International Franchise Association Presents First-Ever Open for Opportunity Awards to Franchise Owners, Business Leaders

September 29, 2022

During the IFA Annual Leadership Summit and Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting, recipients  were awarded for the impact their franchises have on their communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Franchise Association (IFA) last week presented 23 individuals and companies with the first-ever Open for Opportunity Awards, given during the IFA Annual Leadership Summit and Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Recognized at the one-year anniversary of the Open for Opportunity campaign, the recipients were selected for the impact their work has had on their community, employees, as well as their efforts to spread the message of the opportunities created by the franchise business model. 

“These individuals represent some of the best of franchising, demonstrating how the work they do contributes to every local community and the individuals within,” said Erica Farage, Vice President of Political Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy for the International Franchise Association. “Their participation in Open for Opportunity has helped spread the message that these local businesses contribute to a stronger society and improve the lives of workers and communities alike, and this work will have a lasting impact on the franchise business model and the people they serve.”

Open for Opportunity, launched one year ago, highlights the value and opportunity of franchising. The campaign has focused on the way franchising, and the individuals that comprise the business model, contribute to four pillars: workforce, veterans, community, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recipients of the Open for Opportunity awards were selected based on their participation in the campaign, and their individual commitment to the betterment of the lives around them through their work in franchising.

Award recipients were recognized at the celebration of the one-year anniversary of Open for Opportunity in Washington, DC on Sept. 20, and many participated in sharing the Open for Opportunity message with their representatives on Capitol Hill the following day.

The full list of recipients is below:

  • Ruth Agbaji, Code Wiz
  • Jerry Akers, Great Clips
  • Ellen Bryant Brown, Hope Rising Child Learning Center
  • Steve Danon, Restaurant Brands International
  • Clint Ehlers, Fast Signs PA
  • Leslie Fields, Authority Brands
  • Ericka Garza, Au Bon Pain
  • Joe Johnson, Papa John's
  • Alex Johnson, Cinnabon
  • Tamra Kennedy, Taco John’s
  • Devon Mitchell, DSN Corporation/Anytime Fitness
  • Scott Nowak, Hilton
  • Tracy Panase, Just Between Friends Franchise System
  • Daniel Price, BrightStar Care
  • Andri Purkanto, BrightStar Care
  • Gary Robins, SuperCuts
  • Jyoti Sarolia, Ellis Hospitality
  • Lori Shaffron, Rita's Italian Ice
  • Richard Snow, WSFS Bank
  • Cheryl Stanton, BrightStar Care
  • Shelly Sun, BrightStar Care
  • Carolyn Thurston, Wisdom Senior Care
  • Clement Troutman, Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  • Azim Saju, HDG Hotels
  • Joe Lindenmayer, CA Closets
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.


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