International Franchise Association Hosts Hundreds in Washington for Annual Leadership Summit and Capitol Hill Fly-In

September 22, 2022

Group holds over 200 advocacy meetings on Capitol Hill, along with top-level government and political speakers on the latest policy issues impacting franchising

 WASHINGTON – The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) last week hosted its Annual Leadership Summit and Franchise Action Network (FAN), for hundreds of franchising leaders and franchisees to hear directly from high-level officials on policy issues impacting the franchise business model and hold advocacy meetings with their lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Over 300 attendees from all around the country met with over 200 offices in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

“Hosting our members in Washington is one of the highlights of the year – and critical to protecting the franchise business model,” said Matthew Haller, President and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “Lawmakers and regulators gave great insight to attendees, panels of IFA members shared their experience and expertise with their peers, and everyone in attendance left D.C. feeling inspired and motivated to continue to fight for franchising and the opportunities it creates.”

The conference began with various forum and committee meetings to discuss pressing issues and culminated in hundreds of meetings with legislative offices on Capitol Hill. The Leadership Summit featured a variety of speaker and panel sessions for all attendees on policy areas critical to franchising and insights on the regulatory landscape in the coming year. In addition, franchising leaders spoke on ways to expand opportunities to women, veterans, minorities, and underrepresented groups.

The lineup of speakers included:

  • U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, Bill Hagerty, Mike Braun, and Mitch McConnell
  • U.S. Reps. Troy Carter, Debbie Lesko, and Barry Moore
  • Candidate for Colorado Governor Heidi Ganahl and founder of Camp Bow Wow
  • Dept. of Labor Assistant Secretary James Rodriguez for Veterans Employment and Training Services
  • Dept. of Labor Administrator of Wage and Hour Division Jessica Looman
  • Robin Gagnon, CFE, Co-Founder, We Sell Restaurants; Chair, IFA Women’s Franchise Committee Claudia San Pedro, President, Sonic Drive-in
  • Jared Lyons, President and CEO, Student Veterans of America
  • Ericka Garza, President, Au Bon Pain
  • Paul Pickett, CFE, Chief Development Officer-EVP of Franchising, Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
  • Richard Snow, VP-SBA National Franchise Relationship Manager, WSFS Bank

The full agenda and line-up of speakers is available here.

During the conference, IFA also celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Open for Opportunity campaign, recognizing the first-ever Open for Opportunity award winners.

Franchise owners, executives, and suppliers used their time on Capitol Hill to ask their elected officials to preserve the FTC Franchise Rule and support the Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act (H.R. 6161) – issues critical to the business model and continued economic challenges facing business owners. It was a prime opportunity for elected officials to learn about the work these franchising leaders do in their communities, and their businesses people they serve, and the impact of franchising has in their districts and states.

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About The International Franchise Association:

Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the approximately 775,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.2 million direct jobs, $787.7 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.