re excited to have you join us at the Mandalay Bay, a premier hotel in the heart of Las Vegas! IFA has reserved room blocks at the Mandalay Bay and Delano Las Vegas both on the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino complex.

More Information

FUTURE DATES

IFA’s 58th Annual Convention
February 10-13, 2018
Phoenix Convention Center & Sheraton Hotel, Phoenix, AZ

IFA’s 59th Annual Convention
February 24-27, 2019
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV

IFA’s 60th Annual Convention
February 8-11, 2020
Orlando World Center, Orlando, FL

CONTACT US

To contact the IFA Conferences Department please email events@franchise.org or call 202-662-0763

MEMBERS