Meet the New IFA Chair: Shelly Sun, CFE

Spotlight on People
Franchising World

Shelly Sun, CFE, Co-founder and CEO of BrightStar Care, will assume chairmanship of the International Franchise Association’s Board of Directors immediately following the 57th Annual Convention in Las Vegas. A leading advocate for the franchise business model through her active involvement with IFA, Sun recently shared her views with Franchising World about issues facing the franchise community and her priorities for the association while serving as chairwoman.
“The best way that leaders in the industry can engage is to attend the IFA Convention early in the year and the Franchise Action Network D.C. Fly-In and Annual Meeting in September.”
Shelly Sun, CFE

As the 2017 IFA Chairwoman, what do you see as the most critical issues facing IFA and the franchising industry overall? 

The most critical issues facing IFA and the franchising industry overall include rolling back regulations, passing a legislative fix to joint employer and building a pro-growth, pro-business environment with tax reform and labor changes that business can absorb and remain competitive.

What are your top priorities for the association in 2017?

The top priorities for the association in 2017 include the NLRB legislative solution to retain the long-standing definition of a franchisor and franchisee, rolling back the exempt threshold changes, and addressing the meteoric rise in health care costs is also important to our members. 


As a strong proponent of franchising, what do you believe is the best way to energize leaders in the industry to help protect the franchise business model?

I can’t imagine anyone who meets the definition of a leader not engaging if they are informed and educated. The best way they do this is attending the IFA Convention in January and the Franchise Action Network meeting and Fly-In in September.


What is your leadership style and how has it best served you and your team?

I focus on recruiting and retaining the best talent, empowering them and getting out of their way. I hire those more knowledgeable than me for their area and then let them do their job. I inspect what I expect and manage to goals. I follow Traction’s Entrepreneurial Operating System closely.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I have been both a franchisee (of hotels) and franchisor and ensured our model replicated to three company-owned locations before we franchised.