Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting & Fall Leadership Meetings | International Franchise Association


The annual IFA Washington, D.C. fly-in is now named the Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting. It is an integration of our grassroots advocacy program, the Franchise Action Network, with our annual fly-in. This meeting gives you the opportunity to meet with your representatives in Congress to discuss your business and how the new joint employer standard impacts your franchise. For more information about joint employer, click here. IFA will set up the meetings and prep you and guide you beforehand. This event is FREE for franchisees. 

Registration is still open!

Simply click "Register Now", fill out the form and bring it to our Onsite Registration Desk at the JW Marriott!


  • Network with fellow entrepreneurs
  • Hear from experts about important issues 
  • Learn the tools you need to embark on your road to success


Kellyanne Conway

Counselor to the President of the United States

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Michael Steele

Former Republican National Committee Chair

Donna Brazile

Former Democratic National Committee Chair


2:00 pm – 7:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

2:30 pm – 5:00 pmVetFran Committee Meeting

3:00 pm – 5:00 pmLegislative Action Group Committee Meeting

3:00 pm – 6:00 pmFinance Committee Meeting

7:00 pmFranchising Gives Back Celebration & Annual Awards Dinner (separate fee required)

For more information, and to register for this dinner, please click here!

7:00 am – 7:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

7:30 am- 10:00 amConvention Committee Meeting

8:30 am- 10:00 amFranchisee Forum Meeting

9:15 am – 10:45 amInternational Committee Meeting

9:30 am- 11:30 amEducation Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting

11:00 am – 1:00 pmMembership Committee Meeting

11:00 am – 1:30 pm

Franchisee Educational Programming

11:00 am – 11:15 am // Welcome and Opening Remarks

Session Moderator: Azim Saju, General Counsel & Vice President, HDG Hotels

11:05 am – 11:45 am // Raise Your Voice! A How-To Session on Legislative Engagement

This panel will share real-life experiences that highlight why the voice of the franchisee is critical to today’s regulatory and legislative business environment. We want to be sure your issues in your home state are being heard by your elected officials. IFA and the Franchisee Forum will provide tools to easily [and quickly!] learn how to get involved and make a difference for your business. From sending a letter to meeting with your members of Congress in Washington, DC, there’s so much you can, and must do to protect your investment!

Speakers: Rob Branca, President, Dunkin’ Donuts of Worcester, MA; Erica Farage, VP, Political Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy, International Franchise Association; Mara Fortin, Owner, Nothing Bundt Cakes, San Diego, CA; Tamra Kennedy, Franchisee, Owner - Taco John's, Twin City TJ's, Inc. and Vice Chair, IFA Franchisee Forum

11:45 am – 12:45 pm // Lunch Buffet with Presentation

The Best Team Wins

Competitive differentiation doesn’t come from your product or service. It comes from your people, and companies who build the best team in their industry can dominate the market for years to come. This session will explain the science behind great hiring decisions, teaching you a proven process for building your best team and inspiring you to take action.

Speaker: Kevin Baumgart, VP, Business Development, Hireology, Inc.

12:50 pm – 1:30 pm // IFA Franchisee Member Value Tools & Opportunities

Learn the benefits and value of getting more involved in IFA and becoming a member. Hear from experts about tools, tips and opportunities specifically designed to help your business grow, increase your bottom line and your employees prosper.

Speakers: Greg Cook, CFE, VP, Advertising & Strategic Partnerships, International Franchise Association; Michael Lotito, Co-Chair, Littler's Workplace Policy Institute & Shareholder, Littler Mendelson

11:00 am – 1:45 pmIFA Executive Committee Meeting

11:30 am – 1:00 pmWomen's Franchise Committee Meeting

11:30 am – 1:30 pmDiversity Institute Board Meeting

12:00 pm – 1:30 pmFranchise Relations Committee Meeting

2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

FAN Annual Meeting Opening General Session

Welcome and IFA Update

Speakers: Liam Brown, President, Franchising, Owner Services and MxM Select Brands, North America, Marriott International; IFA Chair of the Board; Robert Cresanti, CFE, President & CEO, International Franchise Association

Education + Opportunity = Empowerment and Business Success Panel

Minority ownership rates for franchised businesses are up 50%. More than 30% of franchised business are female owned. It’s clear that the franchise sector is diversifying in exciting ways and bringing opportunity to underrepresented but eager communities across the country and around the world. It is also becoming clear that diversity and inclusion in all its forms means better business performance. Based on research by the McKinsey Global Institute, ethnically diverse businesses perform 35% better. Gender diverse businesses perform 15% better.

So, what does this look like in the day-to-day real world where recruitment for talent is tough, access to capital and financial management is always a primary focus, and competition is fierce. Join us for a timely discussion on the business benefits of engaging a diverse workforce, working with the community, and investing in yourself and your employees through more education.

Speakers: Emily Anderson, Government Affairs Manager, Home Instead Senior Care; Earsa Jackson, CFE, Member, Clark Hill Strasburger

Issues Panel

It’s time to take a deep dive into the issues that matter most right now and what we will be talking about on the Hill on Thursday. Hear from IFA’s Government Relations & Public Policy staff and your peers about the history of the issues impacting your business, where we are now and why it’s important to your business and the future of the franchise business model.

Introduced by: Joyce Mazero, Shareholder, Polsinelli

Joint Employer – Rulemaking

Speakers: Erika Burkhardt, Senior Director, Legal, Pizza Hut LLC, Yum! Brands, Inc.; Michael Layman, VP, Federal Government Relations, IFA; Michael Lotito, Co-Chair, Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute & Shareholder, Littler Mendelson

Joint Employer – Lanham Act Legislation

Speakers: Suzanne Beall, VP, Government Relations and Public Policy, IFA; Stuart Hershman, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (USA); Rolf Lundberg, Principal, Choice Hotels International

Tax Reform 2.0

Speakers: Rob Branca, President, Dunkin’ Donuts of Worcester, MA; Matt Haller, SVP, Government Relations and Public Affairs, IFA; Gordon Logan, Founder & CEO, Sport Clips, Inc.; Shelly Sun, CFE, CEO & Founder, BrightStar Franchising, LLC

Talent Acquisition in the Tightening Labor Market

Having a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy in a competitive job market can help franchise owners find, hire, and retain the workers needed to maintain and grow their business. Come hear some successful ways to help position yourself as an employer of choice with job seekers, as well as your current employees. Topics include:

  • Recruiting – from leveraging digital recruiting technologies to writing comprehensive and attractive job descriptions, you can set the stage to attract the right employee to your franchise.
  • Handbooks – providing consistency for all employees through written policies, helps operators create a positive company culture.
  • Onboarding – having a streamlined onboarding process engages workers from day one.
  • Tangible and Intangible Benefits – offering non-traditional benefits and perks can provide a competitive edge in a tightening labor market.

Speaker: Leslie Bolton, Senior Business Development Manager, Paychex, Inc.

Get Ready for Capitol Hill

Speakers: Charlie Chase, President & CEO, FirstService Brands

Advocacy Training and Hill Meetings Preparation

IFA will prep you before your meetings on Capitol Hill and provide guidance on having an effective visit through a professional advocacy training presentation.

Speaker: Christopher Kush, CEO, Soapbox Consulting

5:30 pm – 6:30 pmFranchisee Meet & Greet

6:00 pm – 7:00 pmLeadership Reception

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Leadership & Franchisee of the Year Awards Dinner

Welcome by: Robert Cresanti, CFE, President & CEO, International Franchise Association

Franchisee of the Year Awards Presentation

Presented by: Liam Brown, President, Franchising, Owner Services and MxM Select Brands, North America, Marriott International; IFA Chair of the Board; Tom Baber, Chair, Franchisee Forum, Franchise Owner, Money Mailer of Mercer, Somerset County and Owner, IHOP; Leslie Bolton, Senior Business Development Manager, Paychex, Inc

7:00 am – 11:00 amRegistration Desk Open

7:00 am – 7:30 amSupplier Forum Executive Committee Meeting

7:30 am – 9:30 amICFE Board of Governors' Meeting

7:30 am – 9:30 amSupplier Forum Advisory Board Meeting

8:00 am – 9:15 am

State Delegation Breakfast and FAN Annual Meeting General Session

Political Analysis with Donna Brazile & Michael Steele

Donna Brazile was the first African-American woman to manage a presidential campaign and is known for her work promoting diversity. Brazile will deliver an in-depth look at the Trump Administration, the state of the current Congress, and the country’s political landscape. She analyzes hot political topics of the day, using behind-the-scenes insight gained from her days on the campaign trail and working alongside some of the biggest names in Washington.

Michael Steele was the first African-American to serve as the Chair of the Republican National Committee, and the first African-American elected to statewide office in Maryland, serving as the seventh Lieutenant Governor from 2003-2007. Steele is currently a political analyst for MSNBC and can be heard each week on his radio program, Steele & Ungaron the POTUS Channel on SiriusXM.

Association Health Plans

Hear a timely update from high profile Senator Paul on the Association Health Plans (AHPS) and what they mean for your business.

Speaker: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

9:30 amDepart for Capitol Hill

10:00 am – 5:00 pmIndividual Congressional Appointments

11:30 am – 2:00 pmBoxed Lunches & Refreshments Available

5:00 pm – 6:30 pmFAN Annual Meeting Closing Reception & Taste of Franchising


FranPAC Special Event

Interested in attending the Washington Nationals baseball game on Thursday, September 6?  Please email Leah Shimp at  Additional fee required.

7:00 am – 1:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

8:00 am – 10:00 amFranchisor Forum Meeting

8:00 am – 10:00 amPast Chairmen's Council Meeting

10:00 am – 2:00 pmIFA Board of Directors' Meeting

JW Marriott
1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

IFA has a reserved room block at the JW Marriott for the 2018 FAN Annual Meeting & Leadership Meetings. Our room rate for a standard room is $319 per night. You may reserve your hotel room by calling 800-393-2503 or clicking the below link. The deadline for making a reservation is August 22, 2018, or when the IFA room block is filled, whichever is first. Once the room block is sold out, reservations will be accepted on a space availability basis at the group rate.


September 9 - 11, 2019 // Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting & Fall Leadership Meetings // JW Marriott, Washington, DC

September 14 - 16, 2020 // Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting & Fall Leadership Meetings // JW Marriott, Washington, DC

September 20 - 22, 2021 // Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting & Fall Leadership Meetings // JW Marriott, Washington, DC


Questions? Call 202-628-8000.

Do you have a speaker suggestion for this, or any other IFA event? Let us know!