Certified Franchise Executive Program Launches in Australia
Cooperation is historic step for franchising internationally.
The Franchise Council of Australia and the International Franchise Association formally launched the Certified Franchise Executives program during the FCA’s National Franchise Conference in Brisbane, Oct. 20-22. A study tour group of IFA members, led by IFA 2013-2014 Chairman Steve Romaniello, CFE, Roark Capital Group managing director and FOCUS Brands chairman; IFA Pres. & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE; and IFA Educational Foundation Pres. John Reynolds, CFE; participated in the conference program, CFE sessions and a three-day visit with FCA members in Melbourne and Sydney, following the conference.
Addressing the opening session, Romaniello spoke of similarities between Americans and Australians and the appeal of the franchise business model. “In both our countries, franchising has become a vehicle for our citizens to express themselves, to gain independence by working for themselves, but through franchising, not by themselves,” he added. Romaniello told delegates about his experience at FOCUS Brands and Roark Capital and outlined some of the key traits that Roark Capital seeks in evaluating franchise brands for investment.
During the CFE graduation program, Caldeira congratulated FCA’s leadership in taking steps to launch the program. “The cooperation of our two organizations in the launch of the CFE program is, I believe, an historic step in fulfilling our mission to protect, promote and enhance franchising not only in the U.S., but here in Australia, and around the world,” he said. Caldeira and FCA Chairman Michael Paul, Pack & Send CEO and founder, presented the first CFE certificate to Greg Nathan, founder and president of the Franchise Relationships Institute. Nathan is an IFA and FCA member.
Paul extended a warm welcome to the IFA member delegation adding that the CFE program will enhance the “already high standards in franchising and it directly correlates with the FCA mantra of constantly looking for ways to improve business performance.”
During the conference, IFA and FCA members cooperated in presenting three CFE special sessions. The sessions dealt with the franchise code of conduct review, moderated by FCA member Philip Colman; achieving franchise excellence, presented by Nathan; and international development, moderated by Bill Edwards, CFE, Edwards Global Services CFE; with panelists Ben Stoltz, Jani-King Australia CEO; Rod Young, DC Strategy chairman; Peter Harper, CST Tax Advisors managing director; and guest speaker Steve Caldeira, CFE.
During the conference, Caldeira and Romaniello met with FCA Chairman Paul, FCA General Manager Kym DeBritt and Bruce Billson, federal member of Parliament, and minister for small business. Billson described his struggles as a small-business owner and assured IFA and FCA leaders of his government’s desire to work closely with the FCA, adding, “The best policy is no surprises.”
At the conclusion of the conference, IFA members attended the FCA’s Excellence in Franchising gala awards dinner.
IFA Study Tour Members Visit Franchises Down Under
Following the conference, a delegation of IFA members participated in a three-day study tour of franchise operations in Melbourne and Sydney, meeting with their counterparts for networking and sharing best practices.
Members of the delegation were: Caldeira, Reynolds, Edwards, International Affairs Committee Vice-Chairman and Tutor Doctor Systems Vice Pres., Intl. Dev. Rogelio Martinez, CFE; Johnny Rockets Group Dir., Intl. Sales and Support Duane Messerschmidt; Apex Restaurant Mgt. Pres. and IFA board member Tabbassum Mumtaz; Apex Restaurant Mgt. Operations Mgr. Crystal Bednar; and FranConnect CEO and Co-founder Amit Pamecha, CFE. FCA members, led by FCA Chairman Paul and FCA Ed. Mgr. Simon Heggen, joined the group for the site visits and meetings.
Among the highlights of the study tour visits were a social reception hosted by FCA member Aon at its corporate offices in Melbourne; a presentation by 7-Eleven Australia’s executive team covering operations, marketing, and organizational development; and a presentation by FoodCo’s Managing Dir. Serge Infanti and his executive team on brand management and marketing. Study tour members received hands-on training in FoodCo’s kitchen, learning how to make muffins and barista-style coffee. All the sessions featured a lively exchange between IFA and FCA members.
Capping off the study tour, FCA members hosted a luncheon for IFA members at the famous Doyle’s Restaurant, Watson’s Bay, looking out to the Sydney Opera House and historic harbor bridge.
Plans are under way for a study tour of FCA members, following the IFA Convention in New Orleans next month. FCA members will visit franchise operations in the Atlanta area for meetings with IFA members hosted by IFA Chairman Romaniello. n
John Reynolds, CFE, is president of the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation. Find him at fransocial.franchise.org via the directory.