2007 Hall of Fame Award
February 2008 Franchising World
Hall of Fame Award - 2007
U. Gary Charlwood, CFE
Chairman and CEO
Charlwood Pacific Group
This award, IFA’s oldest and most prestigious, is presented to an IFA member, past or present, who exemplifies the optimum in franchising and has contributed significantly to the advancement of franchising and the franchising community.
German-born U. Gary Charlwood, CFE, moved to London, England as a child, and later attended Southampton University on a scholarship before beginning his career in the travel industry. In 1966, Charlwood moved to Canada with only $2,000 to his name and became an airline representative in Vancouver. After moving up the ranks he decided to go into business for himself, selling residential real estate. By 1975 he and a partner purchased the master franchise rights to Century 21 Canada. In 1979, Charlwood combined his love of travel and his skill in franchising to create the UNIGLOBE Travel franchise.
Charlwood has advanced the principles of franchising throughout each of his organizations and expanded them internationally. Today, the companies he chairs are owned by Charlwood Pacific Group and represent more than 1,700 franchised locations worldwide. Century 21 Canada has more than 400 locations and 6,700 salespeople. Centum Financial Group (a mortgage brokerage franchise) has 175 locations with more than 4,800 agents. UNIGLOBE Travel International has more than 700 locations in more than 33 countries around the world. Century 21 Asia Pacific has more than 420 locations in nine countries.
Charlwood sits on both sides of the franchise table—as both franchisor and franchisee—so he understands the unique needs and demands of each. This enabled Charlwood to foster relationships, design systems and programs incorporating the needs of the franchisees into his various business organizations.
Through his organizations, he has contributed substantial resources during the past 20 years including more than $6 million to the Easter Seals Campaign, and lends considerable support to Plan International through its Girls Education Initiative in Guinea, West Africa.
His professional involvement in the IFA includes serving as the first non-U.S. citizen chairman, and chairing many committees including the Executive Committee and Franchise Relations Committee. In 1991 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year.