IFA Awards program | International Franchise Association

IFA Awards program


IFA Awards Program

About IFA Awards Program

To submit a nomination for one of this year's IFA Major Awards, click here

To view a list of past IFA Award winners, click here

To view a list of this year's Franchisee of the Year awards, click here

Awards Policy and Procedure Manual may be downloaded here.

Purpose of Awards Program  

The purpose of the IFA Awards Program is to provide recognition to those individuals who and organizations that have contributed to the growth and success of franchising as a method of distribution in the global economy. With such recognition it is hoped that others will be inspired to emulate those honored and thereby make franchising even more successful in the years to come. Hopefully the resulting publicity will help inform and educate the general public about franchising as a concept, highlighting its benefits to society as a whole.

To avoid conflicts of interest or the perception thereof, members of the Awards Committee and the Executive Committee are deemed ineligible for any IFA awards during their terms of office.


IFA first introduced an Awards Program when it established the Hall of Fame Award in 1979. As the Association's oldest and most prestigious honor, it is conferred upon legendary franchisors who are pioneers in franchising and/or founders of companies whose unassailable track records are examples of the best in franchising. This award was intended to identify and recognize publicly those individuals who, as franchisors, had contributed most to making franchising the acknowledged leader in distribution methods. By publicizing the accomplishments of those pioneers who introduced many new innovations while developing successful systems, it was hoped a new generation of leaders would be inspired to reach those same high levels of accomplishment.

In 1982, added the Entrepreneur of the Year award to the Awards Program. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was established to recognize an individual while he or she was in the process of building a successful business venture. Franchisors, franchisees and suppliers are all eligible for this award. They need not be an IFA Forum member, but must exemplify the "entrepreneurial spirit" that franchising represents.

In 1994, the Bonny LeVine Award was established in memory of Bonny LeVine, co-founder of PIP Printing, in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments in franchising and of her status as a role model for women in the franchise community. The recipient may be a woman whose role as a franchisor, franchisee or supplier meets the established criteria.

In 2004, the Ronald E. Harrison Award was designed to recognize organizations and/or individuals who have made significant contributions to minorities in franchising either within their franchise organization or within the franchise community. This award is open to any organization and/or individual from an IFA member company, past or present, whether franchisor, franchisee or supplier.  



As the oldest and most prestigious award conferred by the IFA, the winner must be a franchisor or franchisee who has contributed significantly to the advancement of franchising and to the benefit of IFA and the franchising community. That contribution is made through successful franchising programs, innovative activities within franchising and service to the association. Such individuals if not already a legend in franchising should be expected to become one. Representing the very best in franchising they should meet and exceed the criteria established for this award.

Any person (a) with a senior management role with a franchisor, or (b) a franchisee, past or present, is eligible. Typically they will be founders and chief executive officers or franchisees who displayed the vision and implemented the programs that resulted in developing a franchise system at either the franchisor or franchisee level. Any senior management person who had the authority and made the decisions, which in turn made their franchise system outstanding, should be considered.


This award is designed to give recognition to those individuals who have the vision to see what might be, are willing to take the risks that traditionally accompany any new endeavor, and possess the management skills to create a successful business enterprise through franchising. Candidates should be currently managing and building a successful business through franchising. If the person selected for this award is willing, they will "reign" for the following year and be on call for speaking engagements at IFA member conventions, give media interviews and work with association leaders to spread the word on franchising.

This award open to all members of the franchising community-franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers. They need not be a member of IFA but must have demonstrated the "entrepreneurial spirit" that franchising represents.


This award recognizes women who are role models for all, but especially women, by their business and professional accomplishments within franchising and their contributions to our entire society.

Any woman involved in franchising, whether as a franchisor, franchisee or supplier is eligible for this award.


To recognize organizations and/or individuals who have made significant contributions to minorities in franchising either within their franchise organization or within the franchise community.

This award is open to any organization and/or individual from an IFA member company, past or present, whether franchisor, franchisee or supplier.  


Created to recognize outstanding IFA member-company franchise establishment owner-operators, the Franchisee of the Year Award, sponsored by our partner Paychex, is an honor determined by the parent company and presented during the association’s popular Public Affairs Conference event hosted annually in Washington, D.C.  A gala ceremony is conducted in the Nation’s Capital in conjunction with IFA’s annual grassroots lobbying activity, which offers opportunities for franchisees and their franchisors to visit Capitol Hill and engage in discussions about key issues affecting franchising.

IFA accepts nominations from early April through mid August. IFA member franchisors may request a nomination form by contacting Jenna Weisbord at jweisbord@franchise.org.



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