Message From the Chair of the VetFran® Committee
President & COO
TSS Photography, Inc
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Our servicemen and women understand one thing better than anyone else -Dedication to the Mission. Each of them recognizes that victory requires them to master their craft, constantly improve their performance, be part of a team, lead when it is asked of them and to always follow the rules. By the time our sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines become veterans, they know how to win. When they leave the service of our country, their training has given another set of skills – those required to be the perfect franchisee. Their dedication to your mission equals victory for your franchise system.
“Two hundred thousand servicemen and women separate from military service annually, and it’s up to all of us … whether in the public or private sector … to help them start … or re-start … their civilian careers.”
Welcome to the International Franchise Association’s VetFran Program
VetFran was born out of the desire of the late Don Dwyer Sr. – founder of The Dwyer Group, to say thank you to our veterans returning from the first Gulf War. Reborn and re-energized by his daughter, past IFA Chair, Dina Dwyer-Owens after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, VetFran’s ranks have grown to include more than 600 franchise systems that voluntarily offer financial incentives to veterans seeking to become franchise small-business owners. Through the VetFran program more than 6,300 servicemen and women have become franchisees and more are being added every month.
What do you need to do to become a VetFran Member?
Make the commitment. VetFran members commit to offering financial incentives to franchisees that meet their requirements. Since each franchise system is different; how each franchisor structures its own VetFran offering is their decision. Some franchisors provide financial incentives by reducing their initial franchise or other fees or by contributing to the franchisee’s initial cost of investment. To see examples of VetFran programs established by other franchisors and a list of those franchisors already benefiting from the VetFran program, visit the VetFran Directory. You must be an IFA member, but there is no cost to join VetFran. To participate in the program, please complete the VetFran Sign-up form.
Promoting the VetFran Program
In 2002, the International Franchise Association and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs signed an official memorandum of understanding to jointly promote the VetFran program. IFA’s members’ work in support of our nation’s veterans has been recognized by the Veteran Administration’s Center for Veterans Enterprise that honored the IFA by naming it a “Support Sector Champion” in 2003.
IFA also works with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress, military organizations and other entities to promote VetFran via additional government channels. VetFran and participating companies are frequently featured on Web sites targeted to military personnel leaving active service. Through the support of the IFA’s media department, VetFran and its member companies are included in new articles about franchising throughout print and electronic mediums and articles regularly appear in IFA’s Franchising World magazine. Providing information and options to our veterans is one of the missions of the VetFran program. For more information, please visit VetFran's website, vetfran.com.
How Your Company Can Benefit
You, your staff and your franchisees get the pride of knowing that your company has stepped up to say “Thank You” to our nation’s fighting men and women.
For franchisors, there is no better pool of prospective franchisee talent than can be found in our veterans. Being able to target those prospects and allowing them to know that your system has a program tailored to their needs improves your opportunity to attract these candidates to your opportunity.
Anyone can sponsor a VetFran Scholarship – Suppliers, Franchisors or Franchisees. You will receive recognition for your support to the IFA Educational Foundation and know that you have contributed to providing an educational opportunity to someone who helped keep you and your family safe during troubled times.
Upon becoming a VetFran participating company, the IFA Educational Foundation will allow you to use the VetFran logo on your letterhead, brochures, franchise recruitment material, tradeshow booths and other promotional material.
The IFA and its members receive no government funding for VetFran and the program is entirely voluntary. Participating is a benefit of being an IFA member.
It’s time for your company to take its place among the leaders in franchising by saying “Thank You” to our veterans.
The VetFran Committee
In 2007, the IFA Executive Committee and Board of Directors approved the creation of The VetFran Committee. The volunteer members of the VetFran Committee work to increase the opportunities for our honorably-discharged military veterans interested in furthering their careers through ownership of a franchise or through expanding of their entrepreneurial education.
IFA’s Veteran’s Assistance Program Wins Coveted Summit Award
The International Franchise Association was honored by the American Society of Association Executives as a winner of the organization’s 2008 Summit Award in recognition of its Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, known as VetFran.
As part of the ASAE’s Center for the Association Leadership’s Associations Advance America program, the Summit Award is given to the very best efforts engineered by associations across the country in areas like public education/information, economic development, business and social innovation, skills training/development and civic and volunteer activities.
ASAE serves approximately 10,000 associations that represent more than 287 million people and organizations worldwide. Each year, up to 50 associations are selected to receive the ASAE Associations Advance America Award of Excellence for improving the quality of life in America today. This year, 38 organizations were selected in three rounds. The six Summit Award winners, including IFA, were chosen from this group.
To honor those men and women who have served in the U.S. military, VetFran was developed to help them transition to civilian life. The idea of the late Don Dwyer Sr., founder of The Dwyer Group, VetFran is a voluntary effort of International Franchise Association member-companies that is designed to encourage franchise ownership by offering financial incentives to honorably discharged veterans.
VetFran Committee Members:
Committee Chair – Joe Lindenmayer, President/COO, TSS Photography, Inc
Committee Vice Chair- James Amos, Jr, Chairman, Tasti D-Lite LLC
Ron Berger, Chairman/CEO, Figaro's Italian Pizza, Inc.
Richard Bradshaw, Head of Small Business Administration TD Bank
Sean Collins, Vice President, Victory Media, Inc.
Jerry Darnell, CEO, Jerry Darnell & Associates
Janice Dwyer, President - Franchise Business Insurance Division, Luce, Smith and Scott, Inc.
Sean Falk, Owner, WolFTeaM LLC, President, Nachogang LLC
Lonnie Helgerson, CEO Veteran Franchise Centers
Jeff Jervik, President & CEO, Fitness Together Holdings, Inc.
Mark Johnson, EVP & CEO, Granite Transformations
John Kujawa, VP, Global Franchising McDonald's Corporation
Gordon Logan, Founder & CEO Sport Clips, Inc.
Chris Loudermilk, Franchise Consultant The Dwyer Group
Bret Lowell, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US)
Stuart Mathis, President & CEO The Quizno's Corporation
David Nilssen, Co-Founder & CEO, Guidant Financial Group, Inc.
Karen Powell, CEO & Founder, Decor&You®
Cordell Riley, President, Tortal
Jon Rucker, Military Program Manager, Snap-on-Tools Company, LLC
Alex Roberts, President, Mr. Handyman
Michael Seid, Managing Director MSA Worldwide
Bryan Smith, Senior VP, Franchise Development, Instant Imprints
J.C. Sneyd, VP & Director of Marketing & Sales, Grout Doctor Global Franchise Corp.
Chuck Southern, Center for Veterans Enterprise, Department of Veterans Affairs
Bill Spae, President & CEO, MOOYAH
Eric Stites, CEO, Franchise Business Review
Leonard Swartz, Senior Advisor, iFranchise Group
Greg Tanner, National Director Franchising, Aaron's Sales & Leasing
James Tatem, President, Sign-A-Rama, Inc.
Mary Thompson, CFE, President, Mr. Rooter, The Dwyer Group
Christopher Warren, Director Franchise Network Relations, Valpak