February 24-27, 2019 // Mandalay Bay // Las Vegas, NV


The International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention is franchising's biggest event for business development and personal growth. Whether you're a franchising veteran or just starting out, there are sessions designed for everyone. This is your chance to network, chart the future of the franchise industry, and grow your brand, together. IFA 2019 will provide attendees with new, exciting and inspirational sessions and events, including unique and new General Session presentation formats, as well as top-tier, must-see industry and business leaders.


What You'll Experience:

  • Dynamic keynote speakers
  • 50+ educational sessions
  • Exhibit hall with 350+ supplier partners



Gary Vaynerchuk

Chairman of VaynerX, CEO and Co-Founder of VaynerMedia, Keynote Speaker

Patrick Sweeney

Fear Guru, Motivational Speaker and Author who will discuss “Using Fear as Fuel”

Shep Hyken

Chief Amazement Officer, Shepard Presentations, who will discuss “How to Create a Customer Service Experience that Disrupts Competition and Creates Fierce Loyalty”

Dennis Maloney

Senior Vice President - Chief Digital Officer, Domino's

Todd Davis

Chief People Officer, FranklinCovey, who will discuss “15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work”

Sam Caucci

Founder & CEO, 1HUDDLE


8:00 am – 10:00 amICFE Registration Desk Open

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Concurrent ICFE Special Sessions*

For more information on these sessions and how to register, please click here!

11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Franchising Gives Back*

For more information on this year's service project and how to get involved, please click here!

12:00 pm – 2:00 pmFinance Committee Meeting

12:00 pm – 2:00 pmFranchisor Forum Meeting

2:30 pm – 4:30 pmIFA Executive Committee Meeting

5:15 pm – 6:15 pmIFA New Board Members' Orientation


*Separate registration and/or fee applies.

7:00 am – 7:30 pmRegistration Desk Open

7:30 am – 9:00 amDiversity Institute Advisory Board Meeting

7:45 am – 1:15 pmNextGen Orientation & Accelerator Session (for winners & advisers)

8:00 am – 5:00 pmInternational Lounge

8:00 am – 5:00 pmFranchisee Hospitality Lounge (open to all Franchisees)

8:00 am – 9:00 amPast Chairmen's Council Meeting

8:00 am – 9:30 amVetFran Military Caregivers Taskforce Meeting

8:00 am – 10:00 amICFE Registration Desk Open

8:30 am – 10:30 amWomen's Franchise Committee Meeting

9:00 am – 1:00 pmIFA Board of Directors' Meeting

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Concurrent ICFE Special Sessions*

For more information on these sessions and how to register, please click here!

10:00 am – 12:00 pmVetFran Committee Meeting

10:00 am – 5:15 pmIFA Foundation Scholarship Recipient's Meeting

11:30 am – 5:30 pm

Annual Leadership Conference*

CREATING & LEADING A CULTURE THAT DRIVES RESULTS: Balancing Warm and Fuzzy with Manage and Measure

Business culture exists in every company, whether it’s managed effectively by the leadership team, or is the result of neglect. Culture is widely recognized and talked about as a critical business issue that has a direct impact on productivity and profit, but unlike financial performance, which is analyzed and reviewed regularly, culture is rarely measured. All that is about to change. Join 300 franchise leaders for a deep dive into how to create and maintain a leader-driven culture that aligns team behavior with company values, and more importantly, how to measure and adjust to drive engagement, performance, compliance, and consistency.

Schedule of Events

11:30 am – 12:30 pm // Opening Luncheon featuring the Presentation of the Crystal Compass

12:45 pm - 1:30 pm // Keynote Address: World Class Culture: It’s Not What’s On the Walls, It’s What’s In the Halls

Keynote Speaker: Nick Friedman, President, College Hunks Hauling Junk

1:30 pm - 1:50 pm // Chat & Break

1:55 pm - 2:45 pm // Leaders On the Spot

Join us as three senior-level franchise executives take the stage to share their insights, tools and best practices in leadership and business development in this fast-paced presentation. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions as well.

Moderator: Michelle Rowan, CFE, President & COO, Franchise Business Review
Speakers: Mitch Cohen, Franchisee, Jersey Mike’s Subs of East Meadow, NY; Jennifer Lemcke, Chief Operating Officer, Turf Holdings, Inc, Weed Man; Heather Neary, President, Auntie Anne’s, Inc.

2:45 pm - 2:55 pm // Table Talk

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm // Case Study

Participants will discuss a real-world case study of an actual franchise system (the system in question will remain a mystery until 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.

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm // Networking Reception

The Annual Leadership Conference is open to all fully-registered Convention attendees for an additional $125 per person. Lunch, presentations and reception are all included in the registration fee.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pmSupplier Forum Executive Committee Meeting

1:30 pm – 5:15 pm

Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp* (open to Franchisors with 100 units or less)

Our highly anticipated 2019 Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp will feature the best of the 2017 & 2018 bootcamps with an important TWIST. The 2019 half-day bootcamp will be held at the beginning of the IFA convention, and is designed to provide practical value and networking that will kick start your learning. Participants will once again learn from the best in franchising, and the centerpiece will be peer and Mentor input to solve business issues emerging franchisors bring to the table.

The bootcamp will be led by franchise and IFA leaders Ron Feldman, CFE, CDO of ApplePie Capital and Tony Valle, CFE, Founder & CEO of ELM Performance Group. Ron & Tony will be delivering the program in partnership with top franchise leaders who will act as mentors & facilitators to emerging franchisor groups during the problem-solving exercises.

Here is what you can expect:

  1. Application & Action: The 2019 Bootcamp will primarily be a working session that will maximize time spent on problem-solving real issues. Each emerging franchisor will receive Mentor and peer input to a key business problem. This input will also help participants more effectively choose convention sessions and events that will further help them solve important issues.
  2. Emerging Franchisor Context: You will hear the latest emerging brand data and benchmark for emerging franchisors to achieve Recurring Revenue Self Sufficiency™ which will focus on healthy growth through different stages. Topics will include infrastructure, brokers, financing and item 19 transparency.
  3. Networking: The event will include a who’s who in franchising, and this access will last long after the 2019 IFA Convention. This is an opportunity to connect with road-tested leaders who have been in your shoes and can help you navigate business issues and resources available to you.

Problem-Solving Mentors: Jania Bailey, CFE, CEO, FranNet Franchising, LLC; David Barr, Chairman, PMTD Restaurants; Mike Bidwell, CFE, President & CEO, Neighborly; Candace Couture, CFE, VP, Business Development, Planet Fitness; Chris Drazba, SVP, IHG Lodging Development, InterContinental Hotels Group; Jeff Dudan, Founder, AdvantaClean Systems, Inc.; Shane Evans, CFE, President & Co-Founder, Massage Heights; Scott Frith, CFE, CEO, Lawn Doctor, Inc.; Rob Goggins, President, Great Clips, Inc.; Steve Greenbaum, CFE, CEO, ComForCare Home Care; Peter Holt, CFE, CEO, The Joint Corp.; Mike Isakson, CFE, Owner, Merry Maids of Edgemont, AR; Mark Jameson, CFE, EVP, Franchise Support and Development, FASTSIGNS International; David Lewis, VP, Franchising, Express Services, Inc.; Mark Liston, CFE, President, Glass Doctor; Alan Majerko, VP, Corporate Development, Winmark Corporation; Frank Milner, CFE, President, Tutor Doctor Systems, Inc.; Dan Monaghan, CFE, Managing Partner, Clear Summit Group; Catherine Monson, CFE, CEO, FASTSIGNS International; Barbara Moran-Goodrich, CFE, CEO & Co-Founder, Moran Family of Brands; Steve Murphy, President, Franchising, Winmark Corporation; Todd Recknagel, CFE, Chairman, National Envy Development, LLC; Philip Schram, CFE, CDO, Buffalo Wings & Rings; Jeff Sturgis, CDO, Fazoli's Franchising Systems, LLC; Shelly Sun, CFE, CEO & Founder, BrightStar Franchising, LLC; Dena Tripp, Co-Founder, Nothing Bundt Franchising, Inc.; Ken Walker, CFE, International Franchise Association, Past Chair; Tom Wood, President & CEO, Floor Coverings International; Ralph Yarusso, CFE, CDO, FullSpeed Automotive

This bootcamp is complimentary to fully-registered Convention franchisors with 100 units or less to sign up, and attendees will receive 100 CFE Education credits. Attendance is limited, so sign up today!

3:00 pm – 4:00 pmSupplier Forum Orientation

3:00 pm – 5:00 pmMarketing & Innovation Committee Meeting

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

New Member & First-Time Attendee Workshop

New IFA members and first-time convention attendees are invited to get acquainted with their franchise community colleagues, meet their Ambassador and other IFA Leaders and find out how to make the most of their IFA membership and Convention experience! This workshop will be immediately followed by the New Member & First-Time Attendee Reception from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm. Both events are free and only open to new IFA members and/or first-time Annual Convention attendees.

5:15 pm – 6:15 pmNextGen Reception (by invitation only)

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

5:30 pm – 6:30 pmFranchisee Open House Reception (open to all Franchisees)

6:30 pm – 8:00 pmThe Buzz


*Separate registration and/or fee applies.

7:00 am – 7:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

7:00 am – 8:15 am

Prayer Breakfast*

A Founder’s Journey of Faith and Franchising

A non-denominational event, the Prayer Breakfast is a great way to start the day with music, reflection, inspirational speakers and food for both body and mind. Jump start the day of concurrent educational sessions, networking engagements and high-powered business meetings with a bit of reflection. The Prayer Breakfast is offered on a complimentary basis to the first 400 fully-registered convention attendees on a first-come, first-served basis (advance registration is requested).

Keynote Speaker: Brian Mattingly, Founder & CEO, Welcomemat Services

7:00 am – 8:30 amSupplier Forum Advisory Board & Membership Meeting

8:00 am – 5:00 pmInternational Lounge

8:00 am – 5:00 pmFranchisee Hospitality Lounge (open to all Franchisees)

8:30 am – 10:30 am


Elements of Successful Franchising

(This summit is relevant to all system sizes.)
This summit is a part of the General track

This highly interactive session will focus on the top trends in franchising and the impact they have on successful franchise systems. We will review the major legal, financial and business stories that shaped franchising in 2018, and look to what we think we will see in 2019. Areas of discussion will include:

  • Regulatory update: the latest on joint employer/vicarious liability, antitrust challenges and other new legal issues impacting franchisees, franchisors and the franchise relationship.
  • Which industries and which brands are growing, and why.
  • Best practices to making franchising a win-win for franchisor and franchisee.
  • Continuing challenges facing franchisors and franchisees.

Speakers: David Barr, Chairman, PMTD Restaurants; Rich Greenstein, CFE, Partner & Chairman, Franchise and Distribution Practice, DLA Piper LLP (US); Tom Kaiser, Senior Editor, Franchise Times Corp.; Rick Morey, CFE, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US)

Financial Summit

This summit is a part of the Finance track

Managing your franchisee’s financing needs during a changing credit cycle. Credit is tightening, interest rates are rising. First-time franchisees will open with a larger debt burden and higher fixed costs. Experienced, multi-unit franchisees may need more equity in each project as the credit cycle tightens. What should we as franchisors adjust for?

Common questions:

  • What do banks do when cycles change? What does that mean to my brand?
  • How does this affect both first time and existing franchisees in their growth plans?
  • What can you do as a franchisor to control risk?
  • How much debt can a project support?
  • What are the right loan products to have available to my franchisees?

Panel Moderator: Ron Feldman, CFE, CDO, ApplePie Capital, Inc.
Speakers: Sam Ballas, CFE, President & CEO, East Coast Wings + Grill; Ray Howell, Owner, Tropical Smoothie of Fort Myers, FL; Christina Russell, CFE, Former CEO, Pure Barre; Edith Wiseman, CFE, President, FRANdata
Exercise Moderator: Randy Jones, Head, Originations, ApplePie Capital, Inc.

Part 1: Emerging Brands
(This part is most relevant to systems with 0 – 100 units.)

This part will provide an exercise on a first-time franchisee comparison of who is a better candidate.

Part 2: Growth & Mature Brands
(This part is most relevant to systems with 101+ units.)

This part will provide an exercise on approving franchisee entities for additional development and interpreting their financials.

Franchise Development/Sales Summit

This summit is a part of the Franchise Development/Sales track

Panel 1: Fresh, New Cost-Effective Methods to Catch, Connect with and Close Franchisees
(This panel is most relevant to systems with 0 – 100 units.)

For an emerging brand just starting out with minimal capital, generating franchise leads requires smart, cost effective processes. Coming from diverse industries ranging from food and fitness to B2B and education brands, this dynamic group of franchisors and third-party experts will share real-life examples of how they landed their initial franchisees, and how they earned franchise candidates using smart processes including Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned media. Panelists will also discuss how to best leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and the increasing role of personal brand-building for franchise lead generation, in which founders and other company executives share thought leadership over social media and other vehicles to attract like-minded candidates into their systems.

Moderator: Kelly McNamara, Senior Account Manager, Fishman PR
Speakers: Tim Arpin, VP, Franchise Development, Self Esteem Brands, LLC; Marty Flanagan, VP, Franchising, Code Ninjas LLC; Nicholas Neonakis, CEO, The Franchise Consulting Company, Inc.

Panel 2: Advancing Quality Candidates Through the Franchise Sales Funnel to Fill Growth Gaps
(This panel is most relevant to systems with 101+ units.)

After reaching a certain point, many franchise systems find themselves in a rut, unable to attract new candidates or advance existing candidates to the point of sale. In this session, expert panelists will explore how to break through growth plateaus and effective ways to target specific geographic areas where you are lacking a presence. The panel will also address best practices for vetting quality candidates that align with your brand/core values, how to overcome candidate pain points and how to adjust your approach to effectively communicate with different types and demographics of candidates.

Moderator: Debra Vilchis, COO, Fishman PR
Speakers: Kevin King, CFE, CDO, Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.;Doug Smith, SVP, Franchise Development, Harris Research, Inc.; Miles Tedder, COO, Pet Supplies Plus

Franchise Relations Summit

(This summit is relevant to all system sizes.)
Developed by the Franchise Relations Committee, the Franchisee Forum and the Franchisor Forum
This summit is a part of the Franchise Relations track

Making a Meaningful Difference to the Brand and the Bottom Line….TOGETHER

When a brand’s promise is understood by all brand stakeholders and executed with excellence and passion, everyone succeeds. The challenge is to ensure that all stakeholders communicate and deliver on that promise in a collaborative fashion every single day, with an understanding that the brand promise is much more than what the end consumer receives from an individual franchise location. The brand promise must be mutually beneficial for all brand stakeholders, including franchisors and their entire support team, franchisees and their staff members and end customers. Leaders in the best franchise systems collaboratively lead with a focus on the brand promise, strong franchisee-franchisor brand alignment and a communication plan that is as much about listening as it is talking, all of which will drive strong and sustainable unit level profitability (and the path to get there).

Moderator: Brian Schnell, CFE, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Speakers: Robert Branca, President, Dunkin' Donuts of Worcester, MA; Tamra Kennedy, Franchisee, Owner - Taco John's, Twin City TJ's, Inc.; Rob Price, CEO, School of Rock; Mary Kennedy Thompson, CFE, COO, Neighborly
Presenter: Greg Nathan, CFE, Founder, Franchise Relationships Institute

International Summit - Track One

(This summit is relevant to all system sizes, but in particular, those new to international franchising.)
Developed by the International Committee
This summit is a part of the International track

Panel 1: International 101: Market Selection & Development Models

Experienced practitioners will share practical and experience-based ways to choose the international markets and development models that will yield the highest ROI for your franchise.

Moderator: Larry Oberly, CFE, President & CEO, SpeedPro Imaging
Speakers: Sean Ayres, Executive Vice President, Jani-King International, Inc.; Art Coley, CFE, CEO, CGI Franchise; Don Wray, Senior Managing Counsel, Global Contracts, Subway Restaurants

Panel 2: The Help You Need and Where to Find It

This panel will identify and outline the types of assistance available to franchisors, including through IFA, US government programs, franchise suppliers, national franchise associations and more. Topics will include market research, candidate identification and due diligence, accounting, legal, customs, banking, supply chain, franchise consulting and brokerage.

Moderator: Joyce Mazero, Shareholder, Polsinelli
Speakers: Pete Jensen, VP, Supply Chain - International, Dunkin'Brands International; Bachir Mihoubi, President & CEO, FranCounselGroup

International Summit - Track Two

(This summit is relevant to companies already engaged in international franchising with 101+ units.)
Developed by the International Committee
This summit is a part of the International track

Setting International Fees – Workshop

In this interactive workshop, participants will walk through the many factors involved in setting international fees. Attendees will tackle the overseas expansion plans of two fictional brands to learn best practices, uncover common mistakes, avoid costly pitfalls, and determine what’s best for their companies.

Speakers: William Edwards, CFE, CEO, Edwards Global Services; Ned Lyerly, CFE, President, International, CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.; Ali McElroy, Chief Global Development Officer & Chief Legal Officer, Lift Brands

Labor Issues Summit

(This summit is relevant to all system sizes.)
This summit is a part of the General track

Opportunities & Challenges Facing Franchising

The new Congress and new state legislatures are pushing a host of employment-related policies that will impact franchising, and you need to know how these policies are likely to affect how you do business. Join Mike Layman and Jeff Hanscom of the IFA Government Relations team and a host of expert speakers at the Labor Issues Summit to understand when and where labor-related legislation is poised to become law and how you can manage relevant risk for your organization.

Panel 1: Federal/State/Local Update on Labor and Employment Policy Developments

Moderator: Michael Layman, VP, Federal Government Relations, International Franchise Association
Speakers: Jeff Hanscom, VP, State Government Relations & Public Policy, International Franchise Association; Joe Kefauver, Managing Partner, Align Public Strategies; Michael Lotito, Co-Chair, Littler's Workplace Policy Institute & Shareholder, Littler Mendelson; Clara Osterhage, Owner, Great Clips of Dayton, OH

Panel 2: How Your Company Should Comply With the Changing Policy and Legal Landscape

Moderator: Michael Layman, VP, Federal Government Relations, International Franchise Association
Speakers: Amy Cheng, CFE, Partner, Cheng Cohen LLC; Todd Recknagel, CFE, Chairman, National Envy Development, LLC; Alexander Tuneski, CFE, Of Counsel, DLA Piper LLP (US)

Marketing & Innovation Summit

(This summit is relevant to all system sizes.)
Developed by the Marketing & Innovation Committee
This summit is a part of the Marketing track

This summit will address the latest trends in marketing and the tools that franchise companies need in today’s ever-changing marketing landscape. You will learn from leading experts and your peers about what is working in franchise marketing campaigns and what isn’t. Case studies from some of franchising’s leading companies will be presented followed by over 40 solution 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 Speaker: David Graham, CEO & Co-Founder, Code Ninjas LLC

Operations Summit

This summit is a part of the Operations track

Panel 1: Propelling New Units to Breakeven: Best Practices in Franchisee Onboarding, Training and Support
(This panel is relevant to all system sizes.)

An operation’s breakeven is a critical objective for both franchisees’ and franchisors’ success. Effective onboarding, training and support of new franchisees contributes to their early performance and how quickly they achieve that goal. The critical path from franchise signing, through site selection, build-out, training, opening and first-year operations offers countless opportunities for the franchisor to make a difference in the franchisee’s trajectory. Learn from a panel of experienced franchise leaders, from emerging through mature franchisors, about tactics they use to foster cash flow-positive businesses.

Moderator: Marla Rosner, CFE, Senior Learning and Development Consultant, MSA Worldwide
Speakers: Bryan Lively, VP, Operations, Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC; Meg Rose, CFE, VP, Field Operations, Firehouse Subs;Michael Seid, CFE, Managing Director, MSA Worldwide; Jerry Wright, CFE, West Business Unit Leader and Coach, Comfort Keepers

Panel 2: FOCUS! Defining Your Role as a Modern Franchisor
(This panel is most relevant to systems with 0 – 100 units.)

Building a successful system is complex and it’s easy to get drawn from your core focus as a franchisor. What will move you and the franchisees forward, getting the greatest ROI while protecting you and the system? Hear from experts who have been franchisees, franchisors and suppliers who are willing to share the best of what they have seen throughout the franchise community. Share ideas on supporting your core competency through support methods, tech innovations and outside resources that will focus you on your goals. Join in the conversation with your questions and innovations.

Moderator: Mary Ann O'Connell, CFE, President, FranWise®
Speakers: Marisa Faunce, Partner, Plave Koch PLC; Adam Robinson, Co-Founder & CEO, Hireology, Inc.; Ryan Zink, CFE, CEO, Franchise Fastlane

8:45 am – 11:45 am

NextGen Competition - Round One

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)

Please join us as NextGen in Franchising Global Competition winners present their business concepts and plans to a panel of seasoned CEOs and executives for a chance to be selected as one of three Grand Prize finalists. The three Grand Prize finalists will go on to the NextGen Competition final round during the Closing General Session.

The NextGen in Franchising Global Competition engages young entrepreneurs who are seeking careers and business opportunities in the franchising industry. By providing individuals from around the world with networking opportunities, constructive feedback and a closer look into key components of the franchise process, NextGen is helping entrepreneurial dreams come true.

9:15 am – 10:30 am

Specialty Seminars

New Opportunities Await – Uncover A Diamond in the Rough

(This seminar is relevant to all system sizes.)
Developed by the Diversity Institute Advisory Board

The success of any business is often measured by how efficiently it responds to change. The shifting demographics in the United States present a unique opportunity for franchise brands to expand into once under-represented communities and reach untapped talent. This program will explore a revitalization project in an urban area and explore ways this revitalization can be replicated in other areas of the country. This program will also cover various incentives offered by municipalities for businesses. The program will explain the new Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and explore how Opportunity Funds may be utilized to spur franchise growth.

Moderator: Earsa Jackson, CFE, Partner, Clark Hill Strasburger
Speakers: Carmen Caruso, Principal, Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm; Alderman Latasha Thomas, Senior Counsel, Clark Hill Strasburger

National Veterans Hiring Campaigns: Lessons from the Private Equity World

(This seminar is relevant to all system sizes.)
Developed by the VetFran Committee

Mike McDermott successfully ran the Blackstone Veterans Hiring Initiative, building a coalition that hired 62,000 veterans nationwide in five years. Learn how your company can unlock and maximize the leadership potential of veterans, how to tap into national resources and build coalitions that can make your brand a leader at the nexus of patriotism, talent acquisition and corporate social responsibility.

Keynote Speaker: Mike McDermott, Founder & CEO, Arcadia Group, LLC and Advisor, The Blackstone Group

10:40 am – 12:00 pm

Mini Super Sessions

Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)

Presented by: Todd Davis, Chief People Officer, FranklinCovey

A Franchises’ Greatest Asset Is Not Just Its People, But The Relationships Between Its People To Achieve The Greatest Results

Your franchises’ most important asset isn’t just your people. It’s what happens between your people—how well they respect and treat each other every day under even the most stressful circumstances—that creates your franchises’ ultimate competitive advantage.

In the work session based on his book, Get Better: 15 Practices to Building Effective Relationships at Work, FranklinCovey’s Chief People Officer, Todd Davis, shares insights from his 30+ year career observing and coaching people at all levels inside organizations.

Through authentic stories, powerful videos, his great sense of humor and applicable job tools, Todd explores common relationship pitfalls that affect careers and results, and shares proven practices that help individuals increase their influence and master the skills of effective relationships at work.

During Todd’s keynote, participants will:

  • Receive an overview of the 15 Get Better Practices and go in depth on a select few that may be most relevant or needed in the franchise community.
  • Learn specific actions that franchisors, franchisees and staff members can implement immediately.
  • Discover how to assess challenging relationships and transition them to rewarding relationships.
  • Utilize the “Get Better Card Deck” to identify, analyze and improve your own behaviors around relationship building.

How to Create a Customer Service Experience that Disrupts Competition and Creates Fierce Loyalty

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)

Presented by: Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer, Shepard Presentations

Shep Hyken is back with another presentation filled with must-have information. Regardless of the type of business or industry you are in, great service is no longer an option. It’s expected, and the bar for a great service experience is higher than ever. You are no longer compared to your competition. You are now compared to the best service your customers (guests, clients, members) have received from any type of business. Today’s smart companies know this and they are delivering customer service experiences that are always meeting and even exceeding their customers’ expectations. And, how are they doing that? In addition to friendly, knowledgeable and helpful customer service, they are focusing on convenience. Reducing friction and creating an easier customer experience is separating companies from their competition. All things being equal, the business that is easiest to do business with wins.

In his usual entertaining and high-energy style, Shep will showcase the Six Convenience Principles with examples from different industries in the franchise world. Whether it be a fitness center, a restaurant, an in-home healthcare franchise – or any other type of business – this is must-have information that will give you a competitive edge that disrupts your competition and creates fierce loyalty.

How to Talk About Your Business so People Care

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)

Presented by: Mark Levy, Founder, Levy Innovation LLC

Let’s face it, most businesspeople don’t know how to talk about what they do for a living and how it can help others. Instead, as they discuss their work, listeners grow bored or confused. The unfortunate result? Potential sales are lost, opportunities are blown, and the businessperson’s self-confidence is (justifiably) shaken.

In this presentation, Mark teaches attendees how to talk about their businesses clearly and engagingly, so that others will sit up and take notice. They’ll learn persuasive tools they can use in casual conversation, sales pitches, presentations, and meetings, and they’ll be able to share their learning with others in their organization.

10:45 am – 12:30 pmMembership Committee Meeting

11:15 am – 12:45 pmLunch Buffet Available

12:00 pm – 12:45 pmFranPAC VIP Event (by invitation only)

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Opening General Session (doors open at 12:30 pm)

Just what will GaryVee say?

This is the event that everyone will be talking about…and anyone in the business space (we mean you), simply cannot pass up the opportunity to hear from our opening keynote speaker. Prepare to be blown away by GaryVee’s energy, insights and powerful strategies for growing your brand in a whole new way.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and the Chairman of VaynerX, a modern day communications parent company, as well as the CEO and Co-Founder of VaynerMedia, a fullservice digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients across the company’s four locations.

Gary rose to prominence in the late 90’s after establishing one of the first ecommerce wine sites, WineLibrary, helping his father grow the family business from $4 million to $60 million.

In February of 2006, Gary launched Wine Library TV, a daily video blog about wine. While developing the audience for Wine Library TV, Gary eschewed the traditional media tools he had relied on when building the retail store, turning instead to the social web. Gary joined the online conversation by becoming an active member of blogs and forums, and then proceeded to utilize web 2.0 tools such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with consumers online. The business world took note of Gary’s approach, and before long he was being invited to speak at conferences and corporations around the world.

Gary launched a second blog, garyvaynerchuk.com, where he dispenses business advice and comments on emerging technologies and cultural trends. As his following grew online, Gary became one of the first to reach Facebook’s friend limit and has accumulated more than 1.7 million followers on Twitter. Gary’s first business book, entitled Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion, was released in the Fall of 2009 and debuted as a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Since then, he has released 4 other New York Times bestsellers including his most recent, Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too.

Gary often makes TV appearances as a social media expert and business consultant on programs including CNN Your $$$$, Fox Business’s Your Money Your Questions, and The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Gary also has launched an extremely popular podcast called The GaryVee Audio Experience which is a top 100 iTunes podcast featuring guest interviews, keynote discussions on marketing and business, and more. Gary is currently the subject of DailyVee, an online documentary series highlighting what it’s like to be a CEO and public figure in today’s digital world. He is also the host of #AskGaryVee, a business and advice Q&A show online.

Throughout his journey, Gary became a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, investing in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, Venmo and Birchbox. He eventually co-founded VaynerRSE, a $25M angel fund. He was named to both Fortune and “Crain’s 40 under 40” lists in consecutive years, and has been profiled in the New York Times, Fortune, and Inc.

If it seems like we’re gushing over Gary’s knowledge and unique expertise…it’s because we are. Join us as Gary provides an examination of how to be a successful entrepreneur in today’s changing landscape. His candid examination will challenge your thinking and provide you with insights and inspiration to overcome obstacles and move your business forward.

Keynote Speaker: GARY VAYNERCHUK

State Of The Association

In addition, our Chairman of the Board, Liam Brown, and President & CEO, Robert Cresanti, will address the audience with “state of the association” updates so you know exactly what is happening within the industry, and what IFA is doing to help strengthen and protect your business.

Speakers: Liam Brown, President and Managing Director, Europe, Marriott International; Robert Cresanti, CFE, President & CEO, IFA

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm

Concurrent Learning Labs

Programming for “learning labs” are identified by area of focus, and content will be delivered in a variety of session design formats including panel discussions, case studies and audience exercises.

Building the Team for Success: What It Means to Have the Best Team Members in the Best Seats on the Bus

(This session is most relevant to systems with 0 – 100 units.)
This session is part of the Emerging Franchisor Track

This session will answer how to identify the when, what and how of developing a ‘Best in Class’ team to support your operational and growth goals.

In this session, we will define why having the best team leads to franchisor success in operations and unit growth. You will learn when to add staff and how to evaluate the brands’ needs based on your goals. The discussion will include how to define job descriptions to support these efforts and what a performance plan alignment enables reaching your goals. Learn how to identify the best team member ‘fits’ for your brand and what it means to have a Best in Class team.

  • Evaluation of your current team status.
  • What is means to develop your team with alignment to goals.
  • How to identify the correct team positions to serve, support and expand your brand.
  • Define the roles and responsibilities and what characteristics and team member knowledge are necessary.
  • Outline when to hire based on your strategic plan.
  • How to manage and hold your team accountable through Performance Planning and Scorecards.

Speakers: Susan Beth, CFE, COO, NRD Capital; Lynette McKee, CFE, CEO & Managing Partner, McKeeCo Services, LLC

Five Ways to Make Your Franchise Field Audits More Effective

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Field Support track

Whether you are performing self-audits or sending inspectors out into the field, conducting effective audits can make all the difference. Panelists will draw on insights gleaned from working with thousands of units across more than one hundred systems, and will do a deep dive on 5 key ways field consultants can boost the impact of their audits. Combining both technical and operational expertise, this session will provide a well-rounded, statistics-filled presentation relevant to both restaurant and service concepts alike.

Moderator: Steve White, President & COO, PuroClean, Inc.
Speakers: Jason Kealey, CFE, President, FranchiseBlast; Amy Perkins, CFE, Senior Business Consultant, Ben & Jerry's; Melinda Thrasher, Manager, Client Services and Operations, IFX: OneFranchisePlatform.com

Balancing Heritage & Innovation: What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

(This session is most relevant to systems with 101+ units.)
This session is a part of the Franchise Development/Sales track

As franchisors grow, the desire to balance the company’s history and heritage with innovation and growth becomes a challenge management must face. This session will help identify those things that must be persevered and those that must be changed for the franchise to grow and retain its roots. Panel members will discuss the following:

  • The biggest hurdles of growth and how they dealt with the challenges.
  • How have they protected their heritage and history?
  • What had to be sacrificed for the company to grow?
  • Specific learnings that include:
  • What would they do different knowing what they know now.

Moderator: Jania Bailey, CFE, CEO, FranNet Franchising, LLC
Speakers: Jeff Dudan, Founder, AdvantaClean Systems, Inc.; Shane Evans, CFE, President & Co-Founder, Massage Heights, Elevated Brands; Steve Hockett, CEO, Great Clips, Inc.; Jenn Uhen, Communications Strategist, Kindle Communications

Finding Needles in a Haystack: Using Data & Content to Target the Right Franchise Candidate

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Franchise Development/Sales track

The internet and availability of personal data has changed how prospects search for a franchise and how franchisors search for candidates. What prospects value and want in a franchise has also changed. How can brand purpose and targeted marketing be used to find the right franchisee for your system? What channels are the most effective? What role should your website and social content play? How do you translate your consumer brand purpose into a unique and compelling position for franchisee prospects? Can smaller franchises compete by marketing direct to prospects? These and other questions will be addressed by the panel.

Moderator: Lane Fisher, CFE, Partner, FisherZucker LLC
Speakers: Marcos Moura, CFE, CDO, Amada Senior Care; Justin Mink, SVP, Franchise Brands, Scorpion; Mark Montini, CFE, CMO, Floor Coverings International

Managing Franchise Relations Through System Change - Moving from Conflict to Collaboration

(This session is most relevant to systems with 26+ units.)
Developed by the Franchise Relations Committee
This session is a part of the Franchise Relations track

Every franchise system will have conflict or a difference of opinions about key system initiatives or system changes. In this session, you will learn how franchisors and franchisees can manage, maintain and even strengthen their relationship in preparing to execute system changes through:

  • Ensuring constructive and productive leadership at the franchisor and franchisee level.
  • Promoting communication and solutions-oriented conversations to ensure franchisee buy-in.
  • Identifying differences between franchise systems that embrace change and those that resist.
  • Delivering bottom line results for both the franchisor and franchisees.
  • Avoiding system changes that don’t make a difference and result in falling behind the competition.

Moderator: Paul Pickett, CFE, CDO, Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
Speakers: Jeff Darley, Owner, Padgett Business Services® of Littleton, CO; Steven Rafsky, Chairman & CEO, Padgett Business Services®; Bill Spae, CFE, President & CEO, Square 1 Restaurants LLC

Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

Developed by the Franchisee Forum
This session is a part of the Franchisee/Operator track

In this session, attendees will learn how to turn proven best practices into a plan to keep their team engaged while increasing productivity and reducing turnover. Learn how small things like personal connections and career development conversations can have a big pay-off when it comes to retaining your exceptional employees!

Speakers: Danielle Holtzel, Leadership Consultant, Express Services, Inc.; Cheryl Moreno, Director, Leadership Development, Express Services, Inc.

International Roundtables

(This session is most relevant to systems with 26+ units.)
Developed by the International Committee
This session is a part of the International track

Participants will discuss some of the most pressing issues facing franchise companies growing internationally. The program will feature seven roundtables to address:

  • International Localization vs. Standardization
  • Facilitators: Steve Dunn, CFE, SVP & Chief Global Development Officer, Denny's, Inc.; Dave Hood, President, iFranchise Group
  • Use and Role of Brokers in International Growth/li>
  • Facilitators: Ned Levitt, CFE, Partner, Dickinson Wright LLP; Phil Sanders, Director, Global Franchise Sales and Development, Servpro Industries, Inc.; Paul Thompson, Co-Founder & Chairman, Water Babies Limited
  • US Government Resources to Support International Growth
  • Facilitator: Eric Johnson, Global Team Leader, Franchise Programs, U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service
  • Bringing a Franchise to the US
  • Facilitators: Ray Hays, Managing Partner, FranLaunch USA; Matthias Lehner, CEO, Bodystreet Franchising USA, LLC
  • Addressing New Data Privacy Regulations – EU GDPR, California and Beyond
  • Facilitator: Gaylen Knack, CFE, Principal, Gray Plant Mooty
  • International Infrastructure and Technology
  • Facilitator: Rogelio Martinez, CFE, President & CEO, Fast Cloud Consulting
  • Managing Troubled International Operations and Making Terminations
  • Facilitator: William Gabbard, President, Edwards Global Services

Finding Balance Amidst Chaos: Learn How to Leverage the Best Tactics, Platforms and Channels to Satisfy Location-Specific Marketing Needs without Losing Focus on Your Franchise’s Target Audience

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Marketing track

With so many ways consumers are ingesting digital content, how can a franchisor/franchisee know where to spend their marketing dollars? It’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to choose between the many available platforms, technologies and companies that promise to reach the right targets. Don’t fall victim to the latest fades and trends with unrealistic sales pitches, that will likely result in wasted advertising dollars.

Learn how to develop a localized integrated approach to your franchise’s marketing goals by developing a solid foundation using proven tactics, engaging targeted audiences in the appropriate channels and understanding how to track and measure success and return on investment. The session will also offer insights on when to handle marketing efforts in house, or when it’s time to find a trusted partner.

Moderator: Aaron Boggs, President, RevLocal
Speakers: Rick Batchelor, CEO, Qiigo, Inc.; Kristen Pechacek, CFE, Director, Digital Marketing, Anytime Fitness LLC; Drue Townsend, SVP, Marketing, FASTSIGNS International

How Marketing Drives Unit Economics and How Operations Drives Brand Consistency

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Operations track

In this session, we will take a deep dive into how you can measure the ROI on your marketing spend by tying your print, email, text and social media marketing to your loyalty platform, so you can track what is driving people to your business and making the cash register ring. We will also explore how Operations can affect those results with proper training and incentives for your employees to engage each and every customer every time to help facilitate not only a great customer experience but also getting rich data from your POS transactions.

Moderator: Tom Epstein, CFE, CEO, Franchise Payments Network
Speakers: Brian Farris, VP, Strategy, Schlotzsky’s; Shelley Harris, McAlister's Corporation; Jeffrey Smith, COO, Peterbrooke Franchising of America, LLC

Outsourcing Challenges & Best Practices

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Operations track

A discussion with franchisors and a provider of outsourcing to find out:

  • Which services franchisors are outsourcing.
  • What they’re doing internally.
  • What brought them to the decision to outsource?
  • What services make sense to outsource?

Moderator: Dana Zukofsky, Director, National Restaurant Practice, BDO USA, LLP
Speakers: Giovanna Koning, CFO, TGI Friday’s Inc.; Simon Pass, Leader, Intuit Franchise Program and Key Accounts, Intuit, Inc.; Anna Phillips, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, The Lash Lounge

Your Practice Becomes Your Policy - Creating Company Culture Through Employee Handbooks

(This session is most relevant to systems with 101+ units.)
This session is a part of the Operations track

Employee handbooks are an essential part of a company’s culture and provide accountability, education, and consistency for franchisors and workers. During this session, we will review how the franchise landscape has recently changed, limiting the amount of guidance franchisors can give on employee related matters, and increasing the importance of having a legally-reviewed handbook in place. Panelists will share stories about how their internal processes have shifted, things to avoid when communicating changes to infrastructure and policies and key components to include in a handbook.

Speakers: Emma Dickison, CFE, President & CEO, Home Helpers® Home Care; Brandon Moxam, CFE, Vice President, U.S. Lawns; Elizabeth Watson, Area Manager, Paychex, Inc.

Engaging and Retaining Your Employees Through Video and Live Events

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the General track

The need to retain, recruit and engage talent is more critical than ever before. Join this session to learn ways that organizations are using internal video communications campaigns and live events to motivate, communicate and connect with employees to drive innovation and teamwork. Through a series of case studies and trends, participants in this program will learn how to design and deploy an engagement campaign and understand how to resources against a set of measurable objectives to set ROI.

Speakers: Helena Lehman, SVP, Client Services, Leading Authorities, Inc.; James Loizou, SVP, LAI Video, Leading Authorities, Inc.

Generational Shifts Disrupting the Franchise Model

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the General track

Franchising is already feeling the effects of the Millennial generation, yet many are not adapting fast enough to this new reality. Instead of complaining about “kids these days,” franchisors need to start making strategic shifts in their approach to business and operations to address this disruption. This session will provide attendees with a research-based understanding of how Millennials are impacting the work world, plus concrete tactics to leverage this change to their advantage.

Moderator: Dr. Benjamin Litalien, CFE, Founder & Principal, FranchiseWell, LLC
Speakers: Douglas Bertram, CEO, Structural Elements Franchising, LLC; Dustin Hansen, CFE, CEO, InXpress; Kelli Schroeder, CFE, Senior Director, International Development, Wingstop Restaurants

Obstacles for the Franchisor – They Are Not Unique to Your Brand

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
Developed by the Supplier Forum Advisory Board
This session is a part of the General track

Franchising doesn’t always follow a straight course. Throughout the franchising process many franchisors are faced with decisions with regard to unexpected situations that can often be a game changer. These situations are not unique. Hear a panel of CEO’s of Mature Franchise Brands, discuss planned and unexpected obstacles to franchising that they encountered, and hear how they dealt with those same issues that you are experiencing.

After the session, you will better understand how other franchise systems have dealt with the same issues you are dealing with. This will include:

  • Understand that not all decisions are going to be the right decision. Not making a decision can sometimes be worse.
  • When is the right to time to change direction? How long do you try something new?
  • How to recognize when an issue exists before it compounds; react before it too late.
  • How should the issue be vetted? Steps that work when implementing new ideas.
  • Planning for the unexpected, it might be inevitable; issues that all franchisors encounter that can be costly.
  • You are not the only Brand with issues. Money isn’t always the answer; how to use it wisely.

Moderator: Aaron Chaitovsky, CFE, Franchise Accounting and Consulting Practice Leader, Citrin Cooperman
Speakers: Matt Crumpton, President & CEO, D.P. Dough Franchising, LLC; Kathy Daniel, CFE, Director, International Business Development, Home Instead Senior Care; Scott Frith, CFE, CEO, Lawn Doctor, Inc.; Jessica Wescott, EVP, Finance, Fuzzy's Taco Shop

4:30 pm – 7:30 pmChairman's Reception with Exhibitors

4:45 pm – 5:45 pmCFE Graduates' Celebration (by invitation only)

4:45 pm – 6:15 pmLegal Legislative Committee Meeting

6:00 pm – 8:00 pmInternational Committee Meeting

8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

International Reception

Network with leaders in international franchising to make connections and learn about trends and developments in franchising across borders. Attendees will be key players in international franchising including international investors, high-level franchisor executives and U.S. Commercial Service staff. All fully registered Convention participants are welcome to attend!


*Separate registration and/or fee applies.

7:00 am – 6:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

7:00 am – 8:00 amFranchise Relations Committee Meeting

8:00 am – 5:00 pmInternational Lounge

8:00 am – 5:00 pmFranchisee Hospitality Lounge (open to all Franchisees)

8:00 am – 10:00 am

Super Session with Continental Breakfast (breakfast available from 7:30 am - 9:00 am)

Are you prepared for the emerging trends that are disrupting and transforming the way we do business?

Building on our success from last year’s inaugural “Big Ideas” general session segment and taking it up a notch, during this session you will take part in another exciting, rapid-fire format that will not only entertain and keep your interest, but will deliver high-value, cutting-edge content. This year’s transformational stories in franchising, called FRANCHISE10x, will bring you face to face with the rapidly-changing world of technology and innovation. We will show you that you not only have to adapt and embrace these changes but disrupt the way you normally look at operating our businesses and engaging our workforce. How is artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, enhanced mobile apps, gamification or robotics impacting franchising across the globe? How can you join the conversation and become educated so you and your business don’t get left behind?

You’ll hear from an incredible line-up of forward-thinking leaders which includes:

  • Dennis Maloney, Senior Vice President & Chief Digital Officer, Domino’s who will speak to “One Transformation Is Not Enough: How AI Will Continue to Drive Domino’s Digital Transformation”
  • Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO, 1HUDDLE who will speak on “How to Use the Latest Technologies to Motivate, Upskill, and Engage Today's Workforce (Millennials and Gen-Z)”
  • John Miller, Chairman & CEO, Cali Group & Founder, CaliBurger who will speak on “Nexus of Robotics, Automation, and AI in the Restaurant and Retail Environment and How These Innovations Are Going to Change Operating Structures and Broaden Consumer Access”

The session will be moderated by John Teza, Director, NRD Capital Management and will ensure this is not only an informative and engaging conversation but one that challenges the way you have been thinking about the future of your business.

10:15 am – 11:30 am

Concurrent Learning Labs

Programming for “learning labs” are identified by area of focus, and content will be delivered in a variety of session design formats including panel discussions, case studies and audience exercises.

Aligning Your Budget to Meet Your Short and Long-term Strategy and Goals

(This session is most relevant to systems with 0 – 100 units.)
This session is a part of the Emerging Franchisor track

Budgeting is one of the most difficult areas of managing a business. Learn how to identify what the budget should be and evaluate where you are today. What are the critical areas of your business to support, and what items should be reduced or drop from your plan.

In this session, you will learn how to identify your budgeting needs and what the brand can accomplish with the correct budget, what it takes to forecast your cash flow needs, when it’s time to slow down and clean up what you already have and when it’s time to grow again.

  • Assess your current brand budgeting status both in operations and planned growth goals.
  • Where are you spending too much money and where are areas you need to ramp up?
  • How does geography change your forecast and budget needs?
  • How to establish a budget for staffing, systems development, field support and other G&A.
  • What it means to manage your budget and adjust accordingly.

Moderator: Carty Davis, Partner, C Squared Advisors, LLC and Area Developer, Sport Clips, Inc.
Speakers: Jeff Kolton, Partner, Corlex Capital, LLC; Cathy Skula, CFE, EVP, Franchising, Rent-A-Center Franchising International Inc.; Jason Vaughn, CEO, Frisch's Restaurants, Inc.

How Franchisors Can Lead Franchisees in Successful Growth & Operating a Fully-Managed Business

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Field Support track

Often existing franchisees swing from two perspectives “What have you done for me lately?” or “We have always done it this way!” How do we help franchisees embrace change, expansion and diversification? What tools should we provide? And as franchisors, what boundaries should we not cross? This panel, comprised of franchisors and franchisees, will discuss what has worked and what has not worked in helping franchisees scale up successfully and deploy additional products and services to grow their business.

Moderator: Peter Holt, CFE, CEO, The Joint Corp.
Speakers: Jim Amos, CFE, President & CEO, Eagle Alliance Investments; Carmelo Marsala, Founder & President, Spray-Net; Dennis Stein, Multi-Unit Franchisee, The UPS Store® of San Diego, CA

Raising Capital for Franchisors – Beyond the X

(This session is most relevant to systems with 101 – 500 units.)
This session is a part of the Finance track

When raising capital, most franchise founders and CEOs are focused on the company valuation. But there is so much more to creating the right capital structure for your business. From seed rounds to liquidity events, raising capital is never simple. And yet, the right capital structure is most critical to the viability of any business. Choosing the right partner can have a significant impact on your long-term value. The stakes are high, the transactions often complex and franchisors need to understand how to match the right funding strategy to the right stage of the business.

Our panelists will discuss the various types of fundraising available to franchisors, with a particular focus on options for early and mid-stage organizations. The panel will address not only how to raise capital, but how to think about your organization in terms of capital needs and capital deployment.

Speakers: Kathryn M. Kotel; Margaret Montague, Managing Director, The McLean Group LLC; Tom Wells, Managing Partner, 10 Point Capital

How and Why Multi-Unit Franchisees Choose Additional Brands

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Franchise Development/Sales track

More franchisees than ever before are adding additional brands to their franchise portfolios. While the ROI must make sense, seasoned multi-brand franchisees say the key to franchise happiness begins with finding the right fit, from values and culture to matching personal and financial goals with the brand’s. Making the right choice of both brand and market is more important than ever with so many franchise choices today. An extensive market and competitive analysis is a critical element of a franchise buyer’s due diligence. Learn from a panel of experienced multi-brand franchisees how and why they do it.

Want to Sell More Franchises? Tell a More Compelling Story

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Franchise Development/Sales track

All franchises want to grow their brand across the U.S. and beyond. Franchisor CEOs and franchisees are well aware that doing so is based on proven operations, finding and supporting strong franchisees and building and articulating a compelling brand story. However, that’s easier said than done. Believe it or not, all three of these attributes are inextricably linked to your company’s success. Poor operations lead to underperforming locations, restricts prospective franchisee interest and, ultimately fuels negative media coverage.

During this first-of-its kind educational session, hear from experts on how they mined their organization to unearth the necessary ingredients to compile, communicate and place compelling stories. The resulting storytelling fueled earned, owned, shared and paid placement that engaged new franchisees, strengthened existing ones and drove validation in their respective systems.

Moderator: Louie Beaupre, Franchise Strategic Consultant, Parallel Path
Speakers: Trever Ackerman, CMO, WellBiz Brands, Inc.; Candace Couture, VP, Business Development , Planet Fitness; Rob Goggins, President, Great Clips, Inc.

Raising the Bar: How to Drive Franchisee Performance Thru Highly Effective Franchise Consultant Visits and Peer-to-Peer Support

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
Developed by the Franchise Relations Committee
This session is a part of the Franchise Relations track

In this session, we will explore how to best leverage field support visits and your own franchisee network to raise system-wide performance. We will start with getting franchisees off on the right foot by developing a clear vision plan for their business. Next, we will explore how to best support their success using peer performance groups, mentorship programs, and designing and executing effective field support visits. What you will learn:

  • How to successfully on-board new franchisees with a clear vision plan.
  • How to guide franchisees through those first critical months.
  • How to effectively make a difference with Franchise Consultants/field support visits.
  • How to leverage your most successful franchisees as mentors.
  • How to spur friendly competition through Peer Performance Groups.
  • When to apply tough love for underperforming franchisees.

Moderator: Harvey Homsey, CFE, VP, Franchise Systems, Express Services, Inc.
Speakers: Reginald Coachman, CFE, VP, Operations, Cinnabon; Mitch Cohen, Owner, Jersey Mike's Subs of East Meadow, NY; Patrick Dolan, Corporate Developer, Express Services, Inc.; Jean-Louis Van Doorne, Chief Franchise Advocate, Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.

Community Involvement Marketing Strategies: Putting Cause Marketing to Work for Your Business

Developed by the Franchisee Forum
This session is a part of the Franchisee/Operator track

From small-scale fundraisers for local schools and civic groups to annual charity drives and press-worthy events, partnering your franchised business with a worthy cause should be a win-win. Come hear marketing experts and franchise leaders share their knowledge and case studies on how they utilize Cause Marketing strategies, including media platforms and messaging channels, to positively impact your community and increase your business recognition. Panelists will discuss how franchisors and franchisees can partner in Causes both locally and nationally and provide takeaway “How-To’s” that you can use to maximize your marketing efforts while doing good work for your community.

Moderator: Azim Saju, General Counsel & Vice President, HDG Hotels
Speakers: Jerry Akers, Owner & Vice President, Great Clips of Palo, IA; Lorri Christou, VP, External Communications and Public Relations, Choice Hotels International; Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President, Multicultural Markets and Alliances, Marriott International; Saunda Kitchen, CFE, Owner, Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County, CA

Top 10 Mistakes in International Expansion

(This session is most relevant to systems with 26+ units.)
Developed by the International Committee
This session is a part of the International track

Learn from experienced practitioners as they share their “horror stories”, identify potential red flags, and offer firsthand advice on navigating legal challenges, market exits and more. Learn the most common mistakes franchisors make when expanding internationally, and how you can avoid them.

Moderator: Karen Satterlee, CFE, SVP & Assistant General Counsel, Development Americas, Hilton Worldwide
Speakers: James Hartenstein, Former SVP, International, Wendy’s and Little Caesars and Managing Director, Hartenstein Global Consulting, LLC; Beata Krakus, Partner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.; Robert Lauer, Partner, Haynes and Boone, LLP

Online Search: Is Your Franchise Future Ready and Poised for New Search Methods or Will You be Left Behind and Lost Online?

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Marketing track

Moving at unprecedented speed, the future of search engines plays a huge part in the success of your franchise. The core goal of search engines is to find what the user is looking for and easily communicate why your brand is the right option. Is your franchise ready to be found as search moves to Voice Search, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning? Three approaches to future search will be examined in a roundtable environment as we tackle how you prepare your business to be search-ready in a dramatically changing online landscape.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Voice Search
  • Machine Learning

This session will feature these measurable outcomes:

  • Understanding where search is going and why your franchise must be positioned to take keep pace in a changing environment.
  • A strategy to implement immediately to be a future-ready franchise system.
  • An audit you can take away to review how future-ready your brand is today.

Moderator: Robin Gagnon, CMO, We Sell Restaurants
Speakers: G.A. Bartick, Google Certified Speaker & President, R3 Consultants; Mike Meyer, President & CEO, NetSearch Digital Marketing

Leveraging Technology to Drive System Performance

(This session is most relevant to systems with 101+ units.)
This session is a part of the Operations track

In an economy increasingly driven by change and disruption, technology has the power to fuel the growth of franchise systems and drive stronger unit economics while further expanding both customer and franchisee satisfaction. Franchisors not leveraging technology are increasingly operating at a competitive disadvantage and facing increasing pressure from franchisees who fear falling behind.

Some of what you’ll learn includes:

  • How franchisors are harnessing mobile platforms, workflow automation and data analytics to improve efficiencies.
  • How big data, data visualization and machine learning can be used to reveal actionable insights across a system.
  • How franchisors are using collaboration platforms to accelerate innovation while harnessing eLearning to disseminate knowledge and manage change.
  • How to integrate CRM data to turbo charge the performance of your digital marketing and lead generation.
  • How emerging technologies will impact business, and how to apply future-forward thinking to give your system a first mover advantage.

Moderator: Dan Monaghan, CFE, Managing Partner, Clear Summit Group
Speakers: Steve Murphy, President, Franchising, Winmark Corporation; Shayne Mehringer, CFE, CIO, Neighborly

Total Labor Cost: Times Have Changed

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the Operations track

What is the true cost of an employee per territory? What does it cost a franchisee to pay an hourly employee in Texas when compared to California? The variables can be surprising as much as they are mission-critical to the success of any employer in any territory within the U.S. This program first examines workforce policies that continue to evolve at the federal and state levels and how such regulations affect the total cost of labor for employers of all sizes and scopes. This interactive session then engages participants to share experiences and apply lessons from dynamic case studies taken from a diverse cohort of franchises. Collaborative discussions are enriched with an Employer of Choice Panel, comprised of franchisors, franchisees and suppliers applying best practices designed to predict and stabilize the total cost of labor in evolving times. A must attend educational session for employers concerned on employer liability and the variables that comprise total labor cost.

Moderator: Daniel Mormino, CFE, Senior Vice President, INFINITI HR
Speakers: Brian Miller, CFE, COO & Partner, Patrice & Associates Franchising, Inc.; Robert Stidham, CEO, Franchise Dynamics, LLC; Ted Torres, Managing Director, TCG Hospitality International 

C-Suite Think Tank and Forum Exchange

(This session is limited to Franchisor CEOs, Presidents, and COOs from systems of all sizes.)
This session is a part of the General track

Come to this session with the 2 to 3 "burning issues" or top challenges you face as the leader of your company. These issues will be collected as the session begins. Then the attendees, seated around roundtables, will brainstorm solutions, share best practices and ideas to address these challenges in a "group scoop" fashion. Each table will be facilitated by an experienced franchisor C-Suite executive. These potential solutions will be reported out to the group live, as well as captured and then emailed afterward to all participants.

Session Moderator: Catherine Monson, CFE, CEO, FASTSIGNS International
Table Facilitators: Mike Bidwell, CFE, President & CEO, Neighborly; Nancy Bigley, CFE, COO, Painting with a Twist, LLC; Liam Brown, President and Managing Director, Europe, Marriott International; Charlie Chase, President & CEO, FirstService Brands; Jerry Crawford, CFE, President & CEO, Jani-King International, Inc.; Jeff Dudan, CEO, AdvantaClean Systems, Inc.; Chris Dull, CFE, President & CEO, Global Franchise Group, LLC; Tariq Farid, CFE, Founder, Edible Arrangements, LLC; Steve Greenbaum, CFE, CEO, ComForCare Home Care; Dustin Hansen, CFE, CEO, InXpress; Mark Hemmeter, CEO, Office Evolution; Steve Hockett, CEO, Great Clips, Inc.; Jo Kirchner, CEO, Primrose School Franchising Company; Mark Liston, CFE, President, Glass Doctor; Gordon Logan, Founder & CEO, Sport Clips, Inc.; Barbara Moran-Goodrich, CFE, CEO & Co-Founder, Moran Family of Brands; Russell Reynolds, CEO, Batteries Plus Bulbs; Meg Roberts, CFE, President, The Lash Lounge and Operating Partner, Franworth; Tom Wood, President & CEO, Floor Coverings International

Get Everyone on the Same Page: Using a One-Page Strategic Plan to Align Your Team

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
This session is a part of the General track

A number of successful franchisors are using a one-page strategic plan to align and focus their teams on what is most important to their brand and system. Rooted in the work of Verne Harnish and Gazelles, and simplified by Gino Wickman in Traction to the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), the approach not only creates a one-page plan but also defines the process and accountabilities to ensure that it is implemented. This panel will include franchisors and franchisees who have implemented the one-page strategic plan approach.

Takeaways will include:

  • The six key components of any business.
  • Review of foundational tools including:
  • Organizational Checkup.
  • Vision/Traction Organizer.
  • People Analyzer.
  • Rocks and Meeting Pulse.
  • How franchisors have implemented a one-page strategic plan and cascaded it through their franchise.

Moderator: Janet Muhleman, CFE, President & Chief Strategist, re:group, inc.
Speakers: Richard Simtob, Franchisee, Goldfish Swim School and President & Partner, ZOUP! Fresh Soup Company; Shelly Sun, CFE, CEO & Founder, BrightStar Franchising, LLC; Jeff Tews, Multi-Unit Franchisee, BrightStar Care of Madison, WI

Suppliers – Achieving and Maintaining Success in the Franchising Space: It’s Not Just Another Vertical

(This session is relevant to all system sizes.)
Developed by the Supplier Forum Advisory Board
This session is a part of the General track

So, your organization has decided to target or expand into the franchising vertical. Many Suppliers like you have had that thought only to come to one IFA convention and discover that franchising, for all the talk about “interdependency,” just doesn’t work the same as other verticals that they sell in to. With little to show for their efforts, many just give up on this segment after just a year or two.

After this session, you will better understand what it takes to succeed in our space. This will include:

  • Understanding the commitment of time required to build relationships in franchising.
  • Why these relationships are just point of entry, NOT the finish line.
  • How franchise relationships are governed by documents, but built on trust.
  • How one earns trust in franchising; it is not an entitlement.
  • The importance of properly managed expectations on the client-side, as well as internally.

Long time Suppliers from different market sets will share how they’ve “cracked the code,” and explaining how it really is different in this space and not like driving your dad’s old Buick.

Moderator: Stan Friedman, CFE, President, FRM Solutions
Speakers: Lorne Fisher, CFE, CEO & Managing Partner, Fish Consulting; Michael Iannuzzi, CFE, Partner, Citrin Cooperman; Geoffrey Seiber, President & CEO, FranFund, Inc.; Ritchie Taylor, CFE, Franchise Law Practice Leader, Manning Fulton

11:45 pm – 1:15 pmIFA Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting

11:45 am – 2:45 pmNetworking Lunch with Exhibitors (lunch available from 11:45 am - 1:15 pm)

12:30 pm – 2:30 pmFranchisee Forum Meeting (open to all Franchisees)

1:15 pm – 2:15 pmInternational Attendees' Networking Event

1:15 pm – 2:45 pmICFE Board Meeting

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Business Solution Roundtables

Hosted by both franchise executives and Supplier Forum members, don’t miss this unique opportunity to sit down at a round table of 10-12 people and exchange ideas, challenges, solutions and best practices with some of franchising’s most accomplished CEOs, presidents and COOs of leading companies in the industry. Pose questions and listen to their success stories, lessons learned and innovative business solutions. Discussion topics include such issues as franchise sales, credit/lending, operations, legal issues, branding, technology and more! Many attendees say that the Business Solution Roundtables are the most valuable and rewarding sessions offered at the Convention, so don’t miss your chance to learn from franchise icons and thought leaders!

The roundtables will also be held over breakfast on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 8:00 am-9:45 am.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pmReception with Exhibitors

8:00 pm – 11:30 pmThe Bash

7:30 am – 12:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Business Solution Roundtables with Continental Breakfast

(breakfast available from 7:30 am - 9:00 am)

Hosted by both franchise executives and Supplier Forum members, don’t miss this unique opportunity to sit down at a round table of 10-12 people and exchange ideas, challenges, solutions and best practices with some of franchising’s most accomplished CEOs, presidents and COOs of leading companies in the industry. Pose questions and listen to their success stories, lessons learned and innovative business solutions. Discussion topics include such issues as franchise sales, credit/lending, operations, legal issues, branding, technology and more! Many attendees say that the Business Solution Roundtables are the most valuable and rewarding sessions offered at the Convention, so don’t miss your chance to learn from franchise icons and thought leaders!

The roundtables will also be held on the previous afternoon, Tuesday February 26, from 3:00 pm-4:45 pm.

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Franchising in the Social Sector Task Force Meeting

Join the IFA Social Sector Task Force for its annual meeting to discuss how leading franchisors, franchisees, and professionals in commercial franchising can use their expertise to help social sector franchises and other NGOs become more effective and efficient in achieving their goals through the principals of franchising. Meeting is open to all IFA2019 attendees.

10:10 am – 12:15 am

Closing General Session

Creating a Culture of Courage

Keynote Speaker: Patrick Sweeney, Fear Guru, Motivational Speaker and Author

What holds most people back from their full potential isn’t lack of skill or lack of will, it’s fear.

The human brain is designed primarily for survival. That architecture interferes with our happiness, success and fulfillment in all walks of life. In fact, conferences like the IFA Convention present a great opportunity to learn new and exciting strategies, ones that could dramatically change businesses and lives, yet only a fraction of attendees implement those ideas. What is holding them back? Many leaders fear failure or are afraid of changing the status quo and rocking the boat. Stagnant leaders live in a fearful culture where employees do things because “that’s the way it’s always been done” or because they fear losing their jobs. In this riveting presentation, Patrick will explain why we get stuck in a prison of less-than-peak performance. Then he will give you tangible neuroscience techniques to take home and increase your success, power and happiness.

Imagine finishing second in the US Olympic trials in rowing, when you could have been a gold medalist, or raising almost $30 million and creating the first cloud computing company only to have your venture capitalist make all the money when it was sold, and worst of all, needing six cocktails just to get on a plane for a business trip, or not going at all. Fear locked Patrick Sweeney in a prison of constant suffering until he met with the ultimate terror – the diagnosis of a rare form of leukemia and a slim chance of survival. After beating the disease thanks to talented doctors, cutting- edge mental techniques learned at the Olympic training center, and the grace of God, his whole life changed. He took flying lessons, started a new company sold it for millions, and then started another. He’s now living the life of his dreams setting world records, adventuring across the globe, mentoring top CEOs, and inspiring audiences worldwide.

Patrick’s mission is to teach millions of people the superpower of courage. For his upcoming book Fear as Fuel he interviewed more than 30 neuroscientists and psychologists for the newest investigations on how the brain functions and the secrets of overcoming our fear-based survival instincts. Patrick translates a vast continuum of scientific research into practical tactics on how to live to your fullest potential both personally and professionally, create super-successful businesses, fulfilling relationships and raise courageous happy children. Using fear as fuel, you’ll begin to confidently make the best decisions of your life and unleash a new level of power.

And what would the IFA Convention be without the NextGen Global Competition?

Our celebration of young entrepreneurs is back by popular demand!

From more than a thousand applications, the top crop of young entrepreneurs will be selected to compete in the NextGen Global Competition during the IFA Annual Convention. Top three finalists will pitch their concepts on our main stage for cash prizes and potential investments from judges and attendees in the final round of the Global Competition.

This year’s NextGen winners will participate in an accelerator and networking program with industry leaders and CEOs throughout the four days of the Annual Convention. By providing individuals from around the world with networking opportunities, constructive feedback and a closer look into key components of the franchise process, NextGen is helping entrepreneurial dreams come true.

12:15 pmIFA's 2019 Annual Convention Officially Adjourns

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89119

IFA has reserved room blocks at two hotels within the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino complex - Mandalay Bay and Delano Las Vegas. The room rates at each hotel are as follows: Mandalay Bay: Thursday, Feb. 21-Tuesday, Feb. 26: $189/night; Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28: $129/night // Delano Las Vegas - Thursday, Feb. 21-Tuesday, Feb.26: $246/night; Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28: $186/night. Make your reservations at either hotel, by calling 877-632-9001 or by visiting the below link. The deadline for booking your room at all Convention hotels is January 30, 2019 (or when the room blocks sell out, whichever comes first). NOTE: all room nights are subject to a discounted $12 resort fee.


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

IFA’s 61st Annual Convention
February 21-24, 2021
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV

IFA’s 62nd Annual Convention
February 26 - March 1, 2022
San Diego Convention Center, Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego, CA


Please Note: NO third party vendors are authorized to sell our Annual Convention attendee list, and NO third party vendor is authorized to book hotel rooms through our room block. Be sure to book your reservations for IFA’s Convention through the website and phone number listed towards the bottom of this web page, or directly through the hotel of choice. Don’t be fooled by offers from third party sources indicating that they are officially booking rooms or selling attendee lists for the IFA Convention - they are NOT affiliated with IFA or our Convention. Buyer beware, many of these offers are fraudulent attempts to solicit money from you for a non-existent reservation or list.

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

Do you have a speaker suggestion for this event? Let us know!