Introducing Incoming IFA Chair Liam Brown
Marriott International’s Liam Brown officially becomes IFA Chair on Tuesday at the end of IFA 2018. Brown is President, North America for Select & Extended Stay Lodging & Owner Franchise Services at Marriott. Brown recently shared his views with Franchising World about the top issues facing franchising and his priorities for the association while serving as IFA Chair.
FW: As the 2018 IFA Chair, what do you see as the most critical issues facing IFA and the franchising industry overall?
Brown: The critical issue for IFA continues to be its mission, which is to be an evangelist for the franchise model and the men and women who take the entrepreneurial risk to grow their business and create real jobs and opportunities. It’s important to engage at the federal, state, and local level to educate legislators on the tangible benefits of the franchise model, and to ensure that the IFA team has the human capital and financial resources to get the work done.
FW: What are your top priorities for the association in 2018?
Brown: My top priorities are to support the IFA team in its endeavors to advocate for the franchise business model, to continue to build on the positive momentum the team has created, and to ensure that they have the resources to be the most effective they can be.
FW: As a strong proponent of franchising, what do you believe is the best way to energize leaders in the industry to help protect the franchise business model?
Brown: We need to tell our story in more effective ways, build effective alliances and continue shaping a positive story of growth and opportunity. In our collective businesses, we have a diverse community of owners, customers and employees, and we should endeavor to find ways to broaden our message and support. We are all in the business of opportunity, and that’s opportunity for all.
FW: What is your leadership style and how has it best served you and your team?
Brown: I see leadership as a perpetual journey. We should all try to learn and grow. What I try to do is ensure that we have a powerful and compelling team culture, a clear mission and vision that stretches us all, is bigger than us all, ensures that each member of the team knows his or her role and has the resources and ability to accomplish the mission, and then get out of their way. You have to have trust in your people, listen to them, and be there for them.
FW: What would people be surprised to know about you?
Brown: I’m fluent in the Irish language, and I love history.
IFA Chair’s Snapshot
• President, North America for Select & Extended Stay Lodging & Owner Franchise Services at Marriott International
• IFA Chair (Feb. 2018–Feb. 2019)
• Managerial positions within Marriott International’s Courtyard, Residence Inn, and full-service portfolio (1989–1999)
• Vice President of Franchising for Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites and Senior Vice President of Fairfield Inn at Marriott International (1999–2007)
• Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President of Development, Select Service & Extended Stay Lodging, Marriott International (2007–2010)
• Chief Operating Officer, Select Service & Extended Stay Lodging & Owner and Franchise Services, The Americas, Marriott International (2010–2012)
• IFA Convention Committee
• IFA Finance Committee
• IFA Nominating Committee
• 1st Vice Chair, IFA Executive Committee (Feb. 2017–Feb. 2018)
• Don Bosco Cristo Board of Directors
• KEEN Board of Directors
Honors and Awards:
• Accepted IFA’s “Support Our Veterans Award” on behalf of Marriott International, which partners with Wounded Warriors Family Support (November 2017)
• Business degree, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
• MBA, University of Maryland (Robert H. Smith School of Management)
Find out more about franchise opportunities at Marriott International.