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IFA’s 2012 Public Affairs Conference–Franchise Votes Count

The International Franchise Association’s 14th Annual Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., will take place Sept. 10 to 11. ADP is the founding sponsor of IFA’s Public Affairs Conference and is the proud sponsor of the Franchisee of the Year Awards, which are presented during the conference to the industry’s most innovative and best performing franchisees.
Being an active participant in the political process, advocating on issues of importance to your business and maintaining good relationships with your members of Congress is critical to the future of our industry, and you’re invited to join us.
More than 500 of IFA’s most engaged and active members will participate in this leading advocacy event. Don’t miss the chance to educate your elected officials on issues that matter most to you and your business. Here are the top five reasons you should attend in this important election year.

It’s an Election Year
Members of Congress need to know how important franchising is to the nation’s economy and our continued economic recovery–and it’s up to you to get the information out there. With the 2012 elections looming, franchise businesses must unite to support pro-business policies and get Americans working again.
This is an important election year with much at stake in terms of our businesses and the ability of small businesses to thrive in the future. Health care reform, tax reform, labor laws and more are jeopardizing the profitability of small business and we must educate our elected officials to protect our future.

Learn More About Key Political Issues
Learn more about the key issues that affect your business’ bottom lines. IFA wants to make sure that our members are equipped with the most up-to-date information about issues that affect their businesses. This year, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about some of the most important issues that the Government Relations & Public Policy team is working on in Washington.
In addition, Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee chairman, will headline the association’s Public Affairs Conference. The 2012 election outcomes will significantly impact the kind of business environment that franchise owners will face going forward. Gillespie and McAuliffe will provide their unique perspectives for our members as they continue to push for pro-growth policies out of Washington.

Make a Real Difference
A recent survey of congressional staff shows that that they believe constituents actually have more influence on undecided lawmakers than lobbyists do. When asked about various groups and strategies that might influence their member of Congress, 46 percent of congressional staff surveyed said that “in-person constituent visits” would have “a lot” of influence on a member’s decision. That person with a lot of influence could be you.

Network With Your Peers
Not only do you get to make a difference on Capitol Hill, but let’s not forget the great networking opportunity that the Public Affairs Conference provides. Network with your fellow politically active and engaged franchisors, franchisees and suppliers to hear best advocacy practices while enjoying the hospitality of the nation’s capital. To help further bolster the event, be sure to bring a fellow franchisor or franchisee with you.

Exciting Events and Receptions
In addition to the serious work of lobbying elected officials, plan to enjoy two evenings of fun during the conference. Here’s a sneak preview of three evening reception events:
• Leadership and Franchisee of the Year Awards Dinner (Sept. 10): The welcome reception at the JW Marriott is once again going to honor those who have made a difference in the franchise community this year. Come celebrate and gather with your friends and allies in the franchise world. Make sure you nominate a franchisee this year:

• Taste of Franchising Congressional Reception (Sept. 11): Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails with members of Congress and staff, along with your fellow delegates. This not-to-be-missed event will be a highlight of this year’s conference.

• FranPAC Congressional Dinner (Sept. 11): As part of this year’s Public Affairs Conference, IFA will hold its annual FranPAC Congressional Dinner at Washington D.C.’s exclusive restaurant Central. The private dinner will offer cuisine from celebrated restaurateur Michel Richard, and will provide guests who donate to IFA’s political action committee, FranPAC, a unique view of Pennsylvania Avenue and the nation’s capital. 

Erica Fitzsimmons is director of political affairs & grassroots advocacy for the International Franchise Association. She can be reached at 202-662-0670 or


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