Multi-Unit Franchisee Lawrence “Doc” Cohen Named to International Franchise Association’s Hall of Fame
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 14, 2011―Former International Franchise Association Chairman Lawrence “DOC” Cohen, founder and former CEO of Deblan Corporation and founder and CEO of Cookie Associates, a leading franchisee of the Great American Cookie Company (GACC), was named today to the IFA Hall of Fame during the association’s 51st Annual Convention being conducted in Las Vegas.
The Hall of Fame Award is the oldest and most prestigious award conferred by the IFA and is presented to an IFA member who exemplifies the optimum in franchising and has made significant contributions to the advancement of franchising and the franchising community.
“Doc Cohen has worked tirelessly to move the franchise industry forward and to ensure that the IFA is an organization that benefits the entire community,” said IFA Chairman Ken Walker, CFE. “His extensive contribution to the franchise community and to the IFA makes him the ideal recipient of the IFA Hall of Fame Award.”
In addition to serving as IFA chairman in 2006, he has served as a trustee for the IFA Educational Foundation, Inc., and on many IFA Committees including Franchise Relations, Awards, Long Range Planning and Convention. He served five years as treasurer of the IFA, has chaired the IFA Convention Planning Committee and FranPAC, IFA’s political action committee. Most recently, he chaired the Multi-Unit Franchisee Development Conference Task Force to design and implement the first IFA conference dedicated to multi-unit franchise owners.
He was the second franchisee in history to assume the position of chairman of the IFA and was the first Franchisee to earn the designation of “Certified Franchise Executive” given by the IFA Educational Foundation.
Beginning in 1979, Cohen developed 35 GACC units in seven states and operated eight of the top 10 highest volume stores in the chain of over 300 units. In 1998, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands acquired Deblan Corporation and subsequently, in 2002, Cookie Associates reacquired the Houston, Texas market for Great American Cookies and PretzelTime. Cookie Associates currently operates Great American Cookies, PretzelMaker, TCBY and Coffee Beanery stores.
Cohen received a B. S. degree in Pharmacy from the University of Georgia and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. He was active in the retail pharmacy business for 15 years in Georgia and California before establishing his first GACC franchise. Cohen was the founding president of the Great American Cookie Company’s Franchise Advisory Council and has served three times as its president. He is a founding member of the Independent Association of Great American Cookie Franchisees and is a permanent member of the Association’s Executive Committee.
About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising through government relations, public relations and educational programs. Through its awareness campaign highlighting the theme,
Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time,
IFA promotes the nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic activity generated by franchising. IFA members include franchise companies in over 90 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development
To request a JPG of Lawrence “Doc” Cohen, contact the IFA Media Relations Department at 202-628-8000.