Committees and Forums | International Franchise Association

Committees and Forums


2018 IFA Committees and Forums

Committee Sign-up Form


The IFA Board of Directors shall have the power to create committees, advisory groups and task forces for the Association, define their functions, and terminate any such committee or advisory group.   The IFA Chair shall appoint the committee Chair, Vice Chair, and members.  Each committee and advisory group shall perform the functions specifically prescribed by the Board of Directors or which are properly within the jurisdiction of such committee or advisory group.  (IFA Bylaws)


IFA Forums

FRANCHISEE FORUM—elect their chairs/vice chairs

Interim Chair—Tom Baber

Interim 1st Vice Chair—Tamra Kennedy

Staff Liaison—Erica Farage,, 202-662-0760

To encourage meaningful dialogue between franchisees and franchisors, and to be instrumental in addressing and resolving concerns of mutual interest.  Franchisee Forum Officers and members are elected by their peers on the Forum from nominations received by the IFA membership.  Membership is limited to franchisee members of IFA.



Chair—Karen Satterlee

Vice Chair—Chris Dull

Staff Liaison—Matt Haller,, 202-662-0770

To provide an opportunity for franchisor members of the IFA to discuss matters of interest primarily to franchisors.  Membership limited to franchisors.


SUPPLIER FORUM ADVISORY BOARD—elect their chairs/vice chairs

Chair—Mary Ann O’Connell

Vice Chair—Lorne Fisher

Staff Liaison—Paul Rocchio,, 202-662-0790

To promote the continued growth of franchising through a network of informed suppliers dedicated to superior service and professionalism, and to better support members of the franchising community with high-quality products, new technologies, and educational opportunities. (Open only to Supplier Forum members)


IFA Committees, Councils, and Task Force



Chair—Liam Brown

1st Vice Chair—David Barr

Staff Liaison—Robert Cresanti

To provide governance and policy development for IFA. Consists of 39 members, including the Chair and 1st Vice Chair of the Franchisee Forum, the Chairs of the Franchisor and Supplier Forums.  Terms are three years and members may succeed themselves for one additional three-year term.  Eligibility requires service on committees. Must be elected to become a member of the Board of Directors. Nominating committee presents a slate of candidates that the Board considers and elects.



Chair—Liam Brown

Vice Chair—David Barr

Staff Liaison—Anne Poodiack,, 202-662-0773

To provide direction and suggestions for the general sessions and educational programming at the IFA Annual Convention.  Assist in the development of a marketing plan, identification of sponsorship and exhibits prospects. 



Chair—Liam Brown

1st Vice Chair—David Barr

Staff Liaison—Robert Cresanti

To act on behalf of the Board when Board is not in session.  Consists of officers, namely the Chair, 1st Vice Chair, 2nd Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, past IFA Chair, plus the Chairs of the Franchisee, Franchisor, and Supplier Forums.  Nominating committee recommends the slate elected by IFA Board.



Chair—Bill Hall

Staff Liaison—Mike Williams,, 202-662-4174

To operate a financially sound and stable organization; to ensure cost efficient operations with fiscally sound budgets; and to provide a safe, secure working environment.



Chair— Harvey Homsey, 

Vice Chair— Steve Rafsky

Staff Liaison—Greg Cook,, 202-662-0791

To assist IFA members by developing information and programs that promote positive relations and encourage dialogue and cooperation between franchisees and franchisors.



Chair— Matthew Patinkin,, 847-420-2823

Vice Chair—David Humphrey

Staff Liaison—Josh Merin,, 202-662-0762

The International Committee is responsible for directing the activities of the IFA International Department in its role to assist franchise companies to develop and expand their international operations.  The department achieves this mission by providing technical assistance and information, along with organizing and supporting franchise trade missions and U.S. pavilions at selected franchise exhibitions outside the United States.



Chair—Mary Schell,, 614-764-3437

Vice Chair—Matthew Lathrop,, 502-874-8598

Staff Liaison—Matt Haller,, 202-662-0770



Chair—Les Wharton,, 561-922-2530

Vice Chair—Jon Solish,, 310-576-2100

Staff Liaison—Suzanne Beall,, 202-662-4173

To advise IFA with regard to identification, prioritization, and position on legislative, regulatory and legal issues affecting franchising.  The Committee shall provide a forum for maintaining a high level of awareness of these issues among the Association’s membership.  In addition, the Committee will provide a means by which the maximum resources available can be brought to bear on these legislative, regulatory and legal issues identified as a priority for the Association.


LEGAL SYMPOSIUM TASK FORCE—they choose their own chairs/vice chairs

Chair: Jan Gilbert,, 202-295-2230

Vice Chair: Stuart Hershman,, 312- 368-2164

Staff Liaison: Andie Snider,, 202-662-4178



Chair: Sherri Fishman

Vice Chair: Marina O'Rourke

Staff Liaison: Beth Dailey,, 202-662-0776

To educate IFA members on best practices in marketing, technology and innovation to drive member company performance and efficiency by leveraging digital platforms and other innovative tools to promote franchising and the IFA to internal and external audiences. 



Chair: Mary Ann O’Connell

Vice Chair: Jania Bailey,, 502-753-2380

Staff Liaison: Scott Lehr,, 202-662-0785/Paul Rocchio,, 202-662-0790

To build a cohesive membership foundation to strengthen IFA for its franchisors, franchisees and suppliers.



Chair: David Barr

Vice Chair: Catherine Monson

Staff Liaison: Robert Cresanti

It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to propose to the Board of Directors: (i) candidates for the office of director to be elected by the Board of Directors at its regular fall meeting and (ii) candidates for the following officers of the Association to be elected by the Board of Directors at its regular fall meeting: Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, and Secretary. The Nominating Committee shall nominate a number of candidates for the Board of Directors sufficient to fill all then and existing vacancies on the Board of Directors and all vacancies that are projected to occur by the next annual meeting of the Association.


PAST CHAIR’S COUNCIL—elect their chairs/vice chairs

Staff Liaison—Jenna Weisbord,, 202-662-0766



Chair—Michael Seid,, 860-523-4257

Staff Liaison—Josh Merin,, 202-662-0762


WOMEN’S FRANCHISE COMMITTEE—committee elects their chairs/vice chairs

Chair—Marisa Faunce,, 703-774-1214

Vice Chair—Michelle Rowan,, 603-433-2260

Staff Liaison—Andie Snider,, 202-662-4178

The mission of the Women's Franchise Committee is to promote women's participation in franchising by providing international networking opportunities for the exchange of ideas, resources and experiences.


IFA Foundation



Chair: Michael Isakson, CFE,, 901-482-7730
1st Vice Chair: Tony Valle, CFE,, 416-620-4700
2nd Vice Chair: David McKinnon, CFE,,305-744-5100
Staff Liaison: Mary Heitman,, 202-774-2067

Increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community… Educating the next generation of franchising practitioners… Increasing recognition of franchising's key role in the free enterprise system… Providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising… The Foundation, founded in 1983, is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization. The Foundation is supported through the generous contributions of IFA members and others. All contributions are tax deductible.



Chair: Gail Johnson, CFE,, 804-747-5900
Vice Chair: Harvey Homsey, CFE,, 800-652-6400
Staff Liaison: Rose DuPont,, 202-662-0771

To enhance the professionalism of franchising by certifying the highest standards of quality training and education. To be recognized as the premiere certification program in franchising.



Chair: Jeff Bevis, CFE,, 513-766-8402
Vice Chair: Steve White,, 800-755-7876
Staff Liaison: Radim Dragomaca,, 202-662-0772

The VetFran Committee brings together C-suite leaders representing franchisors, franchisees and suppliers, who volunteer their time and expertise to provide strategic direction to the VetFran program. VetFran is a community of over 600 franchise companies who have committed to financial incentives for prospective qualified veteran franchisees. The program also works to educate the veterans community about the opportunities of franchising.



Chair: Earsa Jackson,, 214-651-2394
Vice Chair: John "JD" Draper,, 248-385-5701
Staff Liaison: Miriam Brewer, CFE,, 202-662-0784

The purpose of the Diversity Institute is to promote and foster diversity and inclusion within the franchising community. The Institute will serve as the home for IFA and the Foundation’s diversity programs – education, research, scholarships, and liaisons with other national organizations. The Institute will provide information to assist IFA members in expanding their diversity recruitment and multi-cultural marketing efforts at all levels – franchisees, employees, suppliers, and consumers as well as educating diverse communities on opportunities in franchising.


IFA’s Supplier Forum Directory

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