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Dennis E. Wieczorek Earns William Rosenberg Leadership Honor

Franchise legal expert receives IFA Educational Foundation’s highest accolade.

By John Reynolds, CFE



The International Franchise Association Educational Foundation’s highest honor, the William Rosenberg Foundation Leadership Award, was presented during IFA’s Annual Convention posthumously to IFA’s General Counsel Dennis E. Wieczorek, partner and Franchise Practice Group chairman of DLA Piper law firm, Chicago.

The award is presented annually to “an individual who has made a significant contribution to franchise education, and to the IFA Educational Foundation, through research, teaching, fundraising, or other activities or service.” The award was named to honor the memory of William Rosenberg, IFA founding chairman and Dunkin’ Donuts founder.

Wieczorek, who was a respected attorney at DLA Piper for 37 years, chairman of its Franchise and Distribution Practice, unexpectedly passed away on July 12, 2014. The DLA Piper law firm and its predecessor firms have served as IFA’s general counsel since the start of the association, 54 years ago.

Wieczorek’s areas of concentration included U.S. and international counsel franchising, licensing, antitrust and distribution law matters. He began work on IFA matters from almost his earliest days at the firm, and formally assumed the role of general counsel several years ago. He was an active participant during IFA’s Annual Conventions, Legal Symposiums, as well as other IFA meetings.

In addition to his participation on the IFA board and its related committees, Wieczorek participated on the association’s Legal/Legislative Committee and Legislative Action Group.

“Dennis Wieczorek’s professionalism, expertise and friendship will be truly missed at IFA,” said IFA Pres. and CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, on learning of his death. “His keen intellect, sound judgment, steady demeanor and focused diligence in the critical efforts that we are making to defend franchising in legislative and judicial arenas at the federal, state and municipal levels have made the IFA and the industry better and stronger. Dennis was, quite simply, indispensable.”

Wieczorek’s franchise practice excellence has been recognized by research publisher Chambers & Partners in Chambers Global and Chambers USA; The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers; The Best Lawyers in America, as well as being named Best Lawyers’ 2011 Chicago Franchise Lawyer of the Year. He was honored as Best Lawyer for 2014 in Chicago’s Best Lawyers magazine and as a repeat Franchise Times Legal Eagle.

John Reynolds, CFE, is president of the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation. Find him at


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